Following Wednesday’s team dinner — a night before their dual meet against the Crusaders at the Spring Lake Aquatic Center — Arnold’s new team made her feel more at home.
“The girls wanted to let me know that I am part of the Laker family now by giving me a whistle engraved with ‘Coach Kim’ on one side and ‘Lakers 2012’ on the other side,” Arnold said. “They were tired of seeing my (MCC) Green and Gold whistle.”
Arnold said she kept her new whistle in her pocket throughout Thursday’s meet, a contest in which Spring Lake prevailed, 128-55, giving the Lakers their first Coastal Conference win this season.
“The girls rocked tonight,” Arnold said. “They came out ready to swim, not only for themselves, but for their coach as well.”
Arnold was impressed with a pair of swimmers in the 200-yard freestyle event, as Aubrey Rolsten dropped a lot of time from her previous personal best and finished in 2 minutes, 15.26 seconds, right behind teammate Sophia Kleinheksel, who won in 2:14.22. Later, Rolsten dropped eight seconds in her 500 swim, and finished in 6:05.74.
Jaylen Adkins captured first place in the 50 free in 26.69 and also touched the wall first in the 100 in 59.24.
Arnold also highlighted strong first-place showings by Tori Tober in the 100 backstroke (1:13.32); the 200 freestyle relay of Roxanne Strobel, Ellen Hyde, Adkins and Kleinheksel (1:49.52); and the 400 freestyle relay of Shelby Arends, Kleinheksel, Paige Rubeski and Rolsten (4:16.98).
Spring Lake dove unopposed against MCC, so the intra-squad competition was won by Paige Rubleski, with a personal best score of 194.25.
“It’s great to see all of Paige’s hard work pay off finally,” said coach Barb Brackett. “I think she will only improve from here.”
Runner-up honors went to Makayla Boyink’s score of 170.00, while Shelby Munch was third with a 151.95.
Spring Lake’s divers will perform 11 dives at Saturday’s home invitational, one of just four times this season they’ll perform an 11-dive routine.