Orchard Park's Alec Hoch has put together one of the best seasons in Quaker swimming history.
"I didn't think I'd be at this level," the senior said. "Things kind of turned out that way."
"Last year coming board to the team and meeting Alec, I knew he was a very talented kid but he was also very raw," said assistant Phil Aronica. "Working as hard as he has the last couple of seasons, I knew that eventually his senior year was going to be something special."
The senior has literally saved his best performances for his last year in the water.
Heading into the Section VI Championships, he went undefeated during the regular season, winning every race he participated in, in the 50 and 100 Freestyle to help the squad capture the ECIC crown.
Currently, his personal best of 21.26 seconds in the 50 is a top five mark in the state.
"I think I've got to get better," he said of the time. "I think I've got to get number one."
From when he steps to the block to when he hits the water - he's got the perfect mentality to attack the top spot.
"My coaches told me to get to the mindset where I just want to rip through the water and get to that wall as fast as possible."
"It's almost like he's two different people. He's very nice, well-spoken, never says a mean thing about anyone. But, when he gets on the block and it's time to race, he's ready to race with the best of them," Aronica added. "He'll chase you down. He's got that determination to win everything he can swim, not just for himself but for his teammates as well and I think that's something that separates him from a lot of other people."
***SUPER 7 COUNTDOWN***
#1 – Alec Hoch, Orchard Park Swimming
#2 – Bri McKenzie, Lancaster Track & Field
Tossed the weight throw 58-feet, which is the top mark in New York State and third farthest this season.
"With one throw Bri went from being a good high school weight thrower, to elite."
#3 – Matt Genau, Williamsville South Wrestling
Won the 120 pound title at the Section VI Wrestling meets with a 3-0 mark and improved to 33-3 on the season. He also set the Billies all-time wins mark with 174 career victories.
“Williamsville South Senior Matt Genau won the 120 pound weight class at the Section 6 Division 1 Large School State Qualifier last Saturday at North Tonawanda HS. He improved his season record to 33-3 on the year. He also surpassed the All-Time Wins Leader at Will. South after notching his 174th career victory.” – Chris Heximer, Head Coach
#4 – Kayla Blas, Monsignor Martin Hockey
Scored the game-winning goal in overtime to power Monsignor Martin past West Seneca/Hamburg/Eden in the Federation quarterfinals.
#5 – Dominic Crouse, Sweet Home Wrestling
The senior won the 160 pound crown at the Section VI Wrestling meet becoming the first Panther in a decade to qualify for the state meet. His 42 wins this season are tied for the most in a single season in school history. He has also tied a school record with 76 career pins.
“Not only is Dominic a great wrestler , but he probably even a better role model. He is a 3x team captain, hardest worker, and great student athlete in our community. “ – Don Lilly, Head Coach
#6 – Molly Stonish, Mount St. Mary Bowling
Helped power the Thunder to the All Catholic title averaging a 168.18, which is the highest average in league action.
“Molly has been consistent all year. Her bad days would be good days for most. She has been the league leader with her average since day one, and she is 13 pins above the next closest girl. Molly makes it hard for other teams to beat us because she's that good. She unknowingly brings an intimidation to the lane when facing our opponents, and they know that they must bowl their best to beat us.” – Brian Fittry, Head Coach
# 7 – Luke Kennedy, Hamburg Swimming
Broke the Section VI Record in the 100 breaststroke at the Section VI Championships with a time of 57.26 seconds.
“Kennedy is a hard working kid that has eyed the section 6 breaststroke record for the past 2 seasons. He never misses a practice and is always focusing on bettering his stroke. Luke achieved this record because he set his mind to it and never gave up. I am very proud of him" - Andy Godios, Head Coach