Thursday night’s much anticipated Swimming & Diving action between Grand Ledge & Okemos certainly lived up to its billing as the Comets held off the Chieftains, 96-90, to take this crucial CAAC Blue tilt. Both teams entered the meet with unblemished records in the conference and looking to take one step closer toward the regular season championship. When the water calmed it was the superior depth on display that made the difference for the Comets as every swim for the team contributed to the victory.*
Okemos jumped on top early thanks to a disqualification by Grand Ledge in the meet’s first event, the 200 Medley Relay. Despite the DQ of the ‘A’ relay the ‘B’ Relay team of sophomore Isabel Lee, junior Amiya Harris, senior Hanbyd Lee & sophomore Andrea Mueller-Hayes & the ‘C’ Relay team of senior Cecilia Rivet, senior Kelsey Burnham, sophomore Anah Stahelin & junior Victoria Judd were able to mitigate the damage by placing 2nd & 3rd respectively.
The second event of the day saw Comet senior co-captain Katie Thomas fall behind her fellow competitor from Okemos early but charge late to capture 1st in a season best time of 2:01.62. After an equal points split in the 200 Individual Medley perhaps the race of the night took place in the 50 Freestyle. GL junior Emma Cornell charged hard the last 5 yards of the race to capture first by just .02 over her rival from Okemos.
From there the Chieftains dominated the diving event and took a commanding 36-42 lead at the half way point of the meet. That lead would grow to 10 after wins in the 100 Butterfly & 100 Freestyle by a pair of Okemos seniors. The course of the meet shifted dramatically in the 500 Freestyle as freshman Lola Mull & Katie Thomas combined to take the top 2 spots in 5:28.96 (1st) for Mull & 5:36.52 (2nd) for Thomas. But the team wasn’t done in the 500 Freestyle as freshman Chloe Willobee had a big time drop to place 4th at 5:54.24 and secure even more points in the Comets comeback attempt.
The 200 Freestyle Relay was another action packed event as the Chiefs & Comets battled the entire 200 yards with the Chieftains emerging with a narrow 1:43.45 to 1:43.78 victory. Both teams swam season best times and the Comet team of Cornell, sophomore Abby Ford, Thomas & Mull inched closer to the school record in that event set just last season. In 3rd place in that same relay was the team of senior Alexis Everett, freshman Dani Ries, senior Cecilia Rivet & senior Hanbyd Lee who finished with a time of 1:57.58. After the relay the score was left at 68-72 with Okemos leading.
The next two events proved pivotal as freshman Grace Weston, sophomore Isabel Lee & sophomore Andrea Mueller-Hayes combined to place 1st, 2nd & 5th in the 100 Backstroke to give the Comets their first lead since the 50 Freestyle, 79-77. The 100 Breaststroke saw another thrilling finish as Comet senior co-captain Meg Pope raced to the win in 1:11.12. Sophomore Abby Ford (1:12.78) & junior Amiya Harris (1:14.08) were able to gain more valuable points with 3rd & 4th place finishes and the team’s lead grew to 8 at 90-82.
The meet’s final event saw the team of Thomas, Weston, Pope & Ford clinch the win for the Comets by placing 2nd in the 400 Freestyle Relay with a time of 3:55.41. For good measure the ‘B’ relay team of Everett, Ries, Willobee & Harris picked up two more points courtesy of their 3rd place finish.
The team is back in action next Thursday as they travel to East Lansing to take on the Trojans at 6pm on October 6th. Be sure to wear your pink as both teams will wear pink caps in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness month.
*Swimming & Diving Scoring is as follows:
Relay Events 1st – 8, 2nd – 4, 3rd – 2
Individual Events 1st – 6, 2nd – 4, 3rd – 3, 4th – 2, 5th – 1, 6th – 0