|VALLEY SPORTS REPORT: ATHENS' CHEN REPEATS AT TOP OF SUPER 7 AS "BOYS SWIMMER OF YEAR" (2014-03-12)
By TIM BIRNEY
Valley Sports Report
THE VALLEY — Athens senior Frank Chen is headed back to the PIAA Championships for the fourth straight year — this time in three events — and leads the Valley Sports Report All-Valley Super 7 as "Boys Swimmer of the Year."
Chen won a District 4 gold in the 100-yard backstroke and a silver in the 100-yard butterfly and will compete at the PIAA meet in both events this weekend. He also was part of the silver-medal 200-yard medley relay team that earned a wild card and will compete at States.
Chen was also part of Athens' third-place 400-yard freestyle relay team that set a new school record at Districts.
Chen was a four-time winner at the NTL Championships, winning the 100-yard backstroke and the 100 freestyle, while swimming on the winning 200-yard medley and 400-yard freestyle relays.
Chen, who repeats as "Boys Swimmer of the Year" is a four-time member of the Super 7.
The remainder of the "All-Valley Super 7" boys swim team is:
Josh Mastrantuono, sophomore, Waverly: Mastrantuono was a triple-winner at the Section IV Class C Championships.
Mastrantuono won the 100-yard breaststroke and qualified for the New York State Championships, where he finished 33rd.
He finished second in the 200-yard IM and was also part of the winning 200-yard freestyle and 200-yard medley relay teams.
Mastrantuono won four gold medals at the IAC Championships, winning the IM and the breaststroke and swimming in the winning 200 medley and 200 free relays.
John Hallett, senior, Waverly: Hallett won two gold medals and two silver medals at the Section IV, Class C Championships.
Hallett swam on the winning 200-yard freestyle and 200-yard medley relay teams. He was runner-up in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle sprints.
Hallett had the exact finishes the week prior at the IAC Championships.
Altan Frantz, senior, Sayre: Frantz earned his third trip to the PIAA meet by earning a wild card in the 200-yard IM.
Frantz finished sixth in the 200 IM at the District 4 meet and was fifth in the 500-yard freestyle.
At the NTL Championships. Frantz was second in the 200 IM and the 500 free.
Jeffrey Gao, freshman, Athens: Gao placed in three events in his first trip to the District 4 Championships.
Gao was part of Athens' 400-yard freestyle relay team that finished third and set a new school record at the District meet. He was also part of the third-place 200-yard freestyle relay team.
Gao finished seventh in the 100 backstroke at Districts.
At the NTL Championships, Gao was a double-winner, claiming gold in the 100-yard butterfly and swimming on the first-place 400-yard free relay. He finished third in 200 IM
Bryan Solomon, junior, Athens: Solomon swam on the 200-yard medley relay team that earned a silver medal and qualified for States at the District 4 meet. He also swam on the third-place 400-yard free relay team that set a new school record.
He finished seventh in the 500 free at Districts.
At the NTL Championships, Solomon swam on the winning 200-yard medley and 400-yard freestyle relay teams. He finished third in the 200 free and the 500 free.
Gary Moorehead, sophomore, Waverly: Moorehead won a bronze medal in the 500-yard freestyle at the Section IV, Class C Championships. He finished sixth in the 100-yard backstroke.
Moorehead also won a bronze in the 500-yard freestyle at the IAC Championships and was sixth in the 100-yard backstroke. He was also on a fourth-place 400-yard free relay.
Diver of the Year
Juan Velazquez, senior, Sayre: Velazquez won a bronze medal at the District 4 Diving Championships and will compete at the PIAA meet this weekend as an alternate.
Velazquez also placed first in a majority of Sayre's dual meets and also placed first at the NTL Championships.
Relay of the Year
The Athens foursome of Frank Chen, Bryan Solomon, Tyler Solomon and Curt Walck won a silver medal in the 200-yard medley at the District 4 meet and received a wild card entry to the PIAA Meet, where they are seeded 9th.
Runner-up: The Waverly quartet of Josh Mastrantuono, John Hallett, Mike Girolamo and Brandon Anderson won Section IV Class C title in 1:33.61.
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