The St. Johns girls swimming and diving team did something a week ago tonight that the program had not done in 12 years – beat Okemos.
The Redwings scored a narrow win over the Chieftains by prevailing 93½-921⁄2 at Okemos.
“This meet was a huge deal,” St. Johns coach Kim Brewbaker said. “Okemos has one of the top programs in the state (ranked ninth in Division 2) so for our girls to win this meet was a gigantic step forward for this program. Our girls were really up for this meet, and they believed that we could win it if everyone worked together. We are so proud of everyone of the girls and are equally happy to see them realize one of their goals.”
St. Johns won five of the 12 events but got needed momentum when the Redwings took second, third and fourth place in the 100-meter backstroke and then second, fourth and fifth place in the 100 breaststroke.
That set the stage for a battle for the win in the 400 free relay.
“It came down to the last event and our team really finished big with a win in the 400 free relay. The team came through,” Brewbaker said. “Not only did they win the event, but their time of 3:47.36 was a Division 2 state qualifying time and it was also a new varsity record.”
Catherine Voisin, Rachel Ely, Kari Bellant and Alexandra Davis bested a school record that had been in place since 1996.
The two teams will meet again in the CAAC Blue meet from Nov. 7-9 at Jackson. If both win all of their remaining duals, an Okemos win at the league meet would create a split title (which would be the Chiefs’ 13th straight overall). A St. Johns win would give it to the Redwings outright.
“They definitely have some good girls on their team,” Okemos coach Patrick Saucedo said of St. Johns. “In the championship format, there’s eight teams involved instead of just two. It will definitely make the championship meet interesting – that’s for sure.”