Santos sets new diving mark at Amsterdam High School


Recorder Sports Staff

Breaking the Amsterdam High School scoring record for diving has become almost old hat for Rams junior standout Kristian Santos.

The state championship meet-bound Santos has now broken AHS diving records four times this season, setting the record for 11 dives with his state-qualifying score of 428.05 earlier this month at the Schenectady Invitational and hitting a new high score for six dives on three separate occasions.

The latest of those came Tuesday at Lynch Literacy Academy -- with Santos' six-dive total of 275.45 points bettering the mark he set back in December by nearly 10 points -- to highlight Amsterdam's 99-74 loss to a deep Canajoharie-Fort Plain team.

"It was a really good day," Santos said. "I was feeling good right off the bat, from the first dive. Just a normal routine."

Amsterdam coach Nancy Spagnola, as she has all season, continued to marvel at the work Santos has put in to keep bettering his score.

"It's well-deserved, because he puts so much into it," Spagnola said.

Santos' diving record came just minutes after he fulfilled his swimming duties as Amsterdam's top sprinter in winning the 50-yard freestyle. Forrest Lee also scored an individual win for the Rams, cruising past the field in the 100-yard butterfly.

Santos and Lee also nearly pulled off an incredible comeback in the meet-closing 400-yard freestyle relay. After the first two legs of the race, Amsterdam was in third place, trailing two C-FP teams by more than nine seconds. But, Lee and Santos blitzed the final 200 yards, making the pass for second and coming within 1.7 seconds of reeling in the win.

Though Spagnola acknowledged that C-FP's superior numbers hurt the Rams' chances of victory even before the meet began, she was pleased with how her team continued to progress with the Section II championship meet less than three weeks away.

"I'm really happy with the percentage of our team that's made sectionals," she said. "It's a pretty big percentage that have sectional times -- and have sectional times in quite a few different events."

C-FP coach Phil Horender also feels his team is rounding into form nicely as the stretch run of the regular season begins. Chris Deyette (500 free, 100 breaststroke) and Ruben McFarlane (200 individual medley, 100 free) each scored two individual wins for C-FP, while Bryn Clark won the 200 free and Gabbie Kiefl won the 100 backstroke in addition to a sweep of the 200 medley, 200 free and 400 free relays.

"It's been a long season, I'm trying to get kids healthy, but it seems like they're at least peaking at the right time," Horender said. "A lot of the stuff that we've worked on consistently all year, I saw in today's meet. That was reassuring."

If everything continues progressing as it has so far, Horender said, C-FP could be a wild card in the Section II small-school championships.

"It's a matter of getting people healthy, getting people focused and doing what they're supposed to," he said. "If we do that, in two-and-a-half weeks we could have some really good swims. The possibility is there to really surprise some teams at sectionals."