OWEGO – A team without a single senior, a team with a new varsity head coach, a team that held over a .500 regular season record and sent nine girls to the finals of the Section IV Class B championship.
Norwich concluded their postseason – and therefore their 2016 fall season – on a very high note.
“No big surprises. This was a building year. We needed to lay the foundation. We went into the season knowing which meets we would win and which ones we would not win, and no amount of finagling the line up was going to change that,” said Norwich head coach Saundra Gantt. “They were tired all season, and they all swam
faster at the end of the season. It was a successful championship meet and season.”
Prior to the nine Tornado athletes advancing to the finals in Owego on Nov. 5; the Tornado girls first had to travel to Waverly for the preliminary round of sectionals on Nov. 2.
The Tornado swimmers ripped through their competition during the preliminary rounds; taking a total of 96 seconds off their personal best times as a unit, as well as having Maya Blaisure break the Waverly Pool record and Norwich High School record in the 100 Breast stroke – with a time of 1:08.81.
Event 1, 200 yard Medley Relay: Taking the win in the first event was the team of Iris Incitti, Molly Olzinski, Brianna Owen, and Allie Hussar with a time of 1:52.38. Norwich's relay of Melissa Stroh, Maya Blaisure, Maggie Winter, and Lauren Llewellyn claimed a third place spot with their time of 1:58.15.
Event 2, 200 yard Freestyle: Paige Lettera of Chenango Valley claimed the top spot with a time of 1:57.65. Norwich's top swimmer in the event was Emerson Burton who finished in 13th place with a time of 2:19.86.
Event 3, 200 yard IM: Summer Pierce of Owego finished on top with her time of 2:13.22. Blaisure of Norwich raced to a fourth place finish with her time of 2:20.74.
Event 4, 50 Yard Freestyle: Owego claimed another win on the day with Katie Shoen taking the event with her time of 24.47. Margie Winter of Norwich was the highest ranked for the Tornado with her time of 26.30.