Grand Haven Tribune: Spring Lake boys swim team hits record pace at home invitational
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Spring Lake boys swim team hits record pace at home invitational

Duncan MacLean • Jan 7, 2019 at 12:30 AM

SPRING LAKE TWP. — The Spring Lake boys swim and dive team made the most of their home invitational Saturday, as they hosted former Coastal Conference rivals for a day of inspired swims.

The Lakers' big three continued to dominate, as Cam Peel, K.J. Losee and Joey Wachter won every event they took on, claiming 10 meet, pool or varsity records on the way to a first-place team finish with 510.5 points.

Northview took second at 414, ahead of Ludington with 408.5, Manistee at 272, Fremont at 216.5 and Muskegon Mona Shores – Reeths-Puffer at 138.5.

"It feels really good, it's always nice to win your home invitational," said Spring Lake head coach Rob Peel. "For a number of our guys, it was the last one at home, and it's fun for us because it is against our old conference.

"We only have a few home meets left, so it will be tough to put the guys together for good shots at records here, so they were really excited to try and break some today."

The most impressive swim came in the 200-yard freestyle relay, as Losee, Sam Sella, Peel and Wachter claimed an in-season varsity record, along with the Spring Lake Aquatic Center and Spring Lake Invitational record, clocking in at 1 minute, 28.17 seconds. The swim bested the previous varsity mark of 1:28.55 set in 2016 by Peel, Keon Rick, Jacob Weesies and Grant Stille.

"To set a 200 free relay varsity record in early January, that is unheard of," Peel said. "That is crazy. That makes it pretty exciting for what they are projected to do at the end of the year."

The trio joined up with senior Eric Geschiere in the final event of the day gunning for the 400 freestyle relay pool record of 3:15.69. Quick splits across the board, with a gutsy 47.33 anchor leg by Losee, added up to a 3:14.71, securing the pool and meet records.

"I was really nervous because those three boys are very good at swimming but once we got back there, I thought, ‘Hey, I just have to go for it,'" Geschiere said of the record swim. "I saw we got it by less than a second, I was so excited. It will probably be broken next year but it is still really exciting. I mean, I'm on the record board."

Peel also claimed records in both his individual events. The junior sprinter bested his own pool record and the Spring Lake Invite record with a 1:43.44 run through the 200 freestyle, as well as the meet record in the 100 butterfly with a time of 52.58.

Losee and Wachter each claimed one individual record. Losee took the Spring Lake Invite record in the 200 individual medley, clocking in at 1:58.35, while Wachter took down the meet record in the 50 freestyle, finishing in 21.97.

All the record-setting swims easily secured first-place finishes for the Lakers.

As is usually the case for Spring Lake, their all-stars up top did their jobs, but it was the depth points that ensured the overall victory, as a number of Lakers stepped up to the plate and slid into a scoring position. The invitational scoring, where the top-16 finishers earn points rather than top five, benefitted the hosts.

"Meets like this don't come down to your best swimmers because you count on those guys to win," Peel said. "These come down to guys moving up into the top eight or 16 to score, so we made that a big point of emphasis for guys to try and move up from their seed positions and a number of them did.

"These meets are fun because guys who don't necessarily make that same impact at a dual meet contribute to the win because there are 16 spots to score."

It wasn't just the swimmers who picked up solid depth points for the Lakers. The Spring Lake divers placed three in the top 10 finishers with six scoring points.

Johnny Meulenbelt led the way with a runner-up finish, turning in a season-best score of 320.95 points. Wit Miller followed in fifth with 269.15, ahead of James Handrich in ninth at 231.35. Mason Pomeroy and Adam Polmanter finished 12th and 13th overall with scores of 176.3 and 148.1, respectively, while Alex Reichel rounded out the diving team with a 15th-place finish at 104.64.

The divers even got a shot between the lane lines, as they teamed up for a go at the 200 freestyle relay, defeating the Manistee diver relay with a time of 2:09.73.

The quick swims from top to bottom are encouraging for Peel, who was impressed with his teams' performance in the face of a heavy workload in recent weeks.

"I was super impressed. The guys have been working really hard, nobody is rested at all," he said. "We did a (lactic acid) set on Thursday and even our best swimmers were really slow. So, my expectations weren't really high. It is so fun to see guys that only started swimming in November start to get in shape. They have survived the tough stuff; now it gets fun.

"The swims today prove we are on the right track to peak at the conference and state meets like we always try to do."

With the countdown to the postseason underway and just a few home meets to go, the last few weeks of the season will be exciting for the Lakers. They return to action for a road clash with state-title contender East Grand Rapids on Tuesday.

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