“There were 166 athletes on deck — our largest showing yet,” said Spring Lake coach Penny Zacek. “There were teams from (Division) 1, D2 and D3. There was great competition all across the board.”
Byron Center won the meet with 491.5 points, beating out runner-up Northview by nearly 90. The Lakers tallied 329 points in third, while Mona Shores was fourth with 236. Unity Christian, Manistee, Ludington and Muskegon Catholic Central rounded out the field.
Zacek highlighted a great day from Jesse Ruter, who swam a tremendous leg in the 200-yard freestyle relay to help the Lakers capture first-place and set a new invitational record of 1 minute, 32.73 seconds. The relay also featured Trevor Billinghurst, Nick Zacek and Jared Knorr — who swam a personal best in the event.
Ruter also had a big time drop in the 100 backstroke, an event won by his Spring Lake teammate, Andrew Hintz, in 58.57 seconds.
Spring Lake’s other invitational record was set by Zacek, as she won the 200 freestyle in 1:46.88 — nearly six seconds faster than runner-up Nick Polzin from Northview.
Later, Zacek won the 100 butterfly in 53.55 seconds, beating out another competitor from Northview, Kevin Innis, by nearly two seconds. He was also a member of the opening 200 medley relay team that took first in 1:43.80. The senior dominated relay also included Hintz, Peter Rick, and Billinghurst.
Penny Zacek also highlighted strong swims from Lee Evans, who took ninth in the 500 freestyle (6:19.17), and also dropped time in the 200 freestyle.
Spring Lake had 13 other swimmers turn in personal best times at the event.