Monday, January 29th, 2007
Celina sweeps swim quad meet
By Mark Ruschau
Celina's Dan Hierholzer comes up for air during a breaststroke event at the quad. . .
With the postseason meets just two weeks away and the league meets just one week away, four Grand Lake area swim teams, Celina, Coldwater, St. Henry and St. Marys, gathered for a quadrangular meet Saturday afternoon at the Auglaize-Mercer County YMCA.
For Celina coach Matt May, it was double duty night as he honored his seniors swimming their last meet at home and he also saw the last meet of the season as a chance to play around with individual event and relay lineups.
Even with the lineup experimentation, where May is just looking for the right combination of relays and individual event placing for his squads entering the postseason, Celina swept both meets.
The Bulldog boys won their portion of the meet with 98 points. St. Marys followed in second scoring 40, Coldwater had 28 and St. Henry 3.
The girls meet was a bit tighter, but Celina posted 69 points to 51 for St. Marys for the win. Coldwater posted 28 and St. Henry 3.
"With tonight's meet, I was basically playing with some of the events, and using a lot of kids. I was putting them in off events, just trying to come up with some different combinations for the relays," commented May. "What I was looking for tonight was the split times that kids posted throughout the meet, so I can come up with the best combination of relay teams that I can come up with for the postseason."
As for the league meet next week, May is very optimistic about the Bulldogs' chances.
"We should have a shot to win both the girls and boys meet next week," said a confident May. "With the girls it might be an outside shot but with the boys, I think we have the most talent in the league at this point, so I hope we have a shot to win both of them, we will see what happens.
"Shawnee, Shawnee, Shawnee, that's what comes to mind as the teams to beat next week, although, Van Wert has a good boys team and they could come into play," continued May.
St. Marys freestyle specialist, Geoff Hiskey was the only double winner on the boys side in the quad meet as he won the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle races.
St. Henry junior Scottie Weitzel broke the Celina-St. Marys domination of the top spots as he captured the 100-yard backstroke in a time of 1:02.66
"I think I'm about where I want to be, time-wise going into the last couple weeks before tournament," said Weitzel. "I think if I want to do well at the sectionals and to get to the regional, that I have to get my time under a minute and I think that I can do that by working hard the next couple of weeks in practice and also I think that better competition will make me swim faster and hopefully that will help get my time lower too."
On the girls side, Celina used its strength in the relays to post the win. The WaterDogs swept the relays, paced by a season-best time of 1:47.36 by the 200 freestyle team of senior Larissa LaRue, sophomores Courtney McKirnan and Kirsten Samples and freshman Paige Mertz. The Bulldog quartet chopped .37 of a second off their previous best.
The St. Marys sister combination of Jasmine and Dom Craft each came away with a pair of wins. Jasmine won her specialties, the 100 freestyle and the 100 breaststroke. Dom, swept the field in the 500-meter freestyle as she posted a time 6:11.38 which was seven seconds faster then her season best and five seconds faster than runner-up Stephanie Heyne of Celina.
Coldwater senior Gina Harting posted a win in the 100 freestyle with a time of 59.81.
Coldwater and St. Henry will both be part of the Coldwater Invitational on Saturday back at the Auglaize-Mercer County YMCA.