MINUTEMEN, TIGERS TAKE SWIM TITLES
Ink Free News / Sports on Sunday, February 7, 2021
By Mike Deak
WARSAW – A pair of Northern Lakes Conference teams earned sectional team titles at the girls swim sectionals held Saturday. Concord won the title at the Elkhart Swim Sectional while Warsaw took honors at its own sectional.
The Minutemen broke a string of three straight Northridge titles, and did so in emphatic fashion. Concord won nine event titles, led by monster days from Grace Brenneman and Kiran Stauffer. Brenneman won the 50 free in record fashion (23.31) and then came back to claim the 100 free (51.19) going away in both, while Stauffer won exciting finishes in the 200 free (1:52.24) and 500 free (5:01.29), in both cases holding off Northridge’s Sydney Nethercutt.
The two also helped Concord to 200 free (1:36.67) and 400 free (3:29.71) relay titles.
Ella Lantz was also part of two relay titles, leading off the championship medley relay (1:46.22), and singularly won the backstroke (56.28). Sophia Stutsman added a 56.82 to win the butterfly to cap a 489 team score, which fended Northridge’s 473.
Anna Yeater had two titles for the Raiders, winning the individual medley (2:07.54) and breaststroke (1:05.48).
Northridge started the day by sweeping diving, with Jiselle Miller (530.95) and Kaitlin Simons (526.35) storming the field, and teammate Mila Opacich (414.25) besting Concord’s Ryleigh Robinson (403.95) for third. The four will move onto the Penn Diving Regional.
“Definitely, definitely,” ushered Concord head coach Tom Johnson on whether his team was performing at full capacity. “We’re preparing for this and for next week thinking of it as sort of one meet. Gotta be good today to get to next week. The state cuts are so hard that you almost have to win events to give you the best chance to make it there. We’re real proud, it was a great team effort.”
Wawasee had plenty of time drops, but no automatic qualifiers. It may, however, have one swimmer slide through on the border of a state cut time. Alexis Mishler, who missed half the season with injuries, posted a 24.07 in the 50 free and is on the fringe of an at-large pick-up, the state cut time at 23.98.
Mishler cut a second off her prelim time in the backstroke, timing 58.97 to place third.
Lilly Tyler took fifth in the 500 free, but dropped 10 seconds to clock a personal best 5:18.95, and shaved five seconds off her 200 free time to post 1:58.01.
Hayden Neer and Cammy Kryder had a pair of top-sixes and Rileigh Atwood concluded her career seventh in the breaststroke, an event she leaves Wawasee as the school record holder. The Wawasee medley and 400 free relays were both third and the 200 relay was fourth.
“We had some really good swims today, led by Lily Tyler,” stated Wawasee head coach Jason Scott. “She got under two minutes in the 200 for the first time and she was cooking in the 500. Lexi Mishler had a great meet for being in the water for as little time as she has with the injury. She likely will get picked up in the 50, and our medley relay is right on the edge. Hayden and Jordan (Gibbs) both had great meets as well.”
NorthWood’s Ellie Roberts wrapped up her season seventh in the 200 free (2:02.11) and fifth in the 100 free (55.21).
Whereas Concord had a tour-de-force in its sectional team title, Warsaw won just three titles in building a 10-point win over Culver Academy, 430-420.
Warsaw won its fourth title in five years on the strength of two relay titles, with Macelyn Marcuccilli, Rachel Doyle, Maddy Morgan and Lily Boston working a 1:55.76 in the medley relay, then Marcuccilli, Boston, Marissa Howett and Madi Johnson racing to a 1:43.14 win in the 200 free relay.
Doyle added the lone Tiger individual title, holding up a the prelim’s top swim in the backstroke with a finals time of 1:02.88, and teammate Mariana Malagon taking second place. Marcuccilli was second in the 50 and third in the breast, Howett was second in the 100 free and Doyle second in the 500 free among Warsaw’s work.
Manchester’s sister act of Halle and Josie Briner combined for four titles. Halle won the 200 free (1:57.77) and had a state standard in the breast (1:05.25), and Josie in the IM (2:16.68) and butterfly (59.36).
Culver Academy had four titles, Autumn Baumgartner posting 24.33 in the 50 and 53.82 in the 100, and Emily Heim logging 5:34.25 in the 500 and the two helping the 400 free relay to a 3:45.41 winner.
Grace Ulrich of Pioneer led the divers with a series of 443.25. Claire Feick of Culver Academy, Claudia Marohn of Plymouth and Liberty Scott of Cass all qualified for the diving regional.
Makena Smith had the lone championship swim for Tippecanoe Valley, placing eighth at 1:18.29. Both of the Viking relays were seventh.