The South Lyon boys swim and dive team hosted KLAA West Division leader Howell on Feb. 10. Coming off a stinging defeat by Stevenson, the South Lyon boys dug deep and came out victorious, handing the Highlanders their first defeat of the season, 100-86.
“This was a great meet for us. We knew that Howell would be a close meet and we really stepped up for the meet,” head coach John Burch said.
Leading off the night, captain Nick VanDyke’s backstroke got his 200 medley relay team off to a lead, Brandon Bell (breast) and Max Kempisty (fly) kept the lead and Oliver Joy turned it on to fend off an advancing Highlander for the win. Logan Boals (fly), captain Matt Setsuda (breast), Connor Pogue (fly) and Nick Appicelli (free) shut out Howell for third, giving South Lyon a six-point advantage.
Joy settled in between Highlanders in the 200 free for second, Zach Denny and John Perry added points for fourth and fifth, respectively.
Kempisty set a new freshman record while finishing runner-up in the 200 IM.
“He is really coming through for us,” Burch said.
Boals kept up the pressure for fourth and Setsuda made a huge advance in the breast and charged in the free to touch out Howell for fifth.
South Lyon’s second biggest point grab of the night came in the 50 free. VanDyke exploded off the turn to take a commanding lead and win and Bell and Appicelli stormed to the wall, shutting out Howell for third and fourth and another six-point swing.
The South Lyon diving depth and experience overpowered Howell, taking second, third and fourth. Ethan Schmidt’s forward 2.5 somersault pike exploded off the board and disappeared into the water, contributing a whopping 50.7 to his 244.2 score. Matt Meadow’s inward 1.5 somersault pike sliced into the pool for 52.8 of his 235.75 points and rookie Brett Bender earned a personal best 41.8 on his inverse 1.5 somersault and third with 150.9 points.
Kempisty led the way in the 100 fly, but sensed advancing Highlanders and dropped his head to surge into the wall for the win by a 0.06 margin. Pogue kept the score even for the event with his fourth-place finish.
VanDyke took charge in the 100 free, exploding off the last turn to win by half a body length. Perry also kept the score even for the event by finishing fourth. In the 500 free, Joy (second), Denny (third) and Riley Vaughn (fifth) dropped multiple seconds.
Perry, Bell, Denny and Appicelli were second in the 200 free relay. Alex Darrow and Jake Helton jockeyed back and forth with Howell, but Vaughn and Setsuda clinched the points for third with dynamite races to the wall.
“Matt Setsuda won two close races for us, touching out a Howell kid in the IM and then in the ‘B’ 200 free relay. These were important races for us,” Burch said.
Boals continued his dominance in the 100 back, driving into the finish to touch a second ahead of Howell for the win with his first sub one-minute swim.
“This was a great swim for him and gets him close to his goal of a state cut,” Burch said.
Pogue paced with Howell and made a diving finish for third. Setsuda and Bell tapped into their inner reserves in the 100 breast, battling it out with Howell and charging for the wall to finish second and third, respectively by less than a 0.5-second margin.
The 400 free relay was a close one. Kempisty led off strong, tied with Howell, Joy pulled ahead and Pogue kept it. VanDyke ended the meet the way he started, with a masterful and ever-increasing acceleration for the win. Perry, Boals, Vaughn and Denny kept up the pressure, finishing third and giving South Lyon it’s third six-point margin of victory in an event.
“Nick VanDyke as always was our key swimmer,” Burch said. “He swam events that are not his best events and won both of them. This was very critical to us winning the meet. Overall, we had a great meet. The boys really stepped up to the competition.”
Novi 120, South Lyon 66
The team hosted Novi in their last dual meet of the season Feb. 12 and celebrated seniors Chase Fair, Schmidt and captains Setsuda, Chris Gorman and VanDyke.
Novi’s squad, triple the size of the home team, steamrolled South Lyon 120-66. Despite the loss, South Lyon had some strong races.
Boals, VanDyke, Pogue and Oliver Joy started the meet off strong for South Lyon in the 200 medley, winning the only relay for South Lyon of the night.
Kempisty continued to deliver in the 200 free, earning second. VanDyke took an early lead in the 200 IM and kept it for one of three individual wins for South Lyon that night.
Meadows, Schmidt and Bender made the biggest contribution to the scoreboard, taking first, second and fourth, respectively. Both Meadows and Schmidt had high points on their front 2.5 somersaults, Bender on his inward 1.5 somersault.
Boals swam a sub one-minute in his 100 fly for second, with Pogue right behind him for third.
Joy had a standout performance in the 100 free, winning it by a 0.26 second margin, and the 100 back, fighting tooth and nail for second.
With the loss, South Lyon ends the dual meet season 4-8 and 1-3 in the Central Division. South Lyon hosts the Central Division championship meet Friday and Saturday at East.
South Lyon competed against the county’s best at the 2015 Oakland County Swimming and Diving Championships.
The Feb. 6-7 event at Lake Orion High School brought together 24 teams from across the county. Battling at the end were two Bimingham schools, Brother Rice and Seaholm, with Brother Rice pulling head at the midway point to win with 363 points. South Lyon finished 13th with 60 points.
South Lyon divers immediately made the team a contender during Friday’s diving competition when they grabbed two top 10 finishes. In the field of 36, taking fifth was Meadows with 397.60 points, a personal record. Schmidt was next in sixth (389.40).
The first event in the swimming competition was the 200-yard medley relay and South Lyon’s foursome of VanDyke, Bell, Kempisty and Pogue got down to business. Their 1:44.93 finish was just short of a second faster than their seed time, resulting in a respectable 14th-place finish among 30 teams.
VanDyke was back in the pool to compete in the 50-yard free and placed 13th (22.56). VanDyke later had the team’s only podium appearance of the day after blasting to an eighth-place finish in the 100-yard backstroke in 54.32, his best time for the season that heightens his standing for the Division 1 state finals in March.
Denny wowed the South Lyon fans in the 500-yard freestyle. He led his heat for the entire 20 lengths, sliced a whopping nine seconds from his previous best time and finished in 5:10.25.