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Hamburg bests rival Frontier in pool

For swimmers, the energy in and out of the pool makes for an exciting meet in which momentum and points can swing at any time.

Adding to the excitement of a rivalry meet between Hamburg and Frontier was that it was tied with three events left to go, which is when the host Bulldogs took over and put themselves over the top.

In the late-season meet between the rivals on Jan. 23, Hamburg came out victorious 61 – 41, behind many of its swimmers’ excelling to new heights.

“Its a huge rivalry,” Hamburg head coach Andy Godios said. “Any time we can beat Frontier in any sport, it’s a big thing.”

Hamburg recorded first and second place finishes in the 100-yard backstroke with Gabe Waite and Connor Long. Waite turned in a winning time of 1:02.41.

In the 100-breaststroke, the next event, the Bulldogs once again grabbed the all-important first and second place, with Luke Kennedy and Tom Reimondo, finishing back-to-back, respectively. Kennedy clocked in at 1:07.59.

Hamburg also placed first and second in the 500-meter freestyle, as Liam O’Connell grabbed first place, while Braden Feasley finished second.

“We actually swam really well, but I just think that [Hamburg] swam lights out,” Frontier head coach Jeff Moessinger said. “I definitely give them a lot of credit. I thought based off the way we swam, we would have a good chance to win the meet, but they just really dropped their times almost every event.”

Hamburg sophomore Kyle Griffin was a part of the winning medley relay to open the meet and won the 50-freestyle with a time of 23.82 seconds. He also recorded two other second-place finishes.

For the Bulldogs, there were 39 individual bests recorded in the win over the Falcons. What stood out to Godios was his medley relay team, which won and bested its previous fastest time by about 2 seconds. Hamburg was also able to grab some points midway through the meet in diving, as it took first and second, with a score of 194.85.

For Frontier, Tom Stoklosa was tremendous in defeat. The state-qualifying swimmer, who will participate in the 50-freestyle in March, was a three-time winner, taking the 200-IM, 100-butterfly and was a member of the winning relay team in the 200-freestyle. He also placed second in the 200-medley relay.

Frontier’s David George won the 100 and 200-free, as well as being a member of the winning 200-free relay. Evan Graesser also took part in that relay and has contributed in the sprint freestyle and butterfly races, according to Moessinger.

“They had some best times and we did too,” Stoklosa said. “Everyone swam their hardest. I couldn’t ask for more. [Hamburg} just stuck it out.”

Hamburg has 35 swimmers on the team, which is believed to be the biggest in the Erie County Interscholastic Conference. Yet the Bulldogs have just one senior. They sent 20 swimmers to the JV championships and will have another 15 going to the ECIC this weekend. When the ECIC championships roll around, Godios said he is expecting all three of his relay teams to be right near the top.

The Bulldogs are part of the large school division, which consists of 14 teams, including Frontier, at the championships.

George will be swimming both the 100 and 200-free at ECIC for Frontier and Graesser, the 50 and 100-free races. Also among the eight swimmers that have qualified for ECIC are Pat Woods, Max Pirotta, Luke Rich, Evan Kroll and Gerald Burkett.

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