“That was definitely the event I knew I would do the best in because that’s my best event,” said Gabe, 12, who swims for the Oneonta Family YMCA Orcas under the direction of head coach Doug Macomber. “I usually have some fuel left at the end, so I can usually pass some of the other swimmers.”
Gabe beat all of them in the 200 free, with a winning time of 2 minutes, 1.29 seconds to set an Orcas team record. Gabe said he dropped a total of six seconds off his previous best time over the weekend for his first state championship.
“I’ve been sixth (at states) before, so this is definitely the highest I’ve ever been,” said Gabe, who had the fourth-best preliminary time to qualify for the state final. “I didn’t think I was going to do that well. That’s why it surprised me.”
Gabe went on to take second in the 100 free in 56.54 seconds and third in the 50 butterfly in 29.16.
Teammate Finn Frye, 14, finished third in the 13-14 boys 100 backstroke (58.85), fifth in the 50 free (24.00) and sixth in the 100 free (52.73).
A total of 23 Orcas competed in the state championships, which featured roughly 1,500 swimmers from 46 teams. Gabe and Finn contributed to 15 individual and six relay finishes in the top 16 for the Orcas.
Dean Russin can be reached at email@example.com or 607-432-1000, ext. 215.