SYRACUSE — Maroons coach Rich Hamberger knows there’s still room for improvement.

Auburn won three events and placed in the top three in four more races at the Section III, Class A meet at Nottingham High School Friday. Although none of the Maroons recorded a time to qualify for the state meet, they have one more opportunity at the Section III state qualifier meet Sunday.

“I think they did pretty well,” Hamberger said of his team’s performance. “They weren’t as energized as they were at leagues. … They wanted to start out positively and make that state cut time in the medley relay, and when they didn’t I think it trickled into the rest of the meet.”

The Maroons’ Maura Moochler, Sydney Murinka, Claire Alexander and Kennedy Wilson began the meet by winning the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:53.63, a little more than a second away from the time for states.

Wilson added first-place finishes in the 50 freestyle (25.03) and the 100 freestyle (55.49).

“Relays are more exciting than the individual events because it’s a team effort,” Wilson said. “Your teammates are there to push you and motivate you while you’re swimming the relay. Hopefully we make states on Sunday. Fingers crossed.”

Moochler, Murinka, Alexander and Wilson were second in the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:42.60. Moochler came in third in the 100 backstroke (1:04.62), while Alexander placed third in the 200 freestyle (2:02.69) and the 100 butterfly (1:03.37).

The Maroons spent the last two weeks preparing for sectionals and state quals.

“You feel like you shouldn’t be sore for this meet, but you are and you still swim fast,” Wilson said. “It kind of doesn’t make sense, but it pays off and works out in the end.”

Auburn returns to Nottingham for the Section III state qualifier meet at 1 p.m. Sunday.

“They have a day of rest since we don’t come back here until Sunday,” Hamberger said. “Hopefully we’ll see a little better performance in those races.”

Sports writer Jeremy Houghtaling can be reached at 315-282-2256 or at jeremy.houghtaling@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @CitizenHough.

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