Lakeview rules the pool at SMAC East Championships

Lakeview rules the pool at SMAC East Championships


Lakeview rules the pool at SMAC East Championships


The Lakeview girls’ swimming and diving team won the SMAC East conference championship on Saturday afternoon at Harper Creek High School.

The victory also won the Spartans the opportunity to throw their coach in the pool.

“That’s always enjoyable – not really,” Lakeview head coach Kyle Lott said with a laugh. “It’s fun for the kids. It’s been a tradition forever. I remember when I was a little kid watching it happening. My dad was a coach so I thought that was the coolest thing. It’s really fun for the kids to throw the coach in.”

The Spartans, (424 points) — who placed second or better in all eleven of the swimming events (including seven first place finishes) — edged their cross-town rivals Harper Creek (353 points) by a mere 71 points.

“I have a great group of kids,” Lott said. “It’s a very competitive meet so it’s nice to come out with a victory – a slim victory. All year long it’s been tremendous. Just a team effort and that’s what it’s been today. We had a lot of kids make it back for finals.”

Harper Creek head coach Corrin Popps was also encouraged by her team’s effort on Saturday.

“I think this is the first time where I felt we were really nipping on (Lakeview’s) heels,” Popps said. “We put them in a position that they had to change things around today and really pump up their kids.”

Harper Creek had a top-three finish in 10 of the 11 swimming events as well, along with a first-place finish by Nicole Gilbert in the 1-meter diving competition.

“She’s done a nice job. She’s been undefeated. I don’t think there are a lot of times where that happens,” Popps said of Gilbert. “You have your off day and what-have-you but even when she has, she’s been tenacious about being successful. Nobody’s ever beat her in anything this year. That’s pretty neat.”

The day belonged to Lakeview’s Anna Moore and Jenny Reimer, however, as Reimer amassed two first-place finishes and two second place finishes for the Spartans.

Reimer finished first in the 200-yard IM (2:16.83) and the 100-yard butterfly (1:02.31). She helped her team to two second-place finishes in the 200-yard medley relay (1:55.13) and the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:44.28) as well.

Moore added two first-place finishes, setting a SMAC and pool record in the 100-yard backstroke (59.94) and as winning as a member of the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:50.04). She also had two second-place finishes in the 200-yard medley and 200-yard IM.

It is worth noting that the second place finish in the 200-yard medley relay would have been a pool record if not for the efforts of Harper Creek.

The Beaver’s relay team of Kara Popps, Courtney Gilmore, Tabea Niemarkt, and Madison Vaive finished with a time of 1:55.02, breaking both the pool record time (1:55.61) and the SMAC East record time (1:55.06).

There were 14 total state-qualifying times in the swimming competitions for the day.

In the 200 Yard Medley, Harper Creek, Lakeview (1:55.13 by Reimer, Olivia Lassen, Anna Moore, Mina Kukuk) and Marshall (2:02.00 by Anna Sitar, Taylor Karns, Gabi Graves, and Jessica Bush) all qualified for State.

In the 200-yard IM, Lakeview’s Reimer (2:16.83) and Moore (2:17.50) and Haprer Creek’s Niemarkt (2:20.53) qualified.

In the 50-yard Free, Lakeview’s Kukuk (25.34) and Harper Creek’s Madison Vaive (25.61) both qualified.

In the 100-yard butterfly, Reimer (1:02.31), Niemarkt (1:03.47), and Harper Creek’s Brianne Pajak (1:04.90) both qualified.

In the 100-yard Free, Wenzel (54.75) and Kukuk (55.37) both qualified.

In the 200-yard Free Relay, Harper Creeks team of Vaive, Popps, Whitney Durham, and Sophie Marshall qualified with a time of 1:44.28.

In the 100-yard backstroke, Moore (59.94), Popps (1:00.37), Wenzel (1:01.56), and Marshall’s Taylor Karns (1:05.78) all qualified.

In the 100-yard breaststroke, Cline qualified with a time of 1:13.19.

In the 400-yard freestyle relay, Lakeview (3:50.04 by Ashley Chambers, Hannah Royal, Moore, and Kukuk), Harper Creek (3:54.54 by Durham, Audra Knapp, Marshall, and Niemarkt), and Marshall (3:55.54 by Bush, Brooklyn Tobias, Karns, and Gabbi Graves) all qualified.

Other top finishes worth noting include:

In the 100-yard breaststroke, Harper Creek’s Courtney Gilmore (1:15.85) took second and Brianne Pajak (1:16.15) took third.

In the 200-yard freestyle, Lakeview’s Ashley Chambers (2:08.89) took first, Harper Creek’s Durham (2:08.93) took second, and Battle Creek Central’s Karina Allen (2:09.18) took third.

In the 50-yard freestyle, Harper Creek’s Sophie Marshall took third (26.87).

In the 500-yard freestyle, Marshall took first (5:46.38), Lakeview’s Mollie Rockwell took second (5:49.74) and Durham took third (5:50.28).

In the 200-yard freestyle relay, Lakeview took second (1:47.84).

Marshall finished third overall with 213 points in the completion. Kramer finished sixth in both the 200-yard freestyle (2:13.64) and 500-yard freestyle (5:56.95). Bush finished sixth in the 100-yard butterfly (1:07.75) and fourth in the 50-yard freestyle (27.09). Karns finished fourth in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:05.78) and sixth in the 100-yard freestyle (59.61). Brooklyn Tobias placed seventh in the 200-yard IM (2:33.29). Sitar placed 10th in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:20.04). The team finished fifth overall in the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:54.10).

Battle Creek Central finished fifth with 130 points. Karina Allen placed fifth in the 100-yard butterfly(1:07.56). Bonnie Smith finished eighth in the 200-yard IM (2:33.79). Olyvea Davis finished eighth in the 50-yard freestyle (27.60). Faith Guzzo finished eighth in the 500-yard butterfly (5:58.86). The team took sixth in the 200-yard freestyle (1:54.13) and fifth in the 400-yard freestyle (4:07.01). Allyson Cubberly finished eighth in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:19.02).

In diving, Battle Creek Central’s Jordan Robertson placed eighth (247.80), Harper Creek’s Aubrey Greenfield was ninth (245.20), Lakeview’s Ambyr Toney placed 10th (228.70), and Marshall’s Maddie Rayner placed 11th (210.75).

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