March 24, 2009


Stingers duo state champs

Pizzola, McLaughlin shine

BUFFALO — Lukas Pizzola and Scott McLaughlin were state champions as the Cortland YMCA Stingers finished up this swimming season making a big splash.
Competing in the boys’ Class C Division for 11-12 year olds, Homer’s Pizzola won both the 200-yard freestyle in 2:05.54 and the 50-yard butterfly in 29.01 during the New York State YMCA Championships held this past weekend at Erie Community College’s Burt Flickinger Center located in downtown Buffalo. He also picked up a second place in the 200-yard individual medley, clocked in 2:23.49.
McLaughlin successfully defended his state title with a championship effort in the 100-yard breaststroke in Class B (13-14), touching first in 1:04.20. McLaughlin, also from Homer, added thirds in both the 200-yard IM in 2:11.48 and the 50-yard freestyle in 24.11.
Annie Steve and Gerrit Wissink, both from Cortland, picked up fourth place finishes at this meet that drew 42 teams from across the state and 1,499 swimmers. Steve’s fourth place came in the girls’ Class C 200-yard freestyle (2:14.83), while Wissink concluded his career with the Stingers with a fourth place showing in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:03.54) among the Class A (15-18) boys.
“I was very pleased on how our kids hit their taper and dropped a significant amount of time in their events,” said Cortland coach Mike Kennedy of his state contingent. “They definitely stepped up and made this a great meet. Just about every swimmer at the meet had at least one personal best time. Several Stingers had their best times every time they swam.”
While downstate teams like the Flushing Flyers and the Huntington Bluefish excelled, Cortland held its own — including the Class C boys ending up in fourth place in their final team standings.
“Their hard work in the pool since the District meet paid off and it was wonderful to see,” said Kennedy of the entire squad.
“It was also wonderful to have our four graduating seniors on deck and swimming well at the meet,” he added, referring to Wissink, Taylor Foster (Cortland), Alexandria Pizzola (Homer) and Eric Rosato (Homer). “They all swam well and supported our younger swimmers at this huge meet. Between the four of them there is 40 years of dedication to the team. We will really miss them next year.”
The Stingers will take a break this coming month before starting up the summer swim program. Anyone interested in joining the team should look at the team’s website at Complete results from the state meet can be found at