SYRACUSE — Auburn gambled on its relay teams.
Multiple Maroons swimmers were willing to give up one of their individual races — and another chance at making the state meet — in order to be more fresh for the team’s relay races at the Section III state qualifier meet at Nottingham High School Sunday.
Unfortunately for Auburn, the risk didn’t quite pay off.
“The scoring at this meet doesn’t matter, it’s all about making that state cut time and being able to go on to the state meet from here,” Maroons coach Rich Hamberger said. “I gave the girls the option of dumping one of their individual events.”
Auburn’s Maura Moochler, Sydney Murinka, Claire Alexander and Makenna Wilson placed third in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:52.81, about a half-second off from the state cut time. The same four took fifth in the 200 freestyle relay (1:41.93).
Moochler came in fourth in the 100 backstroke (1:02.89) and seventh in the 100 freestyle (56.18). Alexander dropped the 200 freestyle, but still took seventh in the 100 butterfly (1:02.12).
“She did fine. She said she was tired and she probably was because she was the only one to swim the other event,” Hamberger said of Moochler. “Sydney on the other hand being the senior really stepped up in that 100 breaststroke and bettered her time from Friday. That was very impressive.”
Murinka is the only Maroons senior. Hamberger hopes coming close again to a berth into the state meet will help light a fire for the remaining Auburn swimmers.
“I have a lot of juniors, so it’s going to hurt next year when they’re all seniors,” Hamberger said. “There’s five. It’s going to take a toll.”
Lily Buchholz shined for Skaneateles at the Section III state qualifier meet. The junior earned third place in the 100 backstroke (1:02.8) and eighth place in the 100 freestyle (56.34).
Buchholz also teamed up with Rory Comer, Grace King and Elizabeth Springer to take eighth place in the 200 medley relay (1:57.35).
Springer, King, Caitlin Comer and Alice Spaulding placed eighth in the 400 medley relay.
Southern Cayuga placed fifth overall at the Section IV, Class C swim meet Saturday.
The Chiefs’ 200 freestyle relay team of Taylor Green, Molly Rejman, Brooke Green and Emma VanAmburgh placed second, while Brooke Green came in third in the 200 freestyle and the 500 freestyle.
VanAmburgh finished third in the 50 freestyle and fourth in the 100 freestyle, and Molly Rejman placed fourth in the 100 freestyle and sixth in the 200 individual medley.
Anna VanAmburgh came in seventh in the 100 freestyle and teamed up with Julia Gloss, Alussa Gavurnik and Sydney Hasenjager to take seventh place in the 200 medley relay. Taylor Green finished eighth in the 100 backstroke.