Manistee swimming hosts, takes 3rd at Coastal Conference meet

Manistee’s Amber Miller competes in the 200-yard freestyle. Miller finished 10th with a time of 2:30.82. (Kyle Kotecki/News Advocate)

Manistee’s Amber Miller competes in the 200-yard freestyle. Miller finished 10th with a time of 2:30.82. (Kyle Kotecki/News Advocate)

MANISTEE — Manistee girls swimming hosted a two-day Coastal Conference meet, with prelims being held Friday and finals taking place Saturday. The Chippewas took third with 368 points while Traverse City took first with 526.

“We had a fantastic meet,” said Manistee swim coach Corey Van Fleet. “Our kids swam very well. Every single kid on the team had at least one career-best time, and some of them had four best swims. I can’t say enough good things about our young kids.

“The guys we thought would score up front scored just fine and the rest of the gang stepped up to the plate and got into the big finals and swam events they didn’t think they could swim.”

Lauren Mendians won the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard backstroke with state-qualifying times of 25.33 and 1:02.60, respectively, while Jaelyn Thomas took first in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:06.05 and second in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:43.09.

“We should do pretty well at the state meet,” Van Fleet said. “Lauren’s qualified pretty well so we might even score some points.”

Ginger Hiipakka took first in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 59.78. Anna Lee finished third in the 200-yard individual medley as well as the 100-yard backstroke with times of 2:29.96 and 1:06.86, respectively.

“It was a good, close meet until the event before the last relay — the breast stroke,” Van Fleet said. “There were three teams that were 25 points apart. We simply ran out of kids.

 “Got some good eighth graders coming in,” he continued. “We’ll get them puffed up for next year and we’ll be just fine. We’ll be back again.”

In the relays, the team of Mendians, Lee, Maddy Fox and Thomas won the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 4:00.12. The team of Mendians, Hiipakka, Fox and Thomas finished second in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:46.94 — just 0.65 seconds off the state-qualifying time of 1:46.29 while Lee, Megan Huber, Hiipakka and Maddie Verheek took third in the 200-yard medley relay.

“Our relays are so close that we’re going to the Second Shave meet on Tuesday,” Van Fleet said. “We’ll get two more relay teams in the state meet down there. Because we’re short-handed, we couldn’t put everybody in the relays.

“You got three in there and then that fourth one is on the other relay,” he continued. “Had to spread them out a little bit. So, we’ll qualify two more.”

The Chippewas continue to lower their times as the state finals draw near and Van Fleet was pleased with how the team swam over the weekend.

“We broke a pool record and a school record or two,” Van Fleet said. “There was good swimming all the way around.”

Manistee next takes to the water in the Second Shave meet in Zeeland Tuesday at 5 p.m.

Leave a Reply