The host Lakers dominated this weekend’s event, finishing with 646 points, easily outdistancing second-place Manistee (447).
“It feels really nice to dominate the conference like this,” said senior Davis Allison, one of the team’s captains. “To know that you’re going to win, but still give it your all and get personal bests.”
“It was definitely a nice way to send the seniors off,” said Blake Henning. “They’ve been really good to us underclassmen. It was a really nice way to end the season.”
The Lakers got off to a blazing start as Marshall Bailey, Chris Hintz, Henning and Eric Schock won the 200-yard medley relay in a time of 1 minute, 45.29 seconds.
The Lakers’ Will Parker placed second in the 200 freestyle in 1:52.53, then Henning, Schock, Hintz and Marshall captured the top four spots in the 200 individual medley. Henning won the event in 2:13.07.
Spring Lake also dominated the top spots in the 50 freestyle, with Keon Rick winning in 23.53 seconds, just edging out Allison, who touched the wall in 23.55.
The time was Allison’s personal record.
“I just knew that my team needed me to step up, even though we won by quite a bit, we needed the points,” Allison said. “I wanted to send it off with a bang.”
Sam Thornson took second in the diving competition with 356.05 points, while teammates Casey King, Anton Bredenbeck and Gavin Devries finished fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.
Blenning won the 100 butterfly in 56.06 seconds, with Alex Kuhn in second and Rick placing fourth.
Allison took second in the 100 freestyle in 52.01, while Parker was second and Sam Colvin third in the 500 freestyle.
The Lakers’ Keon Rick, Noah Rick, Schock and Allison finished second in the 200 free relay with a time of 1:34.93.
Bailey captured the top spot in the 100 backstroke with a strong effort of 59.77 seconds, while Hintz won the 100 breaststroke in 1:05.16. Fellow Lakers Frank Reeg, Mitchell Galloway, Schock, Noah Rick finished second through fifth in the 100 breaststroke, respectively.
Parker, Henning, Allison and Keon Rick finished off the meet with a second-place result in the 400 freestyle with a time of 3:29.27.
“It was a full team effort,” said coach Jason Lintjer after the victory. “We only had two kids in the consolation heats, and then everyone else was in the top eight. That was huge for us. We scored a ton of points — especially in breaststroke.”
Lintjer was one of the many Lakers who joined the swimmers in the pool to celebrate winning the Lakes Eight.
“It’s a tradition we have when we win conference,” Allison said. “We usually grab some of the girls that are here and chuck them, and chuck the coaches in — bring them back to the glory days when they used to swim too.”
The Lakers now turn their attention to the Division 3 state meet, which will take place at the Holland Aquatics Center on March 7-8.