Swim/Dive team breaks records on way to 12th-place finish in state

The Rockford girls swimming and diving team qualified 14 teammates for the Division I Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) Division I state championships held November 20-21, 2009, at the Holland Aquatic Center. Division I qualifications are the toughest in the state, and the Rams’ depth holds them in good standing for years to come. Only two of the 14 qualifiers—twins Erica and Jessica Cutler—are seniors.

Following the meet, in which the Lady Rams took 12th place out of 37 teams, Head Coach Tom Parks noted, “We did have some great swims this past weekend, but many were just out of scoring range.”

To score at finals, girls must place in the top 16 during prelims, and it is not possible to move from the consolation heat (places 9-16) during the finals, even with a faster time.

Coach Parks summarized highlights as follows:

• Both E. Cutler and Sarah Smith broke the varsity record in the 100 fly. E. Cutler now holds the record at 57.7. Smith went 58.2. E. Cutler’s swim was particularly impressive in that it was on the rebound from the flu, which turned into pneumonia.
• All three relays scored and swam well in finals.
• S. Smith had a great prelim swim in the 200 free with a 1:59.0, which was just out of scoring range.
• J. Cutler broke the varsity record again in the 200 IM with a 2:10.9.
• Freshman Kennedy Cutler and sophomore Casey Wolfer had good prelim swims in the 50 free.
• Divers Katie DeHaan and Erica Finlayson were both happy to make state and will be back next year.
• Alaina Smith also had a great prelim swim in 100 fly with a 1:00.8.
• Morgan Lipe swam out of her head in the 100 breast with a 1:10.8. Per event finishes were as follows:
• 10th place—200 medley relay (1:52.28), Longberg, Lipe, Morgan, E. Cutler, Wolfer
• 19th place finish in prelims—200 free, S. Smith (1:59.02)
• 11th place—200 IM, J. Cutler (2:11.22)
• 27th place in prelims—200 IM, E. Cutler (2:17.24)
• 19th place—50 free, Wolfer (25.15)
• 30th place—50 free, K. Cutler (25.46)
• 47th place—50 free, VanPortfliet (26.12)
• 5th place—100 fly, E. Cutler (57.86)
• 10th place—100 fly, S. Smith (58.26)
• 24th place—100 fly, A. Smith (100.87)
• 17th in prelims—500 free, J. Culter (5:17.53)
• 26th in prelims—100 back, Longberg (1:02.57)
• 31st place—100 back, Wolfer (103.02)
• 21st in prelims—100 breast, Lipe (1:10.83)
• 34th place—100 breast, Romain (1:12.85)
• 9th place—200 free relay (1:40.71), Wolfer, A. Smith, E. Cutler, J. Cutler
• 13th place—400 free relay (3:41.78), S. Smith, Van Portfliet, A. Smith, J. Cutler

The Cutler twins will be greatly missed at next year’s state competition, but the underclassmen are locked and loaded for a strong showing next year.

State qualifiers included: J. Cutler, E. Cutler, A. Smith, S. Smith, DeHaan, Finlayson, Wolfer, Romain, Longberg, Girard, Van Portfliet, K. Cutler, Lipe, and Caster.

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