The Mason girls swimming team have accomplished a first.
The Bulldogs are now the proud possessors of the CAAC Red league championship trophy.
Strong relay finishes in the league meet Nov. 10 gave Mason the edge as the Bulldogs posted 499 points to earn the victory.
Williamston/Lansing Christian, the defending champs, took second with 430 points and stayed close to the Bulldogs throughout the meet.
“We had some unbelievable swims … ,” said Mason coach Connie Cantrell. “These girls have worked so hard. They had a great day all around.”
Junior Kaileigh Krupp took 20 seconds off her prelim time in a comeback win over Ionia’s Shyenne Fish, posting a 5:34.35 in the 500-meter freestyle.
Fish, who had edged Krupp in the 200-meter freestyle final earlier in the league championships, led by almost a body length early in the race.
With three laps to go Krupp caught Fish on a turn and bulldozed ahead to win by more than six seconds.
“We see each other a lot,” said Krupp who has developed a friendship with Fish through their rivalry. “She put up a great game today but in the end I was able to come out [with a win]. I was really proud of both of us.”
Other strong performances for the Bulldogs included Rebecca Rogers’ 57.92 in the 100-meter freestyle and Rachel Johnson’s 25.42 split in the 200-medley relay.
Cantrell also credited seniors Katie Markiewicz and Alex Croff for providing key leadership in multiple events.
Senior Brittany Penn helped lead the way for Williamston/Lansing Catholic winning the 50-meter freestyle with a time of 26.53 and qualified for state in the 1-meter dive with 429.55 points.
“It was just an exceptional performance,” said Williamston/Lansing Catholic coach Alexis Ewen.
“Her diving performance over four years has built up and we look forward to what she’s going to do at state.
Rounding out the team scores, Ionia placed third with 230, followed by Owosso with 200.
Corunna finished with 179.5 edging out Eaton Rapids’ 173.5. Lansing Legacy finished with 169 and host Waverly/Lansing Catholic had 168.