On Saturday, September 7, 2013 the vast majority of girls from West Michigan participating in high school swim & dive converged at Holland Community Aquatic Center for the annual West Michigan Relays. The meet showcased very talented athletes from 16 teams that competed in 10 relay swim events as well as diving performances. The meet is very fun for all who participate and marks the first major meet of the swim & dive season.
The Rockford Girls combined their strength and depth to deliver an outstanding performance. Rockford topped all teams with 372 points followed by East Grand Rapids (354), and Holland (332). Not only did Rockford place in the top-five in every relay, they took 1st place in four of the ten events. While racking up the points, the Rams placed 1st in four events, 2nd in two events, 3rd in one event, 4th in two events, and 5th in one event.
The meet began with the 400 yard medley relay. Rachel Fredricks, Sydney McDowell, Maddie Trimble and Meegan Snyman came out fast and started the day with a 3rd place finish for the Rams in a time of 410.06. In the 200 yard breaststroke relay, Stephanie Mull, Christina Hanssen, Lauren Mirecki and Sydney McDowell touched the wall at 214.98 finishing 5th. In the progressive 500 yard freestyle relay, the combination of Dakota Noble, Emily Smith, Sara Fredricks and Megan Schremp took the 4th place spot with a time of 449.34.
In the next three events, the Rams kicked up the heat and pulled out an exciting three event streak of first place finishes. In the 400 yard 4×100 individual medley relay, Meegan Snyman, Marissa Marion, Delayni Kornak-Kotarba and Kara Vandawater stood proud on the first place podium with a time of 414.45. Next to wear first place medals were Delayni Kornak-Kotarba, Kallen Wolfer, Erin Hudson and Maddie Trimble who clocked a 148.52 in the 200 yard butterfly relay. Rounding out the consecutive streak on the first place podium in the 800 yard freestyle relay was Megan Schremp, Emily Smith, Sara Fredricks and Marissa Marion who finished their race with a time of 808.13.
The Rams did not let up and the relay team of Delayni Kornak-Kotarba, Cory Stage, Rachel Fredricks and Kara Vandawater stayed strong and finished second in the 200 yard backstroke relay with a time 155.27. The 400 freestyle relay placed 4th as Sara Fredricks, Dakota Noble, Emily Smith and Megan Schremp combined to finish in 346.38. What followed was the 200 yard medley relay team of Kara Vandawater, Sydney McDowell, Maddie Trimble and Erin Hudson with another thrilling 1st place victory for the Rams. The swim portion of the meet ended in a race for the finish with Rockford’s team of Dakota Noble, Meegan Snyman, Marissa Marion and Erin Hudson coming in second place with a time of 140.08.
The diving portion of the meet featured the trio of Ali Cook, Mikayla Scogg and Sarah McCabe who combined their scores to come in 7th place. Their performance coupled with the swim relay results catapulted Rockford to the top of the leader board.
As each swimmer can only swim a maximum of three events and the dive team can only enter three divers to make a scoring team, combinations and meet strategy was a key element to Rockford’s ultimate success. Coach Tom Parks was very proud of his entire team and is impressed by strong performances so early in the season. Senior captains Ali Cook & Kara Vandawater were also extremely happy as they helped their team hoist the 1st place trophy at the close of the meet.
Next up for the Ram swimmers and divers is a return trip to Holland Community Aquatic Center on Saturday, September 14, 2013 for a tri meet with Holland and Mercy.