SL swimming scores fifth-straight Coastal Conference championship

Tribune Staff • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:24 AM

The Lakers ran their title streak in the Coastal Conference to five in a row on Saturday at the Spring Lake Aquatic Center, while also re-writing several conference records in a memorable performance.

The Lakers’ dominance was evident in the final team standings, as they beat out runner-up Manistee by over 200 points (635-433). Fremont was third with 300 points, followed by Ludington (234) and Muskegon Catholic Central (126).

Spring Lake’s success was examplified by senior Andrew Hintz, who demolished the field in the 100-yard backstroke at a blazing 55.87, blowing away his seed time of 57.40.

The Lakers’ dominance continued with the senior-led 200-yard medley relay team of Hintz, Peter Rick, Nick Zacek and Trevor Billinghurst. They not only broke the conference record (along with their own school and pool records), but they did it twice — once in prelims and again in finals, registering a final time of a  1 minute, 39.87 seconds.

Senior captain Zacek also took down the 200 freestyle meet record with a time of 1:44.66 from previous record holder and All-American Dan Jones from Fremont.

The Lakers’ early momentum did not stop there, as Billinghurst took the 50 freestyle with a time of 22.90, and sophomore Jared Knorr moved up from his third seed from prelims to capture second with a time of 23.48. Erik Lukkari continued to flip, twist, and wow the packed house with an 11-dive score and first-place finish of 431 points, a mere two points off the school record.

Zacek continued to put on a clinic in the 100 butterfly, posting a season best 52.17, while fellow senior Chris Velarde placed third with a 58.42.

Spring Lake continued to thrive with a sweep in the 100 freestyle, led by Billinghurst’s time of 50.26. The 200 freestyle relay team of Zacek, Velarde, Knorr, and Billinghurst took the event by almost 4 seconds, clocking in at 1:31.95, and barely missed the meet record the Lakers set last year at 1:31.72.

The 100 breaststroke turned into a family affair as senior captain Peter Rick and his sophomore brother, Noah, took first and second with times of 1:06.23 and 1:10.35, respectively.

Finally, after being touched out by Manistee in prelims the day before, the Lakers team of Knorr, Velarde, Ruter, and Hintz beat the Chippewas by two seconds as Hintz turned in another impressive split of 49.51.

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