Expectations were very high for the varsity Swimming & Diving team heading into the CAAC Blue Championship Meet after completing a perfect 7-0 dual meet season. The team passed this latest test with flying colors as they outpaced their nearest competitors from Holt by 63 points and established 5 new school records, 5 pool records, 1 conference record & 10 Division 1 state cuts.
Leading the way was the tandem of freshman Lola Mull & senior captain Katie Thomas. Mull claimed first in the 200 Freestyle with a time of 1:55.59 to establish a new pool & school record in the process. Not to be outdone, Thomas placed 2nd with a time of 1:57.35 which is also a Division 1 state cut and eclipsed the previous pool record. The same duo returned in the 500 Freestyle and the results were very similar as Mull again placed 1st & Thomas placed 2nd. This time Mull laid down a time of 5:00.60 which set a new Grand Ledge school record by 12 seconds, a new pool record by 16 seconds and a new CAAC Blue conference meet record by 8 seconds. Thomas, for her part, also eclipsed the old school and pool records & scored a Division 1 state qualifying time of 5:12.42.
Junior Emma Cornell teamed with senior Alexis Everett & freshman Dani Ries to nail down the sprint events for the Comets. Cornell swam to her first Division 1 state cut in the 50 Freestyle and placed 4th with a time of 24.98. She returned later to place 3rd in the 100 Freestyle with a best time of 55.06. Everett scored major points for the team as she placed 11th in the 50 Freestyle with a time of 26.56 and placed 10th in the 100 Freestyle with a time of 57.17. Ries provided the perfect pairing as she placed 10th in the 50 Freestyle with a time of 26.56 & 9th in the 100 Freestyle with a time of 57.77.
In the 200 IM the team was led by freshman Grace Weston as she scored her first ever Division 1 cut and placed 2nd with a time of 2:14.65. Weston would return later to score 4th place in the 100 Backstroke with a best time of 1:03.23. Sophomore Isabel Lee dropped 11 seconds off her best time to place 11th with a time of 2:25.99. She also returned in the 100 Backstroke to place 5th with a new best time of 1:04.45.
The 100 Breaststroke saw the team’s most dominant event as senior captain Meg Pope combined with sophomore Abby Ford, junior Amiya Harris & senior Kelsey Burnham to place 1st, 2nd, 4th & 15th respectively. Pope & Ford both claimed Division 1 state cuts with Pope establishing a new pool record with a time of 1:08.30.
Freshman Chloe Willobee had a smashing debut at the CAAC Blue meet as she placed 11th in the 200 Freestyle at 2:09.28 & an 8th place finish in the 500 Freestyle at 5:46.97. Senior Hanbyd Lee had a tremendous meet as well as she placed 10th in the 200 IM with a time of 2:24.95 and a 7th place finish in the 100 Butterfly with a time of 1:04.93.
Finally the 100 Backstroke tandem of sophomore Andrea Mueller-Hayes & senior Cecilia Rivet both had major time drops to place 14th & 15th respectively.
In relay action the 200 Medley Relay team of Isabel Lee, Meg Pope, Grace Weston & Abby Ford placed 4th and set a new school record with a time of 1:54.68. The team eclipsed the previous mark of 1:55.24 set in 2005.
In the 200 Freestyle Relay the team of Emma Cornell, Abby Ford, Lola Mull & Katie Thomas held off a late charge from the team from Holt with a new school record & new pool record time of 1:41.45. The team surpassed the mark set last season of 1:41.80.
Finally in the 400 Freestyle Relay the team of Katie Thomas, Emma Cornell, Grace Weston & Lola Mull again held off a late charge this time from Okemos to claim their second relay title of the weekend this time by a margin of .02. Their time of 3:38.53 established a new pool record and a new school record by over 7 seconds over the previous mark set in 2007.
The team is next in action on the campus of Oakland University on November 18th for the MHSAA Divison 1 State Finals.
CAAC Blue Championship Meet Results:
GRAND LEDGE – 422
Holt – 359
Okemos – 313
St Johns – 312.50
Jackson – 212
East Lansing – 174
DeWitt – 172.50
Haslett – 116