Spring Lake’s varsity swim team’s meet against Coastal Conference foe Manistee literally came down to the final event on Thursday.
The Chippewas scored a victory in the 400-yard freestyle by 10 seconds over the Lakers to preserve a stunningly close 92-90 win.
Manistee scored wins in the first four events of the meet, but the tide began to change in diving, when Spring Lake senior Erik Lukkari turned in a stellar performance with a season-high score of 251.05, which was good for first place.
“The last couple of dual meets, he was scoring in the 220s, and he really stepped it up tonight,” said Spring Lake diving coach Tom Knight. “He’s been working on newer, harder dives, and improving on his existing list.”
Following Lukkari’s win, the Lakers added victories by sophomore Blake Henning in the 100 butterfly (58.90 seconds), and senior Jesse Ruter in the 100 freestyle (52.53).
Manistee won the 500 freestyle, 200 freestyle relay and the 100 breaststroke, although the Lakers were 2-3-4 in the event, with Chris Hintz, Noah Rick and Frank Reeg.
Ruter also captured the 100 backstroke in a time of 59.54 seconds, which made the Division 3 state finals cut.
The Lakers finished 2-3-4 in the final relay, but it wasn’t enough to overtake the visiting Chippewas.
EAGLES SOAR PAST BUCS
Grand Haven coach Doug Thorne called visiting Hudsonville “one of the best teams the Bucs will face this season.”
The Eagles proved it in the pool, scoring a 187-130 victory over the host Bucs at the Grand Haven Aquatic Center.
“We had a big Christmas break and we put in a lot of yards over that time,” Thorne said. “The kids are starting to make progress.”
Thorne said sophomore Spencer Poort is starting to establish himself as a consistent contributor, as he had strong showings in both the 50 and 500 freestyles on Thursday, including a 22.9 second finish in the 50.
Freshman Hayden Schumann also had a time of 1:55 in the 200 freestyle.
“That’s a great time for a freshman,” Thorne said.
Noah Baker also had a strong night in sprints, clocking in at the 24-second range in the 50 and 54-flat in the 100.
Grand Haven competes in the Rockford Invitational on Saturday.