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Diving right in

Duncan MacLean • Sep 27, 2016 at 11:51 PM

SPRING LAKE TWP. — The Spring Lake girls swimming and diving team hosted Division 1 and conference opponent Forest Hills Northern/Eastern on Tuesday night, dominating the visitors, 116-70.

The Lakers cruised through the meet, winning 10 of 12 events, grabbing state-cuts and even besting a school record in the process.

Spring Lake opened the meet with a victory in the 200-yard medley relay, the team of Meghan Peel, Jennifer Meulenbelt, Annie Brechting and Sara Mumby strolled to a 13-second win with a time of 1 minute, 54.68 seconds.

The heat continued for the Lakers who took first and second place in the following 200-yard freestyle. Carly Komar and Madi Miller took the honors in 2:15.57 and 2:20.18, respectively.

Peel returned to the pool for the 200-yard individual medley and took the event in 2:18.74.

A highlight of the meet came in the ever-exciting 50-yard freestyle. Mumby took first in the splash-and-dash with a state-qualifying time of 25.66 seconds, earning her first individual state cut. “Mumby swam a great race today,” said Spring Lake head coach Ellen Weise.

The diving team took depth points against a formidable Forest Hills split squad. Audra Bialik, Ronnie Russell and Ellie Higgs took third, fourth and fifth on the one-meter board.

By the second-half of the meet, the Lakers were racing themselves, as evidenced by the touch-out finish in the 100-yard butterfly. Brechting and Meulenbelt both finished five seconds ahead of the first Forest Hills competitor, with Brechting scraping out the win by just 0.03 seconds.

The Lakers took another 1-2 finish in the 100-yard freestyle, headlined by the pull-away speed of Peel. She took her second individual victory of the day in 56.37. Carly Komar took second place in 1:00.04.

The 500-yard freestyle brought along Spring Lake’s only loss between the lane lines on Tuesday. Louise Vega turned in a 6:10.17 swim, good for second place.

Capitalizing on their sprinting speed, the Lakers took an impressive win in the 200-yard freestyle relay.

“We kind of went into it tonight hoping to qualify for state, so that all three of our relays were good to go, and they did much better than expected,” Weise said.

The team of Meulenbelt, Peel, Brechting and Mumby swam away with the race, finishing eight seconds ahead of second-place Forest Hills with a final time of 1:44.94. Mumby highlighted the race with a blazing fast 24.82 split. The girl’s time was good enough to set a new Spring Lake school record, eclipsing the old standard of 1:45.36, set last year.

The meet ended with three more Laker victories in the 100-yard backstroke, courtesy of Allison Brown, the 100-yard breaststroke, another from Meulenbelt and the 400-yard freestyle relay thanks to Mumby, Miller, Komar and Brown.

“I feel great,” said coach Weise. “This is our first conference win of the season, so this is exciting for us in the new conference. We’ve been working hard so its great the girls are still swimming fast and staying positive even though they feel tired.”

The Lakers travel to Division 2 juggernaut East Grand Rapids for their next conference matchup.

“EGR is a powerhouse, but they are in our conference,” Weise said. “I’m hoping to go into it with good attitudes and swim fast times. It’s a really fast pool we get to swim in at EGR, that’s always a great experience.”

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