VALHALLA, N.Y. – Losing is not something the Scarsdale swimming team has been experiencing lately. The Raiders have not lost a meet in two seasons.
That unbeaten streak continued on Wednesday in a 101-80 victory over the combined Byram Hills/Briarcliff/Pleasantville/Valhalla/Westlake team at Westchester Community College. With the win, the Raiders are now 9-0 on the season.
“The overall team effort today was really incredible,” Scarsdale senior Michael Lu said. “This was definitely one of the harder meets we’ve had this year. Everyone gave their maximum (effort).”
Team depth and versatility have been critical reasons behind Scarsdale’s success over the past two seasons.
“They’re all strong swimmers and can all do different strokes,” Scarsdale coach Tim Callahan said. “It just makes the lineup strong no matter what we do with it.”
The Raiders realize that they need everyone to contribute to win meets.
“One of the things we really harp on is that in those races you’re not going to win, even fifth place is a point,” sophomore Dan Needham said. “Everybody counts and everybody is important. It’s really a team effort that wins meets. We have a really good team. We’re very deep.”
“Even if we don’t win an event, we always have second, third or fourth place finishes,” Lu said. “Those are the points that really add up and help us have a successful season. One or two strong swimmers doesn’t make a team.”
The meet against the Thundercats didn’t start off that promising for the Raiders when two of their teams were disqualified in the 200 medley relay. But Scarsdale responded by dominating the rest of the meet.
Needham placed first in both the 200 and 500 freestyles. He built a big lead in the 500 and cruised to victory with a time of 5:18.3.
“I really worked on my underwaters off the walls,” said Needham, who is in his second season on varsity. “I tried to have good turns and I think that really helps. [In the 200] I didn’t go out too fast and I really brought home the second hundred.”
Needham, who was also a part of the 400 freestyle relay which placed first, has already qualified for states in the 500 freestyle.
“He knows what he wants to accomplish in this sport and he’s doing everything he can to get there,” said Callahan, whose team was the Division 2 champion last year. “He’s a workhorse and his versatility is getting better.”
His teammate agreed.
“He’s having a fantastic season and has really come into himself as a swimmer,” Lu said. “It’s been great to watch. He has an incredible work ethic and he’s always there to train and race hard.”
Lu won two events in the 200 IM and 100 freestyle. He was also on the 200 freestyle relay which came in first place.
“The 200 IM was tougher in its length and having to swim four different strokes,” Lu said. “Having Charlie McFarland (second place) there with me was definitely a major help. In the 100 freestyle I also had Sivan Mehta (second place). Having someone to be able to race and really go out with me was definitely a tremendous help. After the first 50 I really went after it.”
Also securing first-place finishes for Scarsdale were senior James Frehill (50 freestyle), freshman Evan Moretti (diving), senior Matt Ginsberg (100 butterfly) and Mehta (100 backstroke).
Scarsdale possesses many swimmers that are capable of swimming any stroke.
“Matt Ginsberg and Carter McFarland always do a great job for us,” Callahan said. “We can use them wherever we want and patch up some holes. Michael Lu, of course, is a great swimmer. We have younger guys that are doing well like Thomas Cooke, a good freshman. [Freshman] Charlie McFarland is swimming well.”
The Thundercats, who dropped to 2-5, received a first-place effort from Zeke Brynin in the 100 backstroke. They also won the 200 medley relay.
Scarsdale is hoping to place high at sectionals this season after a disappointing effort last year.
“We want a top five finish at sectionals,” Needham said. “We’re going to try to fight and get in the ‘A’ finals and the ‘B’ finals. We want to fight for every point we can get at sectionals. We also want to qualify as many people for states as we can in relays and individual events.”
200 Medley Relay
1. BBPVW (Justin Cho, Zeke Brynin, Alec Ifshin, Mike Lyons) – 1:51.92
2. BBPVW (Carl Ronieri, Josh Santos, Charlie McAuley, Dan Sidoti) – 2:05.96
3. Scarsdale (Thomas Kurien, Jishu Datta, Seth Johnson, Kaji Ketan) – 2:14.9
1. Scarsdale’s Dan Needham – 1:52.09
2. Scarsdale’s Carter McFarland – 1:57.2
3. BBPVW’s Alec Ifshin – 2:01.94
1. Scarsdale’s Michael Lu – 2:06.6
2. Scarsdale’s Charlie McFarland – 2:12.5
3. BBPVW’s Justin Cho – 2:13.24
1. Scarsdale’s James Frehill – 24.26
2. Scarsdale’s Thomas Cooke – 24.26
3. Scarsdale’s Ethan Zarnow – 25.33
1. Scarsdale’s Evan Moretti – 239.75
2. BBPVW’s Ryan Levy – 178.55
3. BBPVW’s Max Kesten – 173.95
1. Scarsdale’s Matt Ginsberg – 54.93
2. Scarsdale’s Andrew McInerney – 1:01.3
3. BBPVW’s Charlie McAuley – 1:09.16
1. Scarsdale’s Michael Lu – 49.35
2. Scarsdale’s Sivan Mehta – 51.01
3. Scarsdale’s Ethan Zarnow – 59.4
1. Scarsdale’s Dan Needham – 5:18.3
2. Scarsdale’s Carter McFarland – 5:25.3
3. BBPVW’s Alex Ifshin – 5:36.73
200 Freestyle Relay
1. Scarsdale (Matt Ginsberg, Sivan Mehta, Carter McFarland, Michael Lu) – 1:35.4
2. Scarsdale (Charlie McFarland, Andrew McInerney, James Frehill, Dan Needham) – 1:40.3
3. BBPVW (Alec Ifshin, Mike Jacobs, Mark Jackson, Josh Santos) – 1:46.02
1 Scarsdale’s Sivan Mehta – 57.5
2. BBPVW’s Justin Cho – 58.4
3. Scarsdale’s Tom Cooke – 1:07
1. BBPW’s Zeke Brynin – 1:06.31
2. Scarsdale’s Matt Ginsberg – 1:05.98
3. BBPVW’s Charlie McAuley – 1:07.05
400 Freestyle Relay
1. Scarsdale (Dan Needham, Tom Cooke, Carter McFarland, Alan Zhong) – 3:44.4
2. BBPVW (Zeke Brynin, Edwin Zhou, Justin Cho, Mark Jacobs) – 3:59.84
3. Scarsdale (Charlie Rubin, Seth Johnson, Rich Gutierrez, Conner Wolfe) – 4:42.3
Follow Rob DiAntonio on Twitter @MSGV_RJD