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NFA Sophomore Girls Swimmer Competes in States!


Newburgh Free Academy, sophomore, Elle Gerbes completed at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship meet for girls swimming to end the fall 2022 season. Gerbes finished third in the 50-yard freestyle at Saturday’s Section 9 girls’ swimming and diving championship meet with a time of 24.69, just barely coming in just under the New York State qualifying time. Gerbes finished fifth in the 100-yard freestyle but missed the state qualifying mark by about half a second. She qualified for the championship heat when she finished in the top 8 during Thursday’s preliminary swims, taking her original time from 25.71 to 24.85 in the preliminaries and then improved upon that in the finals to a 24.69. 

“I was definitely shocked,” Gerbes said. “I had been working really hard to get there. So, I was really happy.”

She is the first Newburgh Free Academy swimmer to go to the state meet since Shaylea Triller went in the 100-yard freestyle in 2019. Shaylea Triller now swims for Siena College. 

Gerbes was one of three Section 9 swimmers to qualify for the state meet and the youngest of the three as a sophomore. 

She entered the state meet ranked 37th in New York State.

“I definitely think this is a good thing for me,” Gerbes said. “I’m proud of myself and I’m thankful for everyone around me for their support.”

Zach Williams, who took over as Newburgh girls’ swimming coach when former coach Pat Kavanagh was promoted to assistant principal said Gerbes’ talent was undeniable.

“As soon as she hit the water, you knew that she had the talent to swim fast, but to see her progress that rapidly, it’s almost exponential how fast and how well she’s adapted to the sport in such a short time. At the beginning of the year, I don’t think it was outrageous to say she was going to make states, so I think that was a goal.”

To make a large drop in time during the championship season has long been a tradition of Newburgh Free Academy swimming, stretching back at least until the days when Williams, himself, went to states for the first time in 2005 as a junior.

“I think that’s something NFA swimming is known for,” Williams said. “It’s something we pride ourselves on. We were happy with her entire season. She swam very fast the whole year, and we expect to make some jumps at the end. She’s very competitive. She’s a great racer.”

“I don’t know if I have any expectations really,” Gerbes said. “I’m really excited to go there and see what it’s like.”

Gerbes swam in the NYSPHAA prelims on Friday, November 18th and dropped an additional 0.03 and finished 21st to make the cut to swim in the finals on Saturday.  In her final race of the season, she added a tenth and ended up finishing 25th in New York State.

Section 9 Championships

Jordyn Bryant finished third in the 200-yard freestyle and was 10th in the 100-yard freestyle t the Section 9 meet.

The Goldbacks’ 200-yard freestyle relay team of Vivian Piscitella, AnnMarie Martin, Bryant and Gerbes was fourth in 1:45.69. The same four swimmers also swam the 400-yard freestyle relay, finishing sixth with a time of 3:52.16.
Team results: 1. Pine Bush - 327; 2. Washingtonville - 266.5; 3. New Paltz - 207; 4. Valley Central - 167; 5. Monroe-Woodbury - 157.5; 6. Our Lady of Lourdes - 153; 7. Kingston - 140.5; 8. Newburgh - 109; 9. Minisink Valley - 108; 10. Warwick - 97; 11.Middltown - 86.5; 12. Onteora - 77; 13. FDR - 67; 14. Rhinebeck - 63; 15. Marlboro - 61; 16. Wallkill - 49; 17. Spackenkill - 46; 18. Red Hook - 40; 19 - Rondout Valley - 30; 20. Goshen - 28; 21. Cornwall - 21

200-yard medley relay: 1. Pine Bush (Alanah Giannini, Ella Humphrey, Ashley Martin, Mackenzie Gula) - 1:53.29; 18. Newburgh (Leah Walsh, Lara Ozkovalak, Lauren Cao, Julia Steiner) - 2:13.51.
200-yard freestyle: 1. Kate Kennedy (Wash) - 1:56.73; 3. Jordyn Bryant (NFA) - 2:01.68.
200-yard individual medley: 1. Isabella Briceno (Wash) - 2:17.37.
50-yard freestyle: 1. Michaela Hujus (MV) - 24.43; 2. Katie Webster (PB) - 24.60; 3. Elle Gerbes (NFA) - 24.69.
Diving: 1. Molly Crowley (MW) - 489.95.

100-yard butterfly: 1. Mackenzie Gula (PB) - 58.28.
100-yard freestyle: 1. Michaela Hujus (MV) - 53.17; 2. Katie Webster (PB) - 53.51; 3. Cali White (VC) - 53.67; 5. Elle Gerbes (NFA) - 54.89; 10. Jordyn Bryant (NFA) - 56.16; 23. Vivian Piscitella (NFA) - 1:00.83.
500-yard freestyle: 1. Kate Kennedy (Wash) - 5:15.85; 17. Leah Walsh (NFA) - 5:55.42.
200-yard freestyle relay: 1. Washingtonville (Katya Baranov, Julianna Powzaniuk, Paige Fischer, Kate Kennedy) - 1:41.21; 2. Pine Bush (Katie Webster, Alexandra Vargas, Sadie DeGeorge, Samantha McKee) - 1:41.47; 4. Newburgh (Vivian Piscitella, AnnMarie Martin, Jordyn Bryant, Elle Gerbes) - 1:45.69.
100-yard backstroke: 1. Brooke Vos (NP) - 58.77; 2. Hanna Mae Ullinge (Spack) - 59.41.

100-yard breaststroke: 1. Mackenzie Gula (PB) - 1:06.84/
400-yard freestyle relay: 1. Pine Bush (Katie Webster, Samantha McKee, Sadie DeGeorge, Mackenzie Gula) - 3:41.13; 6. Newburgh (Vivian Piscitella, AnnMarie Martin, Jordyn Bryant, Elle Gerbes) - 3:52.16.


Story compiled from the Mid Hudson Times:
One second is all it took for Elle Gerbes | November 16, 2022
Newburgh’s Elle Gerbes qualifies for state swim meet | November 9, 2022

Photos provided by NFA Swim Dad, Mr. Darren Bryant. 

ATTENTION: Are your scholars or colleagues doing something great? Please contact the district Communications Team at communications@necsd.net. We’d love to visit your class or event and/or post your pictures and recap to highlight the amazing accomplishments throughout our district!

Date: 2022-12-05 09:33:40 AM


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