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Pittsford Boys Repeat at New York section V High School Champs -- February 16, 2004

WEBSTER, New York, February 16. EITHER Brian Possee woke up in a good mood Saturday or he knew something that others didn’t.

Possee couldn’t wait to jump into the pool for the Section V Class A Swimming and Diving Championships. His excitement increased when he joined his Pittsford teammates for the bus ride to the Webster Aquatic Center.

“There was a lot of energy,’’ said Possee, a junior. “You just ride the wave, keep positive, swim fast and encourage others.’’

Possee helped Pittsford make the biggest splash at the meet, as the Monroe County Division I winners repeated as sectional champions.

The outstanding swimmer of the meet was Possee. He swept to wins in the individual freestyle races before doing his part to help Pittsford’s 400-yard freestyle relay break a 20-year old meet record.

Possee lowered the 200 freestyle meet record to 1 minute, 40.46 seconds, an automatic All-America time, to wipe away the 19-year old mark set by former Fairport star Rick Aronberg.

“I knew I could do it,’’ said Possee, who alo won the 500 freestyle race in 4:47.76. “My coaches supported me the whole way. They showed me the way to win this.

“I’m in a good state mentally. I had to wait to put myself into the water to see what would happen. I had a great season and we had a great team.”

Pittsford teammate Luke Weniger put himself on the list of the meet’s record holders, too.

Weniger, a senior who will join national champion Auburn University next school year, swam the fastest 100 butterfly ever in a Class A race (49.87 seconds). He is the reigning state champion in that event.

Weniger walked away with another individual sectional title after a 21.42-second finish in the 50 freestyle and teamed with Jeremy Amon, Zach Whitman and Possee on Pittsford’s 400 free relay (3:11.30).

“The less I think, the better I feel,’’ Weniger said about big races. “I wanted to take the fly (sectional) record today.

“It didn’t happen, but I’m still pleased with how I swam.’’

Pittsford swimmers weren’t the only ones claiming sectional titles and adjusting the list of meet records.

Fairport junior Jeff Wood replaced ex-Red Raider Ryan Prosser’s 14-year old meet mark in the 100 backstroke (52.33).

Wood’s day also included a runner-up finish in the 200 freestyle behind Possee, plus sectional championships in the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays shared with Jon Roberts, Matt McGraw and Cyrus Salehi.

Roberts, a Fairport junior who has claimed or shared six state titles in two full seasons, won the 100 breaststroke (56.94) and missed setting a state record by .21 of a second.

“I wasn’t focused on individual goals because this isn’t my big meet of the year,’’ said Roberts, also the runner-up in the 100 butterfly to Weniger.

“I couldn’t be more proud of how well my teammates swam today.’’

Penfield’s climb to the top of Section V continued.

The Patriots, Monroe County Division II champions, finished six points ahead of perennial power Fairport for second-place in the team standings behind Pittsford.

“It really shows how much we’ve gotten better,’’ said Penfield junior Jeremy Chang, the Class A 200 individual medley champion. “I’ve come in second so many times, it felt great to take the last step.

“Even my sister came in second a bunch of times. It’s really great for our family to finally get up there on that first-place step.’’

--James Johnson
RochesterDemocratandChronicle.com