CLIFTON PARK - After winning the Section II Division II title in 2009, 2010 and 2011, Fonda-Johnstown senior diver Meghan Bartlett hopes to close out her sectional career with a fourth straight title.
Bartlett will compete in the Section II Division II (small-school) championship today at Shenendehowa High School at 4 p.m.
Bartlett heads into the 1-meter diving event as the No. 1 seed with a season-high score of 298.43 points, which also ranks her second in the state.
Fonda-Johnstown’s Meghan Bartlett dives during a Sept. 25 meet at Johnstown High School. Bartlett will seek her third straight Section II?Division?II 1-meter diving title today at Shenendehowa High?School in Clifton Park. (The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan)
Bartlett's total is 76.78 points better than that of second-seeded Lauren Katz of Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake.
Bartlett, who is the lone area diver competing, already has qualified for her fourth straight trip to the state championship. She placed 16th in 2009, sixth in 2010 and 15th in 2011.
Following today's diving competition, the sectional meet continues Friday and Saturday at Shenendehowa with the swimming preliminaries and finals.
- What: Section II swimming and diving championships
- When: Today (diving), Friday (swim prelims), Saturday (swim finals)
- Where: Shenendehowa High?School, Clifton Park
- Schedule: Today (diving - 4 p.m.); Friday (Division II swim prelims - 11:30 a.m., Division I swim prelims - 4 p.m.); Saturday (Division II swim finals - 10 a.m., Division I swim finals - 3 p.m.)
In addition to the diving event, Bartlett also qualified for sectionals in the 50-yard freestyle with the 11th-best time of 27.26 seconds.
Fonda-Johnstown finished fourth in the team standings at last year's Section II Division II meet, while Gloversville-Mayfield was fifth and Amsterdam was 11th.
Defending Division II champion Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake is the favorite for the team title once again with several competitors seeded among the top five in their respective events.
Several other Fonda-Johnstown competitors will join Bartlett at the meet.
Junior Erica Askew is seeded first in the 100 breaststroke and second in the 100 freestyle. Askew placed second in the 100 breaststroke at last year's DII meet and eighth in the 100 freestyle.
"We have several members of the team who will be contending for top-two finishes in their individual events," Fonda-Johnstown coach Julianna Popp said. "We anticipate many top-eight finishes in the other events in which our girls will be competing."
Eighth-grader Cecelia Mowrey was seeded second in the 500 freestyle and seventh in the 200 freestyle. Mowrey was seventh in the 200 freestyle at sectionals last year and eighth in the 500 freestyle.
Hannah Palsgraf placed sixth last year in the 200 individual medley and eighth in the 100 butterfly. She is seeded 12th in the 200 individual medley and eighth in the 100 butterfly this year.
Also competing for Fonda-Johnstown will be senior Samantha Sweet (200 freestyle, 100 backstroke), junior Kayla Woodman (100 freestyle, 100 backstroke), junior Jenny Zilka (100 freestyle), freshman Erica Wagner (200 individual medley, 100 butterfly) and seventh-grader Emily Miles (200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke).
"We have high hopes that the senior members of the team will have strong performances in their respective events," Popp said. "We believe that their positive example will set the tone for the younger swimmers to have a solid performance in their first sectional appearance."
Gloversville-Mayfield qualified 11 of its 12 swimmers for the meet.
"Our expectations are always high for sectionals," Gloversville coach Mike Harrington said "We've put in a ton of yards and we have a taper that hits well, so we expect some big time drops."
Leading the way for the Lady Sea Dragon is senior Mary-Kate Poulin who won the 100 backstroke at last year's DII meet and placed third in the 200 freestyle.
Poulin enters this year's Division II meet as the fifth seed in the 200 freestyle and sixth seed in the 100 backstroke.
Freshman Sara Curtis is seeded sixth in the 50 freestyle and ninth in the 100 freestyle for Gloversville-Mayfield, while junior Sam Stewart is seeded 13th in the 50 freestyle and 12th in the 100 butterfly.
Senior Jordan Capobianco (100 butterfly, 100 backstroke), junior Alex Blanchard (100 freestyle, 100 breaststroke) and sophomore Carolyn Peck (100 butterfly, 500 freestyle also will swim for the Lady Sea Dragons.
Also competing for Gloversville-Mayfield will be freshman Jenna Cordone (200 freestyle, 500 freestyle), freshman Jada Diodato (100 freestyle, 100 backstroke), freshman Desiree Ives (500 freestyle, 100 backstroke), eighth-grader Taylor Wadsworth (200 freestyle, 100 freestyle) and eighth-grader Kylie Cotugno (200 individual medley, 100 breaststroke).
"Most of our girls are seeded within the top 16 right now," Harrington said. "As long as they believe that they have the gas to go all out, then they will make it back to swim on Saturday."
Amsterdam will have three swimmers in competition in individual events.
Sophomore Justine Youngs (200 individual medley, 100 backstroke), seventh-grader Kayla Dzikowicz (200 individual medley, 100 breaststroke) and seventh-grader Gulianna Pritchard (100 freestyle, 100 backstroke) will compete for Amsterdam.
"We are excited to have seventh-graders that have qualified for sectionals at such a young age,"?Amsterdam coach?Nancy Spagnola said. "We are looking forward to all of our girls coming in the top 16 at prelims to come back for finals on Saturday."
Senior Mary Wozniak, juniors Ashley Adair, Mianna Conti and Marissa Farina, freshmen Amea Hammonds and Cloe Reynicke and seventh-grader Paige Bertuch will compete in the relays for Amsterdam.
Amsterdam, Gloversville-Mayfield and Fonda-Johnstown also will field teams in each of the three relays.
In the 200 medley relay, Fonda-Johnstown is seeded fourth, Gloversville-Mayfield is eighth and Amsterdam in 10th.
In the 200 freestyle relay, Fonda-Johnstown is seeded sixth, Gloversville-Mayfield is seeded seventh and Amsterdam is seeded ninth.
In the 400 freestyle relay, Gloversville-Mayfield is seeded sixth, Fonda-Johnstown is seeded seventh and Amsterdam is seeded ninth.
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake is seeded first in all three relay events.
The Section II championships begin today with the diving competition at Shenendehowa at 4 p.m.
On Friday, the Division II swimming preliminaries will begin at 11:30 a.m. with the Division I prelims set for 4 p.m.
The event will conclude Saturday with the championship finals. The Division II finals are slated to begin at 10 a.m. while the Division I finals are set for 3 p.m.