The Bucs defended home surf with a 105-81 victory, despite the Lakers plundering gold in nine of 12 events.
The meet kicked off with Spring Lake’s 200-yard medley relay team of Joey Wachter, Will Brown, K.J. Losee and Cam Peel ripping off a two-second victory with a time of 1:39.18, ahead of Grand Haven’s Carter Brown, Jackson Hamm, Mason Fritz and Mark Wilgenburg in 1:41.40. The Bucs took the event’s point share, however, with their B-relay team of Ethan Ball, Thomas MacDonald, Griffin Kelly and Zach Deur finishing third in 1:47.25.
That would establish a theme for the meet. In the ensuing 200 freestyle, Wachter shot out to first place in a time of 1:49.69, while Matt Fahey (1:53.75), Michael MacDonald (1:54.10) and Ethan Ball (2:00.03) took second through fourth place for Grand Haven.
Grant Ruster picked up the Bucs’ first win of the day in the 200 individual medley with a final time of 1:57.51, while the Lakers took the depth points with Losee in second (2:03.81), Drew Fogel in third (2:03.81) and Will Brown in fifth (2:14.72). Fritz took fourth (2:09.03) for Grand Haven.
In the splash-and-dash 50 freestyle, Peel took a resounding victory in 21.33, ahead of Grand Haven’s Jordan DeVries at 22.33. Eli Vandenbrand (22.82) and Wilgenburg (23.23) took third and fourth for Grand Haven.
Spring Lake’s Noah Locascio secured a regional-qualifying spot with his fourth dual-meet victory in 1-meter diving, finishing first by a wide margin with 243.95 points. Grand Haven’s Louis Malott took second at 198.95, ahead of teammate Carter Jones-Hirr in third at 159.20.
The status-quo continued in the 100 butterfly as Fogel took first for the Lakers in 54.84, ahead of Fritz in second (55.06), Kelly in third (58.62) and Hamm in fourth (1:01.72).
The sprinters battled again in the 100 freestyle, coming up with the same results as Peel took first in 46.78, ahead of DeVries in second at 49.15, Vandenbrand third (50.34) and Wilgenburg fourth (52.75).
Losee took yet another Spring Lake win in the 500 freestyle in 4:54.84, while Fahey (5:11.94), Michael MacDonald (5:16.79) and Brigham Thornock (5:28.57) bested the Lakers’ Collin Schock (5:42.01) for the remaining distance points.
Grand Haven threw the knockout punch with a 1-2 finish in the 200 freestyle relay as the A-team of Ruster, Wilgenburg, Vandenbrand and DeVries took first in 1:30.98, and Hamm, Kelly, Michael MacDonald and Fahey took second. Fogel, Brown, Sam Sella and Garrett Henning took third for the Lakers in 1:35.23.
Wachter took a victory in the 100 backstroke with a time of 56.68, ahead of Grand Haven’s Brown (58.22), Ball (59.10) and Aiden Latchaw (1:02.08).
Ruster rounded out the individual events cruising to a six-second Grand Haven victory, winning the 100 breaststroke in 1:02.90, ahead of Spring Lake’s Brown at 1:08.46, with Hamm (1:08.66) and Thomas MacDonald (1:09.68) finishing third and fourth.
Spring Lake got the last laugh with a victory in the 400 freestyle relay, as Losee, Fogel, Wachter and Peel came in at 3:17.50, ahead of Vandenbrand, Fritz, DeVries and Ruster at 3:25.53.
The meet put the Lakers’ star-power and the Bucs’ deep talent on display, proving both programs have bright seasons ahead of them. Spring Lake returns to the pool on Tuesday to take on East Grand Rapids, while Grand Haven travels to Rockford on Thursday.