BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. – Swimmers from the Briarcliff Manor Swim Club descended on the pool at Rye Playland on Thursday for the fourth and final day of the 87th Annual Westchester County Swimming Association Championships.
Club teams from throughout the county gathered for the four-day event, which ran from Monday to Thursday.
First-year Briarcliff coach Justin Cho swam at "the Counties," as the event is known, since age 11. Now, at 16, he has a new perspective.
“First and foremost, I can’t swim, which is kind of really sad,” Cho said. “But it’s nice to see the younger kids on the team swimming … It brings back good memories and it’s nice to see old friends.”
Like many other coaches and swimmers at the meet, Cho said the Counties are a chance for everyone to loosen up and have fun.
“As shown by all the themes we have here, Spirit Day and America Day, it’s definitely a place for fun,” Cho said. “But when it comes down to swimming, we’ll take it seriously.”
Nine-year-old Isabella Gualtiere has been to the county championships before and said the event is much different from her usual meets.
“There’s different people. I have competitors on the other teams,” Gualtiere said.
Eleven-year-old Emma Kuhn, who also has friends on the other teams, made her first trip to the Counties this year and said the biggest difference for her was in the water.
“Since it’s long course, it’s a little easier since you don’t have to do a flip turn,” Kuhn said. “But it’s a lot of fun.”