Easy win over Grand Haven
At the risk of sounding repetitive, it was depth once again that secured the Lady Rams’ victory over its swim/dive conference rival, Jenison.
On Thursday, Oct. 8, the Lady Rams A team headed to Wildcat territory to take on a very fast and strong team which they had defeated in all four divisions the week prior at the Forest Hills Invitational. Now it was time for a one-on-one match-up. The Rams were up to the challenge.
The meet started with the 200 medley relay, with Casey Wolfer, Rachael Romain, Erica Cutler and Lauren Girard taking first with a 1:54.2. Teammates Kennedy Cutler, Morgan Lipe, Taylor Downs and Taylor Hutson finished third with 1:59.98, and Kristen Long, Sloan Ouellette, Adrianna Craft and Audrey Tinkham followed with 2:03.78.
Event two, the 200 freestyle, was a second- through fifth-place finish for the Rams, with identical twins Sarah and Alaina Smith finishing 2.02.74 and 2.02.83 respectively, followed by Morgan Longberg with 2:03.99 and Lexy Caster at 2:04.16.
The 200 IM followed with another great finish by Rockford swimmers Jessica Cutler (second, 2:14.08), Romain (third, 2:18.89), E. Cutler (fourth, 2.19.32), and Lipe (fifth, 2.25.19).
In the 50 free, all four top Rams swam within less than a second of each other, with Jamie Van Portfliet (second, 26.01), Wolfer (third, 26.03), Girard (fourth, 26.59) and K. Cutler (sixth, 26.73).
Rockford diver Erica Finlayson fell just 2.75 points behind Jenison’s first-place diver Demi Welch. Totals were Finlayson (second, 202.05), Katie DeHaan (third, 188.00), Rita Snyder (fourth, 181.65), and Macie DeGraaf (sixth, 165.30).
During the second half of the meet, Rockford’s top finishers included:
• 100 butterfly—E. Cutler (first, 1:00.55), S. Smith (second, 1:02.42), Craft (fourth, 1:04.18), and Downs (sixth, 1:07.63)
• 100 free—A. Smith (second, 56.25), Van Portfliet (third, 57.68), Girard (fourth, 58.08), Caster (fifth, 58.31)
• 500 free—J. Cutler (first, 5:21.03), Craft (fifth, 5:42.60), Holly Nauta (seventh, 5:46.91), Hutson (eighth, 5:49)
• 200 freestyle relay—S. Smith, E. Cutler, VanPortfliet, J. Cutler (first, 1:44.01); A. Smith, Hutson, Caster, Girard (second, 1:46.07); Tinkham, Emily Williams, Alyssa Rollins, Alli Wilburn (fourth, 1:49.98)
• 100 back—Wolfer (first, 1:02.99), Longberg (second, 1:03.59), K. Cutler (fourth, 1:06.87), Downs (fifth, 1:07.31)
• 100 breaststroke—Romain (third, 1:13.03), Lipe (fourth, 1:13.66), Ouellette (seventh, 1:16.49), Ashley Gremel (eighth, 1:18.36)
• 400 free relay—A. Smith, S. Smith, VanPortfliet, J. Cutler (first, 3:45.12); Caster, Nauta, Longberg, Wolfer (third, 4:00.35); Tinkham, Abby Finlayson, Renae Venman, Hutson (fifth, 4:07.33); Christina Weston, Wilburn, Williams, Courtney Uselton (eighth, 4:07.33)
Despite easy victories again conference rivals Hudsonville and Jenison, the Lady Rams stayed focused and did not let up in their dual meet against Grand Haven on Oct. 15, easily winning 195-120. Coach Parks noted he saw many good swims and dives. Standouts came with Caster’s 500 freestyle and Romain’s state-qualifying time in the 100 breaststroke. Diver Morgan Stage also earned her varsity letter.
Leading the Rams to victory were the following:
• 200 medley relay—Wolfer, J. Cutler, E. Cutler, VanPortfliet (first, 1:55.57); Longberg, Romain, S. Smith, Girard (third, 1:56.80); K.Cutler, Ouellette, Downs, Kristen Schnelle (fourth, 2:04.38)
• 200-yard free—Caster (second, 2:04.87), Nauta (third, 2:06.87), Craft (fifth, 2:08.57), A. Finlayson (sixth, 2:15.39)
• 200 individual medley—K. Cutler (second, 2:26.66), Lipe (third, 2.32.37), Gremel (fifth, 2.32.99), K. Schnelle (sixth, 2:34.10)
• 50 free—Wolfer (first, 26.21), E. Cutler (second, 26.37), VanPortfliet (fifth, 26.59), Tinkham (seventh, 27.67)
• 1-meter diving—E. Finlayson (first, 203.40), DeHaan (second, 196.65), DeGraaf (third, 177.60), Snyder (fourth, 175.65)
• 100 fly—A. Smith (first, 1:03.23), Uselton (second, 1:08.93), Kelsey Carlson (third, 1:11.37), Kaitlyn Cress (sixth, 1:17.08)
• 100 free—J. Cutler (first, 55.33), Girard (third, 57.84), Romain (fourth, 57.89), K. Schnelle (sixth, 1:00.36)
• 500 free—Caster (first, 5:31.59), Longberg (second, 5:36.40), Craft (fourth, 5:47.22), Nauta (fifth, 5:51.11)
• 200-yard free relay—Wolfer, A. Smith, J. Cutler, VanPortfliet (first, 1:42.83); A. Finlayson, Williams, Tinkham, Venman (third, 1:53.08); Wilburn, Erica Schnelle, Kelly Baker, Uselton (fourth, 1:55.61)
• 100 back—Downs (second, 1:06.90), Girard (third, 1:07.65), K. Cutler (fourth, 1:08.16), Rollins (sixth, 1:15.47)
2/3/4/5 in 100-yard breast—Romain (second, 1:12.08), E. Cutler (third, 1:12.57), Lipe (fourth, 1:16.67), Ouellette (fifth, 1:17.56).
The Lady Rams host West Ottawa on Thursday, Oct. 22 at 6:30 p.m. for their final home dual meet of the season. The team also will pay tribute to their seniors with a pre-meet Senior Night ceremony. West Ottawa has been picked to win the conference, but the depth and determination of this young Rockford team is ready for the challenge.