SKANEATLES LIGHTNING SWIM TEAM

Lighting Earn Small Team Champion Honors at 2019 USA Niagara District Championship

Caleb Bender

The Skaneateles Lightning Swim Team, Central New York’s premier competitive swimming program, earned their first USA Niagara District Championship small team title this past weekend at the Ithaca College Aquatic Center. The Lightning’s standout performance was highlighted by numerous exceptional individual and relay performances. The Lightning also had individual and relay qualifiers for the 2019 YMCA National Championship meet in Greensboro, North Carolina. 

Twenty six Lightning swimmers traveled to Ithaca, New York from March 7th through March 10th to compete in the 2019 Niagara District Championships meet. The Lightning finished 9th overall out of 53 clubs, up two places from 11th in the 2018 meet. Skaneateles was the highest-scoring club from the Central New York region for a second consecutive year and earned the 2019 Small Team High Point Championship.

Highlighting the weekend, the Lightning earned new qualifiers for the 2019 YMCA National Championship meet in Greensboro, North Carolina. Terry Omans qualified for the 100 Yard Backstroke with a time of 53.96. Terry Omans, Ryan McMahon, AJ Teixeira, and Tanner Eisenhut qualified for numerous relay events; the 400 Yard Medley Relay in a time of 3:35.35, 200 Yard Freestyle Relay in a time of 1:28.93, & 200 Yard Medley Relay in a time of 1:39.07. 

The Lightning had numerous gold medal winners in individual and relay events. Alice Bender, Arianna Matthews, Gavin Van Kersbergen, & Jonah Williams won the Mixed 11-12 200 Yard Freestyle Relay event while setting a new meet record. Gavin Van Kersbergen won gold in nearly every individual event he competed in, compiling wins in the Boys 11-12 100 Yard Backstroke, 50 Yard Butterfly, 100 Yard Individual Medley, 100 Yard Butterfly, and 50 Yard Backstroke. Jonah Williams won numerous golds by winning the 50 Yard Breaststroke & 50 Yard Freestyle events. Several other Lightning swimmers recorded top finishes, including:

  • Alice Bender (Skaneateles, NY) in the Girls 11-12 50 Yard Butterfly (9th), 100 Yard Individual Medley (4th), 50 Yard Backstroke (9th), Girls 11-14 400 Yard Freestyle Relay (9th), Mixed 200 Yard Freestyle Relay (1st)
  • Tritan Boucher (Skaneateles, NY) in the Boys 10 and under 200 Yard Freestyle Relay (4th)
  • Ashley Drotar (Skaneateles, NY) in the Mixed 15 & over 200 Yard Freestyle Relay (3rd)
  • Zach Drotar (Skaneateles, NY) in the Boys 11-14 400 Yard Medley Relay (5th), 200 Yard Freestyle Relay (7th), 200 Yard Medley Relay (4th), 800 Yard Freestyle Relay (5th), 400 Yard Freestyle Relay (7th) 
  • Tanner Eisenhut (Syracuse, NY) in the Boys 15 & over 200 Yard Breaststroke (8th), 400 Yard Medley Relay (4th), 200 Yard Freestyle Relay (4th), 200 Yard Medley Relay (4th), 800 Yard Freestyle Relay (9th), 400 Yard Freestyle Relay (4th)
  • Cal Johnson (Skaneateles, NY) in the Boys 10 and under 200 Yard Freestyle Relay (4th)
  • Davis Johnson (Skaneateles, NY) in the Mixed 10 and under 200 Yard Freestyle Relay (6th)
  • Mia Johnson (Skaneateles, NY) in the Mixed 10 and under 200 Yard Freestyle Relay (6th)
  • Morgan Kingsley (Cazenovia, NY) in the Mixed 15 & over 200 Yard Freestyle Relay (3rd)
  • Brady Lee (Syracuse, NY) in the Boys 10 and under 50 Yard Butterfly (6th), 200 Yard Freestyle Relay (4th)
  • Arianna Matthews (Skaneateles, NY) in the Girls 11-12 200 Yard Breaststroke (8th), 500 Yard Freestyle (8th), 100 Yard Breaststroke (5th), Girls 11-14 400 Yard Freestyle Relay (9th), Mixed 200 Yard Freestyle Relay (1st)
  • Ryan McMahon (Syracuse, NY) in the Boys 15 & over 200 Yard Breaststroke (10th), 400 Yard Medley Relay (4th), 200 Yard Freestyle Relay (4th), 200 Yard Medley Relay (4th), 800 Yard Freestyle Relay (9th), 400 Yard Freestyle Relay (4th)
  • Justin Nowicki (Syracuse, NY) in the Boys 13-14 500 Yard Freestyle (4th), 200 Yard Individual Medley (10th), 400 Yard Individual Medley (4th), 100 Yard Individual Medley (6th), 400 Yard Medley Relay (5th), 200 Yard Freestyle Relay (7th), 200 Yard Medley Relay (4th), 800 Yard Freestyle Relay (5th), 400 Yard Freestyle Relay (7th) 
  • Luke Olmsted (Skaneateles, NY) in the Boys 10 and under 500 Yard Freestyle (9th), Mixed 10 and under 200 Yard Freestyle Relay (6th)
  • Elaina Omans (Cazenovia, NY) in the Mixed 10 and under 200 Yard Freestyle Relay (6th)
  • Terry Omans (Cazenovia, NY) in the Boys 15 & over 100 Yard Backstroke (5th), 200 Yard Backstroke (9th), 400 Yard Medley Relay (4th), 200 Yard Freestyle Relay (4th), 200 Yard Medley Relay (4th), 800 Yard Freestyle Relay (9th), 400 Yard Freestyle Relay (4th), Mixed 15 & over 200 Yard Freestyle Relay (3rd)
  • Alice Spaulding (Skaneateles, NY) in the Girls 11-14 400 Yard Freestyle Relay (9th)
  • Hana Spaulding (Skaneateles, NY) in the Girls 13-14 200 Yard Individual Medley (7th), 50 Yard Freestyle (8th), 200 Yard Freestyle (6th), 100 Yard Butterfly (8th), 200 Yard Breaststroke (4th), 100 Yard Breaststroke (6th), 100 Yard Freestyle (4th), Girls 11-14 400 Yard Freestyle Relay (9th)
  • AJ Teixeira (Skaneateles, NY) in the Boys 15 & Over 200 Yard Individual Medley (2nd), 50 Yard Freestyle (8th), 400 Yard Individual Medley (2nd), 200 Yard Breaststroke (2nd), 100 Yard Breaststroke (3rd), 100 Yard Freestyle (3rd), 400 Yard Medley Relay (4th), 200 Yard Freestyle Relay (4th), 200 Yard Medley Relay (4th), 800 Yard Freestyle Relay (9th), 400 Yard Freestyle Relay (4th) 
  • Gavin Van Kersbergen (Skaneateles, NY) in the Boys 11-12 100 Yard Backstroke (1st), 50 Yard Butterfly (1st), 100 Yard Individual Medley (1st), 100 Yard Butterfly (1st), 50 Yard Backstroke (1st), 50 Yard Freestyle (4th), Boys 11-14 400 Yard Medley Relay (5th), 200 Yard Freestyle Relay (7th), 200 Yard Medley Relay (4th), 800 Yard Freestyle Relay (5th), 400 Yard Freestyle Relay (7th), Mixed 200 Yard Freestyle Relay (1st)
  • Jensen Van Kersbergen (Skaneateles, NY) in the Boys 10 and under 200 Yard Freestyle Relay (4th)
  • Jonah Williams (Skaneateles, NY) in the Boys 11-12 200 Yard Breaststroke (2nd), 100 Yard Freestyle (3rd), 50 Yard Breaststroke (1st), 100 Yard Breaststroke (2nd), 50 Yard Freestyle (1st), Boys 11-14 400 Yard Medley Relay (5th), 200 Yard Freestyle Relay (7th), 200 Yard Medley Relay (4th), 800 Yard Freestyle Relay (5th), 400 Yard Freestyle Relay (7th), Mixed 200 Yard Freestyle Relay (1st)
  • Lili Winkelman (Skaneateles, NY) in the Girls 11-14 800 Freestyle Relay (11th)

Gavin Van Kersbergen was the top male scorer with 139 individual points and Hana Spaulding was the top female scorer with 117.5 points.

The team is poised to compete at an extremely high level once again next weekend as they venture to the Nassau County Aquatic Center for the 2019 New York State YMCA Swimming Championships. 

More photos: