Trembley, Knack vying for state swim titles

EAST MEADOW — Amsterdam’s Thomas Knack and Canajoharie-Fort Plain’s Joseph Trembley are both headed to the Section II Division II boys swimming championships today and Saturday at the Nassau County Aquatic Center.

For Knack, a senior, it is his first trip to the state championships where he will be competing in the 100-yard breaststroke.

This is the second-straight trip to the state meet for Trembley, also a senior, who will be competing in the 50– and 100-yard freestyle events.

“The overall experience of having competed last year is a huge advantage,” Canajoharie-Fort Plain coach Phil Horender said about Trembley. “Familiarity with the pools blocks and walls for turns is an advantage over last year. Knowing the routine of going down with the team, practicing, etc. is also an advantage.”

Amsterdam coach Nancy Spagnola said that Knack has been working hard over the break since qualifying for the championship meet on Feb. 17.

“Thomas has been practicing very well,” she said. “He has been tapering once again and we think its going to pay off this weekend.”

Knack qualified for the championship meet by lowering his 100-yard breaststroke seeding time of 1:03.79 in the regular season to with a state meet qualifying time of 1:00.94 in his preliminary event. Later he lowered that time to 1:00.66 with a third-place finish in the finals. His time in the final earned him the 34th seed in the event at the state championships.

Trembley posted a time 22.21 in the 50-yard freestyle preliminary event missing the state meet qualifying time of 22.19 by .02-seconds. The senior swimmer hit the qualifying mark with his winning time of 21.99 and earned the 37th seed in the state championship meet.

Earlier at the Section II championships, Trembley posted a time of 48.32 to finish second in the 100-yard freestyle finals to earn the 35th seed in the state championship meet.

Coach Horender said that swimming two events at the state meet will not be a problems for Trembley.

“They’re both free and they’re both sprints,” he said. “The mindset of a sprinter doesn’t change much from the 50 to the 100. Joe has prepared all year in the hope of qualifying in both events. We’ll hope our preparation has paid off.”

During the break, Trembley and Knack have taken the time to practice together for the state meet, something both coaches believe is a positive for both swimmers.

“The boys have been friends for years and will be roommates this weekend in Long Island, it was great to see the support that they give one another and the camaraderie between them,” Spagnola said.

Horender echoed the Amsterdam coach, saying, “Thomas and Joe are good friends and have enjoyed the experience of both going. They worked together and both know and appreciate how hard the other has worked. It’s always motivating to see someone you know and respect accomplish their goals.”

One of the goals Trembley has his sights on this weekend is the Canajoharie-Fort Plain 50-yard freestyle record.

“I think Joe is capable of breaking our school record, which is a very familiar 21.82 [my record from 1997] and I think he is setting himself up to swim a sub-48 in the 100 free,” Horender said. “Honestly, if he goes and swims his best and swims his heart out and has fun, I’ll be satisfied. He deserves to go and have fun.”

Spagnola said she is looking for Knack to have a successful weekend at the championship meet.

“We would love to see Thomas drop more time in his event and make it to finals,” she said. “We are just so excited that Thomas made the state time this year but we are hoping that he can drop enough time to make it to finals.”

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