The Division I state meet was held at Eastern Michigan University the weekend of November 18. While the meet was filled with some very impressive swims and dives, the Rockford Lady Rams fell short of their goals and expectations. The state team consisted of seniors Macie DeGraaf, Emilie Hahne, Maddie Levine, Morgan Longberg, Alaina Smith, Sarah Smith and Casey Wolfer; juniors Adrianna Craft, Kennedy Cutler, Morgan Lipe, and Kristen Schnelle; sophomore Kara Vandawater; freshmen Delayni Kornak-Kotarba, Dakota Noble and Megan Schremp. With this year’s state meet the fastest in history, S. Smith was able to break into the top 16 on Friday’s preliminaries, which secured her a place in Saturday’s finals. She qualified in both of her individual events, placing 13th in the 200-yard IM with a time of 2:10.78. In the 100-yard butterfly she placed 14th with a time of :58.52. Rockford placed 10th in the 200-yard medley relay in a time of 1:50.47 with a team of Vandawater, Cutler, S. Smith and Wolfer. The 200-yard freestyle relay team also placed 10th in a time of 1:38.66 with the team of Noble, Levine, Cutler and Wolfer. The only top eight finish for Rockford was eighth place in the 400-yard freestyle in 3:36.09 with a team of Hahne, S. Smith, A. Smith and Wolfer. Although the Rockford team had higher expectations for the state meet, 2011 had many great moments which should not be lost. The Lady Rams lost only one dual meet all year, a non-conference meet to Division II state champion Holland. The Rockford girls were impressive in rolling through the OK Red conference and dominating the conference meet on their way to a championship. They saw several swimmers establish personal bests, and Vandawater, Cutler, S. Smith and Wolfer set a new school record in the 200-yard medley relay. As the 2011 season comes to an end, we remember the three-and-a-half other months that were filled with great swims, great victories and great memories.
Rockford parents were on the edge of their seats Thursday, Oct. 14, as they watched the girls swim team face conference strongman West Ottawa. The Rams only placed first in two of the 12 events—the 50-yard free by Jamie Van Portfliet and the 100-yard butterfly by Sarah Smith—but the team’s depth still earned enough points to keep the Rams in the game to the very last relay event. The Rams started off trailing West Ottawa by eight points after the initial 200-yard medley relay as the A relay squad of Morgan Longberg, Rachel Romain, S. Smith and Kennedy Cutler only placed second. The team fell further behind in the 200-yard free, with Adrianna Craft finishing third, Alaina Smith fourth, Lexy Caster sixth, and Emily Smith seventh. But in the 200-yard medley, the Rams were able to add more points to their column by S. Smith placing second, Morgan Lipe fourth, Romain fifth, and Kara Vandawater sixth. In the 50 free, they pulled even closer to West Ottawa, with Van Portfliet taking one of the two first-place finishes, as well as Casey Wolfer taking fourth, Cutler fifth, and Lauren Girard sixth. Rockford’s divers pulled the teams even by Macie Degraaf placing second, Katie DeHaan third, Erica Finlayson fourth, and Maggie Setterington fifth. S. Smith took first in the 100-yard butterfly. With teammates A. Smith (third), Madison Trimble (fourth) and Taylor Downs (fifth), she pulled the team to 11 points ahead of the Panthers. But the lead wasn’t enough to keep Rockford ahead, as the Rams came up with less points than the Panthers in the next five events. In the 100-yard free, VanPortfliet finished second, Wolfer took fifth, Longberg sixth and E. Smith seventh. In the 500-yard free, Caster took third, Girard fourth, Craft fifth and Kayla Kidder seventh. Rockford’s A relay (Cutler, S. Smith, Wolfer, Van Portfliet) and B relay (A. Smith, E. Smith, Craft, Caster) finished second and third in the 200-yard free. Longberg placed third in the 100-yard backstroke, supported by Vandawater (fourth), Downs (sixth) and Rachel Fredricks (seventh). Cutler took third in the 100-yard breaststroke, followed by Romain (fourth), Lipe (fifth) and Sloan Ouellette (seventh). By the final 400 relay, West Ottawa was back ahead by seven points. To win the meet, the […]