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Liverpool swimmers reign at Class A sectionals

Clarke breaks sectional record in 100 breaststroke

What was built up, through two months of domination within the CNY Counties League, carried over for the Liverpool boys swim team into the most important meet of the season.

The Warriors blew away the field in Thursday night's Section III Class A championship meet at Rome Free Academy, picking up 428 points to easily outdistance runner-up Watertown, who had 293.5 points. West Genesee (249.5 points) was third.

This was a new venue for the sectional meet. Years of having the event at Nottingham changed when Section III officials, concerned with injuries caused by loose bulkheads in the girls sectional meet last fall, moved the boys championships to various venues - Class A and B to RFA, Class C to New Hartford, and the overall championships to Hamilton College.

In a show of team unity, all of Liverpool's swimmers shaved their heads the day before going to RFA, where the newly-bald Warriors proceeded to cut off all possible challenges.

Garrett Clarke, in particular, lit up the meet in the 100-yard breaststroke. Getting a big challenge from Watertown's Mike Netto, Clarke prevailed in 56.91 seconds, which did much more than just hold off Netto's own tremendous time of 57.54 seconds.

By going 56.91 seconds, Clarke broke the sectional record of 57.33 seconds in the 100 breaststroke, set by Tom Nowakowski (Jamesville-DeWitt) in 2004. He also smashed Scott Henry's school record of 58.23 seconds, set way back in 1982.

Immediately, Liverpool took the lead in the 200 medley relay, where Clarke, Nick Burdo, Troy Miller and Dan Hens held off Watertown, 1:37.90 to 1:38.60.

Right after, Clarke finished second (1:59.78) to Netto (1:56.77) in the 200 individual medley, but he would get payback against Netto later in the meet in historic fashion.

Burdo won a pair of events. He and Hens went 1-2 in the 100 freestyle, Burdo blazing to the title in 47.59 seconds as Hens was second in 49.14 seconds, fending off Cicero-North Syracuse's Ben Mozo (49.85) for that runner-up spot.

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