OSSINING, N.Y. Ossining swimmers Sarah Kamal, Stella Meyerhoeffer and Emily Rocco became the first Spartans swimmers ever to qualify for the Metropolitan Swimming Long Course Junior Olympics when they competed last weekend in the regional qualifier at the Nassau County Aquatic Center in East Meadow, N.Y.
Spartans Coach Mike Kane challenged the USA Swimmers on the team to try challenging Long Course meets this summer with the goal of giving his swimmers experience with the 50-meter distance lanes, which is standard for Olympic swimming. This is the first year Spartans swimmers competed in Long Course events.
Kamal, Meyerhoeffer and Rocco debuted at the event, which featured hundreds of top swimmers from the metro region competing in dozens of events. The goal for the trio was to meet a zone time standard, which would qualify them to compete at the upcoming Eastern Region Zone Championships.
Kamal qualified for Zones in both the 50-meter and 100-meter events for girls 10-and- under. Kamal finished the 50 breast in 42:07, dropping half a second from her seed time and taking sixth overall out of 87 swimmers in this event. She dropped .39 to finish the 100 breast in 1:36:04, taking 12th overall in this longer event. Although she qualified to swim at the Eastern Zone championships in Richmond, Kamal will forgo travelling to the meet. Kamal also swam the 10-and-under 50m butterfly, finishing in 45:89.
Meyerhoeffer qualified for LCJOs in breaststroke, backstroke and freestyle events. She finished the 10-and-under girls 50-meter breast in 47:80, the 50 back in 42:26, taking 35th out of 84 top regional competitors. Meyerhoeffer also tackled the 10-and-under 400 freestyle, finishing in 5:51:96 and clipping .1 second off her seed time.
Rocco swam events for girls 10-and-under in all four strokes. In the 50 fly, Emily touched the side of the pool in 39:69, 34th out of 89 competitors, and clocked a time of 1:35.94 in the 100 back. Rocco completed the 50 free in 36:80 and the 100 fly in 1:37:52.
With the USA Swimming Long Course season now over, the Spartans are looking forward to the Division 4 Championship meet in the Northern Westchester Swim Conference on Aug. 4 at the Pocantico Swimming Club pool.
Kane coaches the Spartans at the Joseph G. Caputo Community Center Pool in Ossining. The Spartans Swim Team is interested in new swimmers any time of the year. For information, log on to the team's website or stop by the pool.
From a report by Susan Gibbs de San Martin
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