Youth fuels Pittsford's dominance in pool. Section V's top girls swimmers, divers

Pittsford coach Marty Keating often has his "Goal Book" by his side.

Every girl on Pittsford's relatively young swimming and diving team contributes to the "Goal Book" before the fall begins, each etching individual marks to aspire reaching by season's end. For instance, for the 500-yard freestylers to reach their goals, Keating and his seniors make sure they're hitting their splits every 25 yards they add in practice.

Pittsford swimmers practice in four groups: Breaststrokers, sprinters and distance athletes are in three different groups, while the backstrokers, butterfliers and individual medley swimmers are conjoined in the fourth. Of Pittsford's 22 athletes, 15 are freshman and younger. The two divers are in 10th and seventh grade. So this roster needs much attention.

"We're watching over them, encouraging them, and cajoling them to make their times. ... I don't want them to think about anything. Just get up there and race," said Keating, who's in his 51st year.

Pittsford hopes to keep win streaks 'alive'

Emily Eichinger, Rebecca Hicks, Lena Rossetti and Maura Sheehan from Pittsford's girls swimming and diving team.
Emily Eichinger, Rebecca Hicks, Lena Rossetti and Maura Sheehan from Pittsford's girls swimming and diving team.

Sarah Kunze, Molly Bennett, Maddie Ritter and Lexi Lombard are some of Pittsford's stars, but seniors Emily Eichinger, Rebecca Hicks and Isabella Huerta-Andrade run the team.

The senior trio brings leadership, and Keating takes pride in their experience and successes. Eichinger, Hicks and Huerta-Andrade guided Pittsford to a Monroe County Division I win over previously undefeated Fairport on Tuesday, improving to 9-0 and keeping alive an unblemished dual meet streak that began in 2008. Pittsford's seniors also know the expectations of extending their Section V title run, which currently sits at 21 consecutive championships.

"We're working on keeping that streak alive and putting forth our best effort to reach that goal," Hicks said.

Are Pittsford's young athletes ready? They'll find out soon enough. Section V's diving championships are Saturday, Oct. 28 and the swimming finals are Nov. 3 and 4. Keating's goal has always been to place four athletes in the top eight of each event. He hopes Pittsford's depth prospers again.

"My seniors know exactly what the teams before them have done. They coral the girls. It's like trying to herd kittens, but they keep them in line," Keating said.

"The younger girls are nervous, but they're troopers, they've been in the battle. They're not like deer caught in headlights. And next year they're going to show Section V what they're all about. The future is looking good for Pittsford swimming."

Webster returners eying states

Marin Bedford and Kylie Willis from Webster's girls swimming and diving team.
Marin Bedford and Kylie Willis from Webster's girls swimming and diving team.

Kylie Willis and Marin Bedford are two of coach John Doerner's best athletes at Webster.

Willis is one Section V's fastest swimmers. Her 500 free and 200 IM are each ranked No. 1.

"I want to make states in the (500 free) this year, and maybe the 100 back if I can," Willis said.

Bedford currently owns Section V's fastest time in the 100 breaststroke. She's also a remaining member of Webster's 200 medley relay that placed third at the 2022 state championships, which returns to the Webster Aquatic Center through 2024 and this year's finals are Nov. 17 and 18.

"States is definitely a goal for us for this season," Bedford said. "We've been training all year pretty hard."

Section V swimmers and divers to watch

List of names contributed by Section V coaches.

Jillian Anthony, Palmyra-Macedon: Ranked second in Class C for the backstroke and third in the 500 free.

Marin Bedford, Webster: The junior is a returning state qualifier. Currently top Section V time in 100 breast.

Brighton's Charlotte Buck.
Brighton's Charlotte Buck.

Charlotte Buck, Brighton: The senior placed seventh in the 100 breast and 15th in the 100 free at 2022 Class A finals.

Lexi Campanella, Webster: The seventh-grader is a top five diver in Section V in her first season.

Emi Carey, Mercy: The freshman has posted some top times in Section V so far this season.

Ruby Flanigen, Irondequoit: The senior has the potential to score in the top three in many events at sectionals. She can swim any event and is a key member of the team. She is currently focusing on freestyle and butterfly.

Brighton's Joanna Frank.
Brighton's Joanna Frank.

Joanna Frank, Brighton: The senior swims the butterfly and IM. She placed 12th in the 200 IM at sectionals last year.

Honeoye Falls-Lima's Natalie Gilbert.
Honeoye Falls-Lima's Natalie Gilbert.

Natalie Gilbert, Honeoye Falls-Lima: The sophomore won section titles in the 200 free, 500 free and both of her relays last year. Currently ranks first in Class B and second in the section in the 500 free. Her other section ranks: fifth in the 200 free, eighth in the 200 IM, 14th in the 100 fly and 16th in the 100 free.

Brighton's Alyssa Hellman
Brighton's Alyssa Hellman

Alyssa Hellman, Brighton: The eighth grade diver is in her first year. She has a six-dive personal best score of 268.50, and an 11-dive score of 404.50. She was the runner-up at the Churchville-Chili Diving Classic.

Ila Johnson, Irondequoit: The senior is a 100 breaststroke specialist. She is swimming strong and is near the top of the Class B 100 breaststroke.

Elli Knausz, Mercy: The junior was the 2022 Class B Swimmer of the Meet and a state qualifier in the 100 fly. She is also the current school record holder in the 100 fly and 200 IM.

Brighton's Natalie Mankoff.
Brighton's Natalie Mankoff.

Natalie Mankoff, Brighton: The freshman swims the 50 free and 100 fly. She placed 10th in the 50 free and 16th in the 100 fly at sectionals.

Ellie Martin, Canandaigua: State qualifier in 100 fly.

Meghan Martin, Webster: The sophomore ranks in the section's top 10 of the 100 back a 100 breast.

Honeoye Falls-Lima senior Kathryn McRae.
Honeoye Falls-Lima senior Kathryn McRae.

Kathryn McRae, HF-L: Now a senior, she won section title in the 100 free, 100 back and both of her relays as a sophomore. As a junior year, she won section championships in the 50 free, 100 free and both relays. She is currently unbeaten Class B dual meet competitions, and placed second in races against Class A Victor.

Melek Ozbas, Webster: The junior's 100 breast time is top five in the section.

Sydney Richards, Gananda/Wayne: Broke Newark's 100 breast pool record.

Rita Romano, Newark/Lyons: Currently focused on the 200 IM and 100 back.

Brenna Scott, Irondequoit: The sophomore has won every diving contest she has participated in. She has potential to be at the top of Class B at sectionals.

Elizabeth Share, Palmyra-Macedon: Broke Newark's pool record in the 100 back at Finger Lakes championships where she was named Senior of the Year and Swimmer of the Meet. Currently ranked No. 1 in the section's top 100 fly and 100 back.

Ailise Sheehan, Mercy: The freshman has posted some top times and is one of the leading scorers for Mercy.

Kylie Willis, Webster: The junior made the 2022 AGR team and swam at states. Currently own's Section V's top times in the 200 IM and 500 free. She also has top five times in the time 100 free, 200 free and 100 back.

Top Section V athletes by event

Times and scores are updated through Oct. 19.

50 freestyle: 1. Morgane Wethey, Victor, 24.74; 2. Kaleigh Lawrence, Fairport; 3. Sarah Kunze, Pittsford.

100 freestyle: 1. Morgane Wethey, Victor, 54.05; 2. Kaleigh Lawrence, Fairport; 3. Kylie Willis, Webster.

200 freestyle: 1. Elli Knausz, Mercy, 1:57.53; 2. Meredith Hogan, Victor; 3. Kylie Willis, Webster.

500 freestyle: 1. Kylie Willis, Webster, 5:13.89; 2. Meredith Hogan, Victor; 3. Natalie Gilbert, Honeoye Falls-Lima.

100 backstroke: 1. Elizabeth Share, Palmyra-Macedon, 59.12; 2. Kylie Willis, Webster; 3. Emma Bouwens, Hilton.

100 butterfly: 1. Elizabeth Share, P-M, 58.25; 2. Meredith Hogan, Victor; Morgane Wethey, Victor.

100 breaststroke: 1. Marin Bedford, Webster, 1:10.96; 2. Molly Bennett, Pittsford; 3. Sydney Richards, Gananda-Wayne.

200 individual medley: 1. Kylie Willis, Webster, 2:17.09; 2. Elizabeth Share, P-M; 3. Kayden Manciocchi, Hilton.

Diving: 1. Lexi Campanella, Webster, 337.95; 2. Orianna Carrasquel, Midlakes; 3. Ashley Oswald, Wellsville.

200 medley relay: Hilton (Evelynn Smolinski, Kayden Manciocchi, Emma Bouwens, Mary Burke) 1:55.45; 2. Fairport; 3. Pittsford.

200 freestyle relay: Fairport (Charlotte Larzelere, Mikayla Little, Kayleigh Lawrence, Alyssa Galley) 1:43.49; 2. Pittsford; 3. Webster.

400 freestyle relay: 1. Fairport (Mikayla Little, Kaleigh Lawrence, Erika Guche, Alyssa Galley) 3:46.84; 2. Pittsford; 3. Hilton.

This article originally appeared on Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: Youth fuels Pittsford's pool success: Section V's top girls swimmers and divers