Superior depth enabled Grand Ledge to make a huge splash in the CAAC Blue with a 99-86 win over Okemos Thursday.
The Comets moved to 4-0 in the league despite not winning an individual race.
Instead the meet was decided in the relays. Grand Ledge earned 12 of the 14 available points in the 200 medley relay after Okemos’ top team was disqualified because a swimmer left early.
The race of the day was the 200 freestyle relay, in which Grand Ledge had built up a lead heading into each team’s final swimmer.
“We had a four-second cushion, and I thought that was going to be enough,” said Grand Ledge head coach Ian Townsend. “Gosh, it just barely was.”
With Okemos junior Katie Dudley, the area’s top swimmer, closing in, Grand Ledge junior Rachel Kehren held on for the win by just 0.11 seconds.
“I tried to hang on for my team and use the adrenaline from the race,” Kehren said.
Taking first and third in the final event, the 400 freestyle relay, sealed the deal for Grand Ledge.
Half of the league title is determined by dual meet competitions, and the Comets now have a leg up on the competition for the CAAC Blue title.
“It has us a lot more confident because we have a better chance of winning the league title, but we are going to try our hardest to make it through to the end,” Kehren said.
Okemos won the nine events that weren’t relays. Dudley, junior Emily Wozena, junior Grace Kao and sophomore Alexandria Chow each won two events.
“My girls are tough, and you’re going to see something big happen at the league meet,” Okemos coach Patrick Saucedo said.
For Townsend, winning a dual meet against the Chiefs, who have won 11 straight league titles, is one goal that has been accomplished.
“It’s obviously a huge stepping-stone for our program and a big win for us,” Townsend said.
The CAAC Blue meet is Nov. 3.