LOCKPORT — Lockport junior swimmer Delaney Adams readily accepts her role as the “Face of the Program.”
Adams, a double winner for the Lady Lions in a narrow, 94-86, Niagara Frontier League loss to visiting Grand Island, is a natural team leader and an asset to the many younger swimmers moving up quickly in the program, including another LHS double individual winner on Tuesday, freshman Gracie McCordle from the DeSales Swim Team. Junior Grace McKissock of the Lady Lions was also a double individual winner against GI.
“We’re a very close team this year. Everyone has positive vibes and no one complains about anything,” Adams said. “We’re all just here motivating each other.”
At 1-4 in the NFL, the Lady Lions may have struggled a little this year when it comes to wins, but Adams said the goals remain relatively the same each year — qualify for sectionals.
“It’s an honor, really,” she said when asked about the high regard coaches hold her in. “Sometimes, I feel like I was still a freshman and my sister, Riley (now a sophomore at Syracuse University) was here and I was just a baby. I’ve got some individual goals, but I really want our relay teams to qualify for sectionals,” she said.
Adams, along with McKissock, freshman Maddie Fragale and Cordle, won the 200 free relay for Lockport, while Adams, junior Kate Luick, Fragale and Cordle won the 200 medley relay for the blue and gold.
“Delaney’s a natural team leader. She’s very encouraging to the younger people — just an excellent role model,” said veteran Lady Lions assistant coach Kevin Clark.
Despite the three double individual winners for LHS, the Lady Vikings won the meet, taking first and second in the final event, the 400 free relay.
LHS girls varsity swim coach Laura Bohnbgerg-Bakers said she was proud of her team’s effort.
“We had some great swims today. It just came down to that last relay,” she said.
“This year, we’ve got a couple of eighth graders and seventh graders who swam for the YMCA and came up through the modified program and we’ve got Maddie and Gracie, who’ve come from the DeSales program and they’ve done wonderfully for us so far.”
Grand Island assistant coach Nate Link said he was particularly proud of his 400 free relay first-place tandem of outstanding freshman Anna Donlon, sophomore Juliana Faso and seniors Elzbieta Sorel and Anna Thompson, as well as the race runners-up from GI, sophomore Riley Patterson, freshman Abbie Bentley and seniors Cassidy Jensen and Eliza Sarigiannis. The 1-2 finish pushed the Lady Vikings well over the top for the win.
“We knew we could count on them,” Link said. “We knew it would be close, but we didn’t know it would be this close, but it was really a hard fought meet. The girls did all that they could to battle it out. Donlon’s pretty new, but she’s pretty fast.”
GI junior Brooke Eichel and Lady Vikings senior Caitlin Kleinschmidt finished 1-2 in the diving competition. Both are early sectional qualifiers.
Donlon also won the 500 freestyle and Sorel the 100 backstroke for the Lady Vikings (2-3 NFL).
Follow veteran Lockport sports reporter John D’Onofrio on Twitter at @JohnD’Onofrio7.