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No ho-hum affair, Pittsford takes another Section V boys swimming championship

James Johnson
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Since it is February, there's very little surprise the weather around Rochester is flat-out cold.

That doesn't mean it's easy to shrug off when it's time to warm up the car and drive off in the morning.  

Carson Rehkopf, a senior Pittsford Sutherland, will have an easier time doing that, when he returns to classes on the school's campus. He can brush snow off your car and walk around with a nice, warm glow inside as a co-captain of a Section V champion team.

Rehkopf, one of 19 swimmers in the team's lineup — along with co-captains Carson Rehkopf, Aaron Kusch and Daniel Yang — helped Pittsford take a 19th consecutive sectional title in 19 seasons Tuesday, as the Panthers finished on top of the team standings for the Section V Class A Championships at Webster Aquatic Center.

This unusual year for swimmers concluded with has been a usual end in Section V.

"My first reaction is just being proud of everyone," Rehkopf said after his fifth year in the program, third with the varsity. "We as seniors, we had to take this season and help out the younger kids, show them as much as we could in a short amount of time.

"Being able to come together for the last meet was something special. Everyone worked really hard, and it paid off."

Pittsford Sutherland senior Carson Rehkopf

Pittsford point total was pumped up primarily by swimmers and divers who finished after first-place finishers, although diver Daley Fraser, a junior at Pittsford Mendon, provided a very nice launch for his team Feb. 4.

All Fraser did was score 651.15 points, briefly a Section V record, during the Class A diving championships at Churchville-Chili.

"The divers did really well," Pittsford coach Rick Schmitt said. "We had three finish in the top eight, with Daley taking first with the Class A meet record, briefly holding the all-time Section V record (senior Eric Wang placed fifth, freshman Dylan O'Donnell eighth).

"That's a whole different type of thing. For them to get us off like that was really good."

Pittsford as a unit scored 470 points. Fairport was next, winning a back-and-forth sprint for second with 248 to 232 for Hilton. Penfield (238) placed fourth, and was followed by the team in the Greece school district (186). 

"It's hard to ignore that," Schmitt said of Pittsford's streak of sectional titles. "They know every year coming into the season what has taken place through the years. We were really pleased. Maybe to an outsider its, "Ho hum, Pittsford won another sectional title," but every year it’s a different story.

"Last year, we were top heavy with successful swimmers. This year, we win one swimming event, one diving event, but yet we won our 19th in a row. It was a different story. Our depth really showed up today. Our young guys really stepped up. Our older guys did well. We quietly went about our business." 

Kusch, Alexander Korshunov, Patrick Lang and Giovanni Williams won the 200-yard medley relay in 1 minute, 39.22 seconds. That would have been fast enough to advance into the state championships, which are cancelled out of concerns of spreading the lingering coronavirus. 

A few swimmers in a number of events were on that type of pace, despite sluggish off-season training.

"I was definitely surprised," Rehkopf said. "Training in the off-season was really limited, that was the way it was for a lot of people.

"The amount of state cuts, it was really crazy to see."

Spotlight on event winners

Hilton's Jared Enser winning the 100 Butterfly.
  • Jared Enser (Hilton senior): Swimmer of the Meet award winner after first-place finishes in the 200 individual medley (1:57.10), 100 butterfly (51.83), 200 free relay and 400 free relay. Monroe County league's Swimmer of the Year.
  • Alex Crossing (Victor junior): 200 freestyle (1:42.91) and 500 free (4:37.82). Pittsford's Rehkopf was second (1:45.75) in the 200 free.  
Victor's Alex Crossing won the 200 Freestyle event in the Section V Class A finals.
  • Justin Enser (Hilton sophomore): 50 free (21.34). He is one of the Cadets found at the top of Section V leaderboards all season.
  • Michael Damelio (Webster senior): 100 free (46.63), Rehkopf was second (47.04). There was a good chance Damelio would walk away with at least one first-place finish. Falling short of a spot on a fifth Democrat & Chronicle All-Greater Rochester Team would be a shock.
  • Benson Dinh (Greece senior): 100 backstroke (52.94), followed by Pittsford's Aaron Kusch (53.74).
  • Aidan Delehanty (Rochester City School United senior): 100 breaststroke (59.97). A student at World of Inquiry, he was the lone sub-minute finisher. The 2020 AGR team member also was runner-up in the 50 free (21.49). 
Webster's Michael Damelio won the 100 Freestyle.

Section V Boys Swimming

Rochester City School District's Taylor Markham in the 200 Medley Relay.

Class A championships

Results

Team scores: Pittsford 470 points, Fairport 248, Hilton 232, Penfield 228, Greece 186, Rush-Henrietta 168, Brighton 157, McQuaid 132, Webster 122, Victor 120, Rochester City School District United 92, Churchville-Chili 78, Gates Chili 48.

Top finishers/200-yard medley: Pittsford (Aaron Kusch, Alexander Korshunov, Patrick Lang, Giovanni Williams) 1:39.22 (state cut time); Greece (Benson Dinh, Connor Smith, Ethan Kryger, Alex Johnsen) 1:40.17 (state cut); Rush-Henrietta 1:42.22; 200 freestyle: Alex Crossing (Victor) 1:42.91 (state cut); Carson Rehkopf (Pittsford) 1:45.75 (state cut); Timothy Fan (Pittsford) 1:46.48 (state cut).

200 individual medley: 1, Jared Enser (Hilton) 1:57.10 (state cut); Kusch (Pittsford) 2:00.18 (state cut); Lang (Pittsford) 2:00.67; 50 free: Justin Enser (Hilton) 21.34 (state cut); Aidan Delehanty (RCSDU) 21.49 (state cut); Michael Damelio (Webster) 21.52 (state cut); One-meter diving: Daley Fraser (Pittsford) 651.15; Jacob Calus (Churchville-Chili) 586.25; Will Rugaber (Penfield) 434.85.

100 butterfly: Jared Enser (Hilton) 51.83 (state cut); Julian Joseph (McQuaid) 52.03; Lang (Pittsford) 52.63 (state cut); 100 free: Damelio (Webster) 46.63 (state cut); Rehkopf (Pittsford) 47.04; Justin Enser (Hilton) 47.17 (state cut); 500 free: Crossing (Victor) 4:37.82 (state cut); Bryce Berkhof (Pittsford) 4:44.88; Keegan Wooding (Churchville-Chili) 4:45.26 (state cut).

200 free relay: Hilton (Justin Enser, Alexander Morreale, Jacob Runyon 1:26.92 (state cut); Pittsford (Williams, Lucas Golembiewski, Korshunov, Rehkopf) 1:29.84 (state cut); Penfield 1:30.89; 100 backstroke: Dinh (Greece) 52.94 (state cut); Kusch (Pittsford) 53.74 (state cut); Sam Rivera (Brighton) 54.32 (state cut); 100 breaststroke: Delehanty (RCSDU) 59.97 (state cut); Connor Smith (Greece) 1:02.08; Alex Palmer (Fairport) 1:02.55; 400 free relay: Hilton (Justin Enser, Morreale, Runyon, Jared Enser) 3:12.59 (state cut); Pittsford (Fan, Kusch, Aidan Braun, Rehkopf) 3:13.38 (state cut); Penfield (Jordan Fixsen, Jackson Fixsen, Michael Kilchevskyy, Alex Nenadic) 3:21.95.

JAMESJ@Gannett.com

James Johnson covers high school sports for the Democrat and Chronicle. Contact him by e-mail or on Twitter @JJDandC.