Manistee cruises past Muskegon CC

Manistee senior Sara Wehrmeister swims the final leg of the 200-yard freestyle relay en route to a Division 3 state qualifying time during Wednesday’s win against Muskegon Catholic Central. (Dylan Savela/News Advocate)

Chips qualify 200 free relay for state finals

MANISTEE — When Sara Wehrmeister touched the wall in the 200-yard freestyle relay, she and her teammates treated it like another win in a night of many.

“At first, we were looking at the school record board,” said the Manistee senior, “and knew we were short of that.”

Short of their own record, yes, but not of a Division 3 state qualifying time. The team’s reaction was delayed, and then it was subdued, which is to be expected for a program that is making it commonplace to meet those marks.

“It’s great,” Wehrmeister said of her team’s time of 1:47.63. “Last year we didn’t get most of (the qualifying times) until late, so it’s nice to get relays out of the way so we can focus on our individual events.”

The Chippewas topped Muskegon Catholic Central 111-65 Wednesday night at the Paine Aquatic Center, and were paced by the second qualifying relay team of the young season.

Wehrmeister, along with Syriah Dobis, Jessica Gustad and Anna Kutschke will now make a return trip to the finals, joining the Chippewas’ 200-yard medley relay (Valerie Urban, Kutschke, Dobis and Gustad) that qualified last week in their opener.

“That gets another one out of the way,” said Manistee coach Corey Van Fleet, who is pleased with the early timing of his team’s state marks.

“If you don’t have it, it preys on your mind,” he said. “Then you begin to doubt that you’ll ever do it, then you start doubting your training program, and maybe your teammates. This gets all that out of the way.

“We switch focus now to carrying the same good strokes the full length. All of our races today were good races, but they weren’t perfect. … Either they stopped, rested, took an extra breath, or didn’t get a good push off the wall — there are millions of things you can work on now.

“By the time we get to the championships, we’ll be counting strokes.”

The qualifying time was one of 10 wins in 12 events Wednesday as the Chippewas continued their dominance in dual meets that dates back to an undefeated schedule last season.

Manistee’s Sinead McCann swims the 200-yard individual medley during Wednesday’s win against Muskegon Catholic Central. (Dylan Savela/News Advocate)

The 200-yard medley team (Urban, Maddy Applegarth, Wehrmeister and Gustad) and 400-yard freestyle squad (Gustad, Kutschke, Dobis and Wehrmeister) each won to make it a clean sweep in the relays.

Individually, Dobis set a school record with a win in the 200-yard freestyle (2:11.80) and took first in the 100 free (1:00.03), Gustad won the 50 free (26.46), Caroline Kessler was the meet’s lone diver (171.35), Taylor Antal took first in the 500 free (6:07.59), Urban won the backstroke (1:06.81), and Applegarth the breaststroke (1:20.50).

Wednesday’s meet was the second in as many days for the Chippewas, and is already the second series of back-to-back dates so far this season.

“A lot of us are tired,” Wehrmeister said. “But it definitely helps so we don’t get too relaxed when meets come around. We’re still pretty pumped from swimming one yesterday.”

Van Fleet said the scheduling is by design.

“The reason we’re doing this is because when you get to the (Coastal Swim) Conference and state meets, you’ve got to swim faster the second day than you did in the first one,” he said. “We’re getting out of it what we want.”

Manistee results

200-yard medley relay — 1, Urban, Applegarth, Wehrmeister, Gustad, 2:04.76; 3, Riley Wrzesinski, Molly Morang, Kiara Bromley, Sarah Chandler, 2:20.75; 5, Lauren Golembiewski, Laura Kane, Shelby Flanagan, Paige Picardat, 2:34.46.

200-yard freestyle — 1, Dobis, 2:11.80; 2, Antal, 2:16.75; 3, Allie Zimmerman, 2:21.25.

200-yard individual medley — 2, Kutschke, 2:36.49; 5, Sinead McCann, 2:59.00.

50-yard freestyle — 1, Gustad, 26.46; 4, Meghan McComb, 28.58; 6, Wrzesinski, 30:43.

1-meter diving — 1, Caroline Kessler, 171.35.

100-yard butterfly — 2, Bromley, 1:12.36; 4, Flanagan, 1:22.44.

100-yard freestyle — 1, Dobis, 1:00.03; 3, Urban, 1:01.31; 4, Applegarth, 1:02.63.

500-yard freestyle — 1, Antal, 6:07.59; 2, Hannah Harland, 6:26.66; 3, Zimmerman, 6:30.58.

200-yard freestyle — 1, Dobis, Gustad, Kutschke, Wehrmeister, 1:47.63; 3, McComb, Bromley, Wrzesinski, Taler Bohannon, 2:01.98; 6, Sierra Wright, Somer Stewart, Hannah Gutowski, Picardat, 2:44.85.

100-yard backstroke — 1, Urban, 1:06.81; 4, McCann, 1:22.52.

100-yard breaststroke — 1, Applegarth, 1:20.50; 3, Chandler, 1:26.19; 4, Morang, 1:26.64.

400-yard freestyle relay — 1, Gustad, Kutschke, Dobis, Wehrmeister, 4:01.40; 3, McComb, Bromley, Harland, Wrzesinski, 4:34.47; 5, Golembiewski, Picardat, Kane, McCann, 5:01.26

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Posted by Dylan Savela

Dylan is the county reporter for the News Advocate, he also is in charge of the Small Town Life, religion and senior pages. He can be reached at (231) 398-3111 or dsavela@pioneergroup.com.

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