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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, February 2, 2012

A young team
Guilderville qualifies eight for sectionals

Each Guilderville swimmer travels an average of 6,000 yards of water per practice. Head Coach Vaclav Sotola sets the timer and critiques the swimmers as they carve through the water.

“It’s pretty intense,” Sotola said this week. “If you’re doing less, it’s not enough. If you’re doing more than that, you may be killing yourself.”

Senior Logan Marshall, the only senior on the Guilderville team, which combines athletes from Guilderland and Voorheesville because Guilderland has no pool, says that Sotola makes practice enjoyable for the swimmers. “He motivates us,” Marshall said.

It’s been a rebuilding season for Guilderville; the team went winless in its first eight meets, but got a victory over Amsterdam, 96 to 84, in Voorheesville on Friday. Sotola said that improvement has come more on an individual level this year.

“They all want to swim fast, but they were a little down because they couldn’t win a meet,” said Sotola of his 17 swimmers. “They were definitely excited to finally win a meet as a team.”

Currently, Guilderville has eight swimmers who have qualified for sectionals in multiple events –– Chris Zanotta, Marshall, Samuel DeSantis, Matt Pietrykowski, Gavin Bigge, James Crowley, Brien Miceli, and Anthony Giminiani.

Meanwhile, Matt Wilson, Sean Clair, Zach Zanotta, and Jon Feil are still trying to qualify with one meet remaining against Canajoharie on Feb. 7.

“It’s going to be interesting,” Sotola said of anticipation for the last meet. “Those four guys are right on the cusp.”

Marshall, who swims in the 200-yard freestyle, 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle, 100-yard butterfly, and 100-yard breaststroke, said that swimming is “very individual” because how a swimmer trains directly relates to how he performs. “But, it’s still about the team, too,” he said, “Because we need four people for a relay, as well as for additional support.”

“Having a team makes it enjoyable,” Marshall added.

Guilderville has two sets of brothers this season, Matt and Andrew Pietrykowski, and Chris and Zach Zanotta. Sotola told The Enterprise that each set of brothers has similar ways of swimming. “They don’t really compete against each other,” Sotola said. “If anything, they support each other.”

Having qualified for Triathlon Nationals this coming August, Marshall has used his Guilderville swimming experiences to improve his output during triathlon competitions, which start with a swim. His last triathlon was in Burlington, Vt. in September.

“It’s been a tremendous help,” Marshall said. “Not too many triathletes compete in swimming for four months per year. I’ve noticed a change.”

By Jordan J. Michael

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