Another day, another relay record falls for Clarkson swimming
Friday, February 21, 2014 - 8:08 am

Ithaca, NY - A disqualification in the preliminaries of the 200 freestyle relay hurt the overall scoring for the Clarkson University Swimming team, but in the 400 medley relay finals another record fell for the Golden Knights on day two of the UNYSCSA Regional meet held at Ithaca College.

The Golden Knights' men sit in 12th place among 14 teams with 137 points, but a strong couple of final days could push the Knights quickly up the team scoring chart. The Clarkson women are ranked 14th among 15 teams with 78 points after two days and 20 events.

Though there were several individual events in the middle of the Thursday night festivities, the highlight of the evening came at the conclusion of the night in the 400 medley relay. The Clarkson men when Al Catano (Ronkonkoma, NY), Kyle Hancock (Essex, VT), Nick Short (Endwell, NY) and Sam Zagrobelny (East Aurora, NY) shaved more than a full second off their preliminary time to finish sixth in the event with a time of 3:31.32, nearly a full second faster than the mark set last year at the UNYSCSA event. The team of Tyler Nichols (Spencerport, NY), Jon Ketcham (East Aurora, NY), Liam Sharkey (Malta, NY) and Chris Bay (Greene, NY) also came in 23rd in 3:40.16 to earn some valuable points. On the women's side, Sarah Halstead (Milford, NH), Kelly Mulvehill (Penfield, NY), Jackie Yeaton (Merrimack, NH), and Kelly Ludeke (Burnt Hills, NY) had their best finish of the day by claiming 13th in the same event, racing to the finish in a time of 4:25.59.

The day didn't start as promising as Clarkson's "A" 200 freestyle relay team was disqualified in the preliminaries and therefore was ineligible for the finals, but the Clarkson "B" squad still picked up some points thanks to Jon Ketcham, Chris Bay, Paul Kreppel (Clarence, NY) and Kyle Atkinson (Baldwinsville, NY) as the second squad swam the event in 1:30.65. The women came in 15th in the 200 freestyle relay as Sarah Halstead, Jackie Yeaton, Abby Luber (Camillus, NY) and Deonna Coleman (Derby, NY) finished in 1:51.85.

Highlighting the individual events, several Clarkson men reached the evening races with top 24 finishes. Catano had the top finish of the day, placing 13th in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:43.28, with his preliminary time coming up less than a half second of the school mark. Joining Catano in that event were Chris Bay, who came in 39th, Alex Trass (Greene, NY) in 42nd, Ray Bailey (Galway, NY) in 44th, Paul Kreppel in 47th, and Travis Derr (Lakeville, CT) in 49th among 63 swimmers. On the women's side in the 200 freestyle, Deonna Coleman came in 52nd out of 64 swimmers.

Also scoring for Clarkson was Sam Zagrobelny in the 100 butterfly, placing 16th in 52.62 seconds. His preliminary time was a tenth of a second faster, and three seconds faster than his seed time for the regional. Placing in the top 40 along with Zagrobelny were Liam Sharkey (32nd), Sam Zwierzchowski (East Amherst, NY) in 36th, and Nate Menapace (Baldwinsville, NY) in 40th. In the same event for the women, Jackie Yeaton came in 36th with a time of 1:05.82, four seconds better than her seed time, and Katrina Smith (Ballston Spa, NY), who placed 46th.

Finally, in the 400 individual medley, Nick Short came in 24th with a time of 4:25.89, more than 13 seconds faster than his qualifying seed time. Tyler Nichols narrowly missed the finals as well, placing 26th in 4:28.09 (14 seconds faster than his seeding) and Chris Plummer (Spencerport, NY) was just behind Nichols in 29th in 4:36.77, which was 18 seconds faster than his seed time.