SAGINAW – On Saturday, the Lakeview boys swim team accomplished one of its major season goals, placing in the top four at the MHSAA Division 2 Swimming and Diving Finals.
At the conclusion of the meet at Saginaw Valley State University, the Spartans found themselves in fourth place with 205 points, firmly ahead of fifth place Birmingham Groves with 187 points. At the state meet, the top four teams receive a trophy to take back to their school.
“Coming into the beginning of this weekend we were trying to finish between fourth and seventh, but thought fourth would be really good,” said Lakeview head coach Kyle Lott. “The kids came together and just had a great time, and it was good to see the seniors go out with a trophy.”
Winning the Division 2 championship was Dexter with 284 points, followed by De La Salle Collegiate with 266, and Birmingham Seaholm with 211.
The Spartans best finish of the day was from senior Scott Carstens, who placed third overall in the 50 freestyle in 21.32-seconds. Carstens also swam in the 100 backstroke, where he touched the wall fourth in 52.08 seconds.
“My opinion of Scott is a career long thing,” said Lott. “I’d have to count it up, but he earned All-State’s his sophomore, junior and senior years, so he’s been around the block. His career has been wonderful, and to cap it off with a team trophy was wonderful.”
Also earning a third-place medal was Levi Youmans in the 1-meter diving event. Youmans finished with 440.65 points, narrowly edging teammate Austin Nemire, who was fourth with 439.35 points.
In the 100 butterfly, Blake Little was fourth-best in the state with a time of 52.41. Little was also sixth-fastest in the 200 freestyle, completing the race in 1:43.92, while Sam Myers finished the same event in 15th place in 1:48.25.
Braden Shanks swam a 21.90 in the 50 freestyle, which was good enough for seventh place in the state, while teammate Tabor Smyth earned an eight-place finish in the 100 backstroke in 53.50-seconds. Smyth was also 13th in the 100 butterfly (53.72).
“All of the seniors did a great job, and getting the fourth place trophy was emotional for us,” said Lott. “It was cool to see them go out with a fourth.”
Lakeview competed in three relays during Saturday’s finals, placing fifth in both the 200 and 400 freestyle relays and seventh in the 200 medley relay.
The 200 freestyle relay consisted of Little, Shanks, Sam Myers, and Parker Sprau, and finished in 1:27.82, while the 400 freestyle relay (3:12.66) and 200 medley relay (1:37.94) both included Carstens, Shanks, Smyth, and Myers.
Swimming the consolation heat for the 100 freestyle were Shanks and Sprau, who finished 12th (48.50) and 16th (49.65), respectively.
“We got some unexpected points from Parker Sprau,” Lott explained. “He qualified by just a tenth of a second in the conference meet, and then he got us some points in the 100 free.”
The Spartans are losing several valuable swimmers to graduation this year, leaving some pretty big shoes to fill.
“We’ve got a good looking group of middle schoolers coming up,” Lott said. “And we’ve got a great group that was just outside of the state meet this year. We had a great group of seniors, and we won’t be able to replace those guys, but we’ll be back next year seeing how we can hold off Portage Central again. We’ll get started back up here in a week or two to try to get those young guys ready for next season.”
DIVISION 3 AT EMU
Harper Creek’s Ethan Wilson qualified 10th for the 500 freestyle during Friday’s preliminary meet, and swam to an 11th place finish on Saturday at Eastern Michigan University in a time of 4:54.25.
Travis Tekiele can be reached at email@example.com or 269-966-0677. Follow him on Twitter: @travis_tekiele