It was a near-perfect day for the Rye swim team February 16 at the Section championships in the Felix Festa Middle School pool. The Garnets won three individual titles and qualified five swimmers in six races for the State championships March 4-5 at the Nassau Aquatic Center in East Meadow.
Senior Kevin Hughes won both the 200- and 500-meter freestyle events, while fellow senior Chris Lyons finished first in the 200 individual medley and second in the 100 freestyle. As a team, the Garnets placed eighth out of 25.
Hughes kick-started Rye’s banner day with a dramatic victory in the 200 free. Last year, Hughes finished a heartbreaking .14 seconds out of first when Horace Greeley’s Matt Hadley touched him out. The senior saved his best for last this time around, however, with a dominating final lap that propelled him past another Greeley swimmer, Taegan Clark, and to the Section title with a 1:41.86 time.
“I’m very happy to win it this year after what happened in 2010,” said Hughes. “I’m more of a distance swimmer anyway, so I try and go the same speed the entire race while others wear themselves out early.”