Multiple local athletes are representing the Tri-Cities at the meet, including 2016 Spring Lake graduates Keon Rick, swimming for Hope College, and Grant Stille, swimming for Kalamazoo College.
Grand Haven graduate Adrienne Smith is swimming for Hope, while fellow Bucs Maya Heibel and Alex Horan are competing for Alma College.
Sprinting is the name of the game for these Lakeshore swimmers.
Rick and Stille competed Thursday in the 50-yard freestyle, both qualifying for finals and scoring points for their teams.
Rick splashed-and-dashed to a time of 22.67 seconds in the morning preliminary session, moving up from the 18 seed to grab the 14th spot at the evening finals.
Stille, initially seeded 11th, dropped at 21.85 to move up one spot and claim the 10th seed at the evening finals.
Rick faltered slightly in the finals, clocking a 22.80 to take 15th place overall and score two points for the Flying Dutchmen.
Stille improved on his time, swimming two lengths of the pool in 21.84 seconds, to tie for 10th place, earning the Hornets 6.5 points.
Stille also was an integral part of Kalamazoo’s third-place 200 freestyle relay. He split 21.36 as the second swimmer to hit the pool. The third-place effort earned the Hornets 32 points.
Horan, a senior at Alma, earned a spot on the Fighting Scots’ top 200 freestyle relay, swimming the anchor leg. She clocked in a 26.79 split to finish off their sixth-place effort. Alma earned 26 points for the swim.
Smith took 23rd overall in the 50 freestyle for the Flying Dutch, while Heibel found herself in 21st place overall in the 500 freestyle.
Each of the swimmers will continue to square off as part of their respective scoring teams over the next two days; they earned the right to score via selection by their coaches.
Each team in the league selects the 18 swimmers and divers that they believe will yield the highest point totals and enters them as eligible scoring athletes. Those not selected for scoring teams still compete, but cannot advance to evening finals.
As of the conclusion of competition on Thursday evening, Kalamazoo sits in fourth place with 177 total points, while Hope sits in third with 223 on the men’s side.
For the women, Hope sits in second place with 235 points while Alma holds fifth with 86.