Albion has had three long N-O swim title runs

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 20 January 2021 at 1:39 pm

Contributed Photo – Albion’s 1995-96 Niagara-Orleans League champion girls swim team included, in front, Megan Troy and Jennifer Callard. In the second row are Jennie Olles, Katie Navarra, Patti Schraven, Lizebeth Doherty and Kadi Diminuco. In the third row are Maggie Glassner, Kristen Messmer, Megan McKenna, Coach Randy Knaak, Michelle Quivey and Jennifer Wells. In the back row are Karrie Syck, Elizabeth Buckner, Kelly Szklany, Jamie Allport and Frances Erway. The title was the second of six in a row the Purple Eagles girls team captured. The girls later also had a big five year title run beginning with the 2004-05 season. The Albion boys likewise had a big run of seven straight N-O titles starting with the 1999-2000 season.

Sometimes it only takes one to get things rolling and that was certainly the case when the Albion High boys and girls swim teams each captured their first Niagara-Orleans League championship.

The Albion girls claimed their historic first N-O championship during the 1994-95 season. The Purple Eagles kept the momentum as they went on to also win the next five in a row.

The Albion boys squad did likewise, as after capturing their historic first N-O title during the 1999-2000 season, the Purple Eagles went on to win the next six in a row.

The Albion girls went 9-0-1 to claim their first title edging out Akron (8-1-1) At the All-League meet the Purple Eagles got wins from Megan McKenna, Jamie Allport, Michelle Quivey and Frances Erway in the 200 Medley Relay; from McKenna, Erway, Elizabeth Buckner and Quivey in the 200 Free Relay and from Quivey in the 100 Freestyle.

The Albion girls went on to repeat as N-O champions by going 10-0 during the 1995-96 season, 9-1 in 1996-97, 10-0 in 1997-98, 12-0 in 1998-99 and 10-1-1 in 1999-2000 as they shared the title with Barker.

The Purple Eagles enjoyed two huge dominating efforts at the All-League meet during that lengthy run capturing 8 of 11 events at the 1996 meet and 9 of 11 at the 1998 meet.

At the 1996 meet Albion got individual event wins from Megan McKenna (100 Free, 100 Backstroke), Michelle Quivey (500 Free, 100 Breaststroke), Kristen Messmer (200 Individual Medley) and Frances Erway (50 Free). McKenna, Quivey, Messmer and Erway also teamed up to win both the 200 Medley and 400 Free Relays.

A sweep of the three relays then highlighted Albion’s dominance at the 1998 meet. McKenna, Kelly Szklany, Messmer and Erway teamed up to take the 200 Medley; Messmer, Erway, Krystal Cooper and Karrie Syck the 200 Free and McKenna, Cooper, Syck and Erway the 400 Free. In addition, McKenna took first in the 200 Free and 100 Back, Messmer in the IM and 100 Free, Erway in the 50 Free and Jessica Webster in the 100 Breaststroke.

The Albion girls later also had another impressive streak of five straight N-O championships from the 2004-05 to the 2008-09 season posting a perfect 90-0 record during that stretch.

Rebounding strongly from a 1-11 campaign the year before, the Albion boys squad posted a perfect 12-0 record to claim their first N-O title during the 1999-2000 season.

Capping off the big season the Purple Eagles took two of three relays at the All-League meet. Brett Kast, Jeff Baron, Dale Pearce and Nathan LaCroix teamed up to win the 200 Medley. Kast, Pearce and LaCroix later combined with Paul Makowski to take the 400 Free. Kast also won the 500 Free.

The Purple Eagles biggest All-League meet capped off the 2005-06 season as they won 8 of 11 events including all three relays. Chad Brooks, Colin Wilbert, Marty Stirk and Brent Davis teamed up to win the 200 Medley; Wilbert, Jason Witkop, Mike Hughson and Davis the 200 Free and Chad Bierdeman, Hughson, Dustin Davies and Brooks the 400 Free. Wilbert also won the 200 Free and 100 Butterfly, Davis the 50 Free and 500 Free and Brooks the Backstroke.

The Purple Eagles also won 7 of 11 events at the All-League meeting capping off the 2004-05 season again including a sweep of the relays. Brooks, Matt Saeva, Davis and Wilbert took the 200 Free while Wilbert, Saeva, Steve Blake and Davis teamed up to win both the 200 Free and 400 Free. In the individual events Brooks took the 100 Free and 100 Back, Wilbert the 200 Free, Davis the IM and Marty Stirk the 100 Breaststroke.

In all, the Albion boys compiled a perfect 90-0 record during their seven year reign going 12-0 during the first five years and 15-0 during the final two (2004-05 and 2005-06).