POPLAR RIDGE — It came down to the final event.
The Bobcats got off to a hot start in the 400 freestyle relay, but Anna VanAmburgh cut into their lead, Molly Rejman overtook her opponent and Brooke Greene extended the lead for the Chiefs. The victory in a time of 4:12.75 lifted Southern Cayuga girls swimming to a 48-46 victory over Lansing at Southern Cayuga High School Thursday.
Chiefs coach Cathy Murray said she hadn't coached the girls program to a win over the Bobcats in more than 20 years.
"I was extremely proud of them," Murray said. "They knew what they had to do, but if it hadn't been for the entire team doing what they had to do and what I said they needed to do all the way through, we wouldn't have been in that position where the last relay made the meet."
Greene took first place in the 200 freestyle (2:10.45), while Emma VanAmburgh won the 50 freestyle (27.28). Alyssa Gavurnik, who was the first leg of the winning 400 freestyle relay team, also placed first in the 100 butterfly (1:17.61).
Taylor Green, Anna VanAmburgh, Emma VanAmburgh and Brooke Green won the 200 freestyle relay (1:50.46).
For Murray, the win went well beyond just the swimmers that took first place in their events.
"We have freshmen taking points and sophomores taking points. We have brand new, first-year swimmers taking points," Murray said. "One is a former gymnast and one this is the first time they've been involved with a team like this. Even like the Lansing coach said, it was a wake up call to her girls that you can't give up third place. Every single point matters. If you're not getting that point, you better be getting a best time. That's what they did."
The Chiefs won four of the first 10 events. The Bobcats placed first and third in the 100 breaststroke, the second to last event of the evening, to take a 44-42 lead heading into the 400 freestyle relay.
Murray reminded her swimmers before the race about how crucial first place — and the six points that come with it — were.
Gavurnik fell behind early to Lansing's Mackenzie Stark. Anna VanAmburgh nearly erased the Chiefs' deficit and Molly Rejman took the lead on her first lap. Brooke Green then closed out the race and the meet by keeping a comfortable distance.
"We're local rivals, so we're pretty excited," Murray said.
Southern Cayuga (6-3-1) looks to ride the momentum when it travels to Whitney Point Oct. 18 and hosts Dryden on Senior Night Oct. 19.
"I crushed them in practice because we started our taper time," Murray said. "It's intense practices. I'm making them work for it."