Boys Section 9 Swimming Championships: Monroe-Woodbury Wins Title

MONTGOMERY — Warwick’s Jesse Abramson had already earned several state championship berths, but that didn’t affect his motivation for Saturday’s Section 9 swimming championships.

Just win, baby.

Abramson fired off the starting blocks in the 200-yard freestyle final and quickly built a commanding lead. He then broke a school record of 1 minute, 43.76 seconds, the second-fastest winning mark since 2011.

“I really wanted to do my best time,” Abramson said. “I’ve been working on this for a very long time. Breaking the school record is really cool.

Abramson opted out of defending his 100 backstroke title, instead earning a commanding victory in the 500 freestyle clocking 4:45.99, about three seconds from his goal. “I would like to be a little faster,” he said, “but we’ll get it in the United States.”

Warwick's Jesse Abramson climbs the block for the final 200-yard freestyle round during the Section 9 Men's Swimming Championships at Valley Central High School in Montgomery on Saturday February 19, 2022.

Rhinebeck junior Finn Quested – named swimmer of the competition – needed a bit more time to take control in his 200 IM final, going out in under 24 and touching in 1:57.13. He doubled in the 100m backstroke final, his 51.02 being the second fastest time since 1998 (Bryan Chorzempa of Rondout Valley swam 50.15 in 2019). “I just found him there in the last 25 (yards) and just went home,” he said. Quested has been Rhinebeck’s only Section 9 champion since at least 1998.

Senior Brady Saunders of New Paltz was another double winner. He eclipsed the state standard by a hundredth of a second, winning the 50 freestyle in 22.18. In the preliminaries on Thursday, he narrowly missed the standard.

“I definitely tried to stay optimistic,” Saunders said. “It hurt a bit but I came back and did better and achieved my goal.”

Saunders returned to the lead throughout the 100 freestyle, winning in 49.22. He tied New Paltz’s Leo Kuyl (2019) and Newburgh’s Josh Bryant (2016-17) in posting 50/100 competitive sweeps.

The 100 breaststroke final ended in sixes before junior Andrew Sammons of Kingston took a two-man lead. Sammons, who qualified for the States on Thursday, posted a season best 1:00.02, becoming only the second non-senior to win this event in the last nine title competitions. “I’m thrilled,” he said. “I’ve wanted to do it since I started college, but I thought it would happen next year, if anything.”

Finalist Ariel Koyfman of Monroe-Woodbury hit the state qualifying standard in 1:01.07.

All the top seeds won on Saturday except one. Marlboro sophomore Josh Johnson, who transferred from his native Jamaica, barely trailed on his first three laps of the 100 butterfly but made a perfect push to touch Valley Central’s Kellen Dickman with a tenth, winning in 52.79.

The diver of the meet, Jackson Vinarub senior of Washingtonville, won Friday’s final, to go along with his 2020 title. Five divers will advance to the states. Several recent diving champions include Colin Lang of Pine Bush (2017-19) and Nicholas Rusek of Warwick (2013-15).

Every Saturday winner and a small handful of timed qualifiers advance to the state finals on March 5-6 at Ithaca College.

Swimmers from Washingtonville and Monroe-Woodbury take a selfie at the medal stand during the Section 9 Men's Swimming Championships at Valley Central High School in Montgomery on Saturday, February 19, 2022.

Crusaders back to the top

Coach Justin Wright’s Monroe-Woodbury team has won six over the past seven years, edging 2021 champion Washingtonville, 288-233. The winless Crusaders won deep, with four second places, one third, three quarters, two fifths, three sevenths and one eighth.

“I’m extremely proud and appreciate not only all the work the kids have done,” Wright said, “but also the work their families and the district have done as well as the other coaches and coaches they work with. throughout the year.”

Freshman Nicholas Bruno qualified for the state meet, finishing second (54.27) in the 100m backstroke.

Pine Bush (206.5), Cornwall (190.5), Minisink Valley and Newburgh Free Academy (each with 179) round out the top five team spots.


Cornwall opened the competition by winning the 200m medley, repeating the school’s feat of 1999 and 2004.

Anchor leg Adam Kellman chased Pine Bush and led Washingtonville to a 200 freestyle relay victory in 1:31.41, the third straight year the Wizards have won. The last schools to do so were Pine Bush (2014-16), New Paltz (2008-10) and Newburgh (2004-06).

“I knew we were a little behind,” Kellman said. “I knew we still had a chance…I knew if I swam hard to that finish, we could get it.

Kellman repeated his heroics in the 400 freestyle final, leading the Wizards to victory in 3:20.57. Runner-up Monroe-Woodbury had won the past two 400-meter freestyle finals.

back together

The 2021 Sectionals were held virtually in each team’s pool due to COVID restrictions. The 2021-22 season has brought swimmers together, generating more excitement.

“I’m just glad we’re back to swimming this year after last year with COVID,” Quested said. “It’s nice to have the fans here.”

broken clock

There were issues with the timing pads in the pool that swimmers touch to record times, particularly in lane four where the top-ranked swimmers compete. This required officials to time this lane, which delayed the display of “official” results on the automated scoreboard.

Officials resorted to an old backup system used at Valley Central, laying a cable across the touchpads to record times.

DJ swimmers

The top seed in each race was allowed to choose their own entrance music coming out of the locker room. Section President and outgoing Valley Central coach Scott Warner escorted each group of swimmers to the deck, with 8-year-old Frankie Rae Baker in the lead with the event sign.

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Twitter: @KenMcMillanTHR

Section 9 Championships

(at Valley Central High School)

Team scores: 1. Monroe-Woodbury (MW) 288 points; 2. Washingtonville (washing) 233; 3. Pine forest (PB) 206.5; 4. Cornwall (Cor) 190.5; 5. (tie) Minisink Valley (MV) and Newburgh Free Academy (NFA) 179; 7. Central Valley (VC) 157; 8. Red hook (RH) 131; 9. New Paltz (PN) 129; 10. Kingston (King) 116; 11. Warwick (War) 98; 12. Gochen (L) 95; 13. Rhinebeck (Dh) 8; 14. Middletown (center) 67; 15. Rondout Valley (RV) 51; 16. Marlboro (Marne) 49; 17. F. D. Roosevelt (FDR) 33; 18. Beacon (Bea) 20; 19. SS Seward (sewing) 10; 20. Onteora, ON 8.

200 yard medley relay: 1. Cornwall (Vincent Mattone, Mason Leishman, Landon Leishman, Andrew Dobuzinsky) 1:43.39; 2. Red hook 1: 4.99; 3. Kingston 1:45.22; 4. Rhinebeck 1:45.60; 5. Minisink Valley 1:46.47; 6.Newburgh 1:46.96

200 free: 1. Jesse Abramson (War) 1:43.76; 2. Zachary Rothman (Cor) 1:49.45; 3. Peter Brelesky (MW) 1:50.77; 4. Charles Hufcut (PB) 1:51.10; 5. Jack Mummery (NFA) 1:52.02; 6. Owen Daniels (RH) 1:52.04

200 MI: 1. Finn Quested (Rhb) 1:57.13; 2. Jack Bellettiere (MV) 2:01.34; 3. Andrew Kassian (RV) 2:01.77; 4. Dylan Cobb (MW) 2:05.51; 5. Tomek Oakes (PB) 2:05.84; 6. Andrew Sammons (King) 2:05.93

50 free: 1. Brady Saunders (NP) 22.18; 2. Adam Kellman (Washing) 22.39; 3. Owen Butryn (Gosh) 22.75; 4. Nathaniel Storaska (VC) 22.81; 5. Jack Samko (RGB) 23.02; 6. Joshua French (medium) 23.16

1 meter dive (Friday): 1. Jackson Vinarub (Washing) 528.90 points; 2. Grant Moore (Gosh) 524.80; 3. Luke Albanese (Gosh) 492.80; 4. Lars Poutsma (MW) 460.45; 5. Omer Mosker (MW) 443.25; 6. Kaeden Fisher (PB) 422.75

100 butterfly: 1. Josh Johnson (marl) 52.79; 2. Kellen Dickman (VC) 52.89; 3. Adam Kellman (Washing) 52.91; 4. Andrew Kassian (RV) 54.32; 5. Troy Speare (FDR) 55.31; 6. Jackson Hujus (MV) 55.55

100 free: 1. Brady Saunders (NP) 49.22; 2. Peter Brelesky (MW) 49.69; 3. Edmund Wilson (RH) 50.06; 4. Tomek Oakes (PB) 50.37; 5. Charles Hufcut (PB) 50.41; 6. Cooper Wright (Washing) 50.59

500m free: 1. Jesse Abramson (War) 4:45.99; 2. Zachary Rothman (Cor) 4:58.28; 3. Owen Daniels (RH) 5:04.25; 4. Peyton Tuttle (NFA) 5:04.72; 5. Ayden Baxter (Marne) 5:09.03; 6. Ryan Godfrey (washing) 5:11.35

Relay 200 free: 1. Washingtonville (Jack Donlon, Luke Sanchez, Cooper Wright, Adam Kellman) 1:31.41; 2. Pinewood 1:31.64; 3. Central Valley 1:32.14; 4. Monroe-Woodbury 1:33.00; 5. New Paltz 1:34.33; 6.Newburgh 1:34.88

100 backstroke: 1. Finn Quested (Rhb) 51.02; 2. Nicolas Bruno (MW) 54.27; 3. Edmund Wilson (RH) 55.48; 4. Jack Bellettiere (MV) 56.46; 5. Dylan Cobb (MM) 56.78; 6. Peyton Tuttle (NFA) 57.49

100 breaststroke: 1. Andrew Sammons (King) 1:00.02; 2. Ariel Koyfman (MW) 1:01.07; 3. Kellen Dickman (VC) 1:01.27; 4. Mason Leishman (Horn) 1:03.45; 5. Koby Wulfmeyer (NP) 1:04.88; 6. Nathaniel Storaska (VC) 1:05.74

Relay 400 free: 1. Washingtonville (Ryan Godfrey, Jack Donlon, Cooper Wright, Adam Kellman) 3:20.57; 2. Monroe-Woodbury 3:21.78; 3. Pinewood 3:26.78; 4. Central Valley 3:28.02; 5. Minisink Valley 3:29.00; 6. Cornwall 3:31.28

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