RYE, N.Y. -- Ed Pagano did something he was not supposed to do during the 17-and-under 100-yard butterfly final Tuesday. \
The 17-year-old Pagano, swimming for the New York Athletic Club (Pelham) peeked to check on opponent and friend Matt Carducci as the duo swam the final 50 yards. The quick glance did not affect Pagano, who finished strong to win the event for the third consecutive year at the 86th annual Westchester County Swimming Championships at Playland Pool.
Swimming will resume Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. and conclude Thursday, 4:30 p.m. Seeded seventh, Pagano, a 2011 Iona Prep graduate, touched the wall in 54.18 seconds, shaving two and one-half seconds off of his heat time of 56.85 seconds. Carducci finished second with a time of 54.76 seconds.
I wanted to win my heat, but I didnt know how fast the other heats were, said Pagano, who won the 14-and-under 100 fly in 2008. I wanted one of the inside lanes and when I saw I was seeded seventh I knew I wasnt going to be able to see anyone so it was just me and the water and I had to go as fast as I could.
Pagano, who will attend John Hopkins University in the fall and swim for the Blue Jays, felt strong through the first 50. Heading into the final 25 yards is when he looked quickly to his right and saw Carducci right there.
I just put my head down and took it hard the last 25, said a happy Pagano, who received congratulations from meet director Paul McClintock.
Pagano recalled that when he was a younger swimmer at the counties he would always stay late and watch the older participants, waiting for his chance to shine in front of the youngsters.
This means a lot because I remember watching a Norman Scott and a lot of the older guys, wanting to be just like them when I was older, Pagano said.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.