PREP ROUNDUP: Chippewa swimmers and wrestlers continue to improve

Ben Miller swims for Manistee during Saturday’s Hudsonville Invitational. Miller finished seventh in the 200-yard freestyle and he was eighth in the 500-yard freestyle. (Courtesy Photo)

Ben Miller swims for Manistee during Saturday’s Hudsonville Invitational. Miller finished seventh in the 200-yard freestyle and he was eighth in the 500-yard freestyle. (Courtesy Photo)

HUDSONVILLE — Manistee boys swimming came out with a strong showing against some of the better programs in the state on Saturday in the Hudsonville Invitational.

The Chippewas finished in 10th place with 63 points, well behind Holland Christian’s first-place tally of 542.

The team was able to come out with a couple of MISCA qualifying times and are just seconds off of state qualifying times in a few races.

“The meet itself was pretty intense, and there were some unexpected obstacles throughout the meet; the entire pool deck was unusually cold, and deck space was awfully limited. Despite some minor setbacks, many of our boys swam very well against the top dogs. This was a great meet to watch how the ‘little things’ we train in practice come into—or not–fruition: Tightening up flip turns; not breathing off the walls; not saving all the energy until the final length of a race,” Manistee coach Nick Zacek said.

Ben Miller had a good day starting with his seventh-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle at 1:53.53. That time qualifies him for the MISCA meet, while he is under two seconds off from qualifying for the state finals. Miller also qualified for the MISCA meet in the 500-yard freestyle in eighth place at 5:12.96.

Caden Schmutzler also qualified for the MISCA meet in the 50-yard freestyle in 10th place at 23.26. That finish was less than half of a second off of a state qualifying time.

Nathaniel Urban finished 15th in the 200-yard individual medley at 2:18.81 and he was 13th in the 100-yard butterfly at 1:01.23, Charlie Mosher finished in 20th in the 100-yard freestyle at 57.93, and freshman Benjamin Sullivan was 20th in the 500-yard freestyle at 5:46.02.

The 200-yard medley relay team is Matthew Blevins, Mosher, Nathaniel Urban and Cadan Schmutzler finished 16th ar 1:55.90, the 200-yard freestyle relay team of Schmutzler, Mosher, Zach Lee and Miller finished 11th at 1:40.36, and the team closed the day in the 400-yard freestyle relay in 11th at 3:44.92 with Miller, Nathaniel Urban, Sullivan and Schmutzler racing.

“This was a fantastic opportunity to race some of the best swimmers not only in the our division or the state of Michigan, but also the entire country. As a former Grand Valley swimmer, I was seeing times posted by some of these high school kids that would rival college conference championship times. It was incredible,” Zacek said.

Chippewa wrestlers continue to improve

GLADWIN — Manistee wrestling continues to take strides through the middle of the season.

The Chippewas went 3-2 at the Gladwin team duals, finishing fifth out of 12 teams in the event.

The team started with a wins over Coleman (48-12) and Leroy Pine River (44-24). After winning the first two duals the team fell to Montrose (60-18) and Lakeville (57-16.) The final meet of the day was against Mio, where the team won 31-30 to earn fifth place.

Seven out of the eight Manistee wrestlers had winning records on the day and each wrestler won at least two matches. Many of the points that they lost came by way of voids, but the team went 28-11 overall.

Conner Barke (160 lbs.) and Bryson Jensen (152 lbs.) each had big days by going 5-0. Alvaro Sarabia also finished 4-1.

“We still have a lot of work to do but it is clear that as a team we are improving and improvements are really starting to show up on the scoreboard,” Manistee coach Darrell Burchfield said.



Posted by Brian Fogg

Brian is the sports writer for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach him at (231) 398-3110 or

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