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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, January 6, 2011

Guilderville swim team, faster than last year, loses to Shen, has 3-2 record

By Jordan J. Michael

The Guilderville boys’ swim team went to Shenendehowa on Tuesday and fell behind early, but the 93-to-82 loss still left the team with a winning record at the halfway point of the season.

Head Coach Vaclav Sotola told The Enterprise on Wednesday that his team is “exactly where it should be” right now. “The swimmers are doing an outstanding job,” he said. “They should be really fast by the time of sectionals, and, at this very moment, they are faster than last year.”

The Plainsmen had a 93-to-44 lead after the 200-yard freestyle relay, which was won by the host team. Shenendehowa lost the final three events to Guilderville, but it had already clinched the meet.

“Shen is a very large and deep team,” Sotola said. “We swam hard yesterday, so I’m quite happy about that.”

Senior Tim Willox, from Voorheesville, had two first-place finishes at Tuesday’s meet. He had a winning time of 52.73 in the 100-yard freestyle and clocked a 23.80 for first in the 50-yard freestyle.

The 200-yard medley relay team of Michael Schaffer, Reid Zyniecki, Kyungduk Rho, and Willox, which is ranked fourth in Section II, placed second against Shenendehowa with a time of 1:49.98. The team’s top time this year is 1:49.66. Rho, a senior, finished second in the 200-yard individual medley, and Zyniecki, a sophomore, placed second in the 500-yard freestyle.

 “We have a lot of young guys mixed in with some veterans,” said Sotola. “There’s some depth and we’re doing quite well. The boys are swimming hard and getting excellent times.”

Zyniecki, who has been on the team since seventh grade, is ranked second in Section II in the 500-yard freestyle and fifth in the 100-yard breaststroke. He is also ranked third in the 200-yard free relay with teammates Rho, Willox, and David Fengshi.

“He blossomed into a great swimmer,” said Sotola of Zyniecki. “His stroke is long and excellent.”

Even though the Dutchbirds are getting superb results this season, the team is forfeiting 13 points at every meet because it has no divers. Sean Molloy, who got plenty of diving points for Guilderville last season, graduated in June.

Sotola said that Guilderville isn’t the only swim team with this problem, “if you could call it a problem,” he said. “We go into every meet knowing that we need to win by at least 14 points. Maybe someone could get a second instead of a third, or a fourth instead of a fifth.”

The Dutchbirds have a meet at Ballston Spa today, and Sotola can almost see his team losing by a small margin because the Scotties have divers.

“This doesn’t happen on purpose,” Sotola said. “Sometimes the guys aren’t interested in diving. It’s understandable.”

Sotola went on to mention seniors Willox, Schaffer, Rho, Tim Love, Duncan Genther, and Fengshi for several years of swimming with Guilderville, a team that combines swimmers from Guilderland and Voorheesville; its home pool is at Voorheesville since Guilderland has none.

“They turned out to be excellent gentlemen and team players,” Sotola said.

After Ballston Spa today, the Dutchbirds have five more meets –– against Mohonasen, Albany, Niskayuna, Canajoharie, and Shaker. The team is currently 3-2 on the season.

“Opposing coaches and some officials approach me to compliment the graciousness of my team,” said Sotola. “These guys are the most appreciative competitors.”

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