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Bucs crack finals at Division 1 state championships

Duncan MacLean • Mar 8, 2019 at 5:05 PM

Grand Haven entered the Division 1 state meet at Holland Community Aquatic Center with hopes of dropping significant time and earning a lane in today’s finals.

They succeeded nearly across the board.

All but one of the Bucs’ swims were quick enough to make it back to finals.

The 200-yard freestyle relay team of Mark Wilgenburg (22.24), Jackson Hamm (21.97), Michael MacDonald (21.64) and Eli Vandenbrand (21.52) led the way with an “A”-final performance, qualifying seventh with a time of 1:27.37.

The fun started early for the Bucs as the 200 medley relay team of Carter Brown (24.76), Hamm (27.39), Wilgenburg (23.61) and MacDonald (21.38) dropped three seconds off their seed time in the first event of the session to take 10th overall in 1:37.14.

Vandenbrand followed the medley up with another three-second drop in the 200 freestyle, clocking in at 1:43.75 and 14th place. Later, he would make it 2-for-2 individually with a 15th-place effort in the 100 freestyle at 47.83.

Wilgenburg cut it close in the 50 freestyle, sneaking into finals with a 16th-place finish at 21.87.

Grand Haven finished the session well, as the 400 freestyle relay team of Ethan Ball (50.91), Wilgenburg (48.80), MacDonald (48.02) and Vandenbrand (47.45) qualified 14th with a time of 3:15.18.

Carter Brown competed in the 100 backstroke, fighting through illness. The junior just missed out on qualifying, finishing 19th overall at 54.08.

Both the Division 1 and 3 meets will continue Saturday at noon with the top 16 finishers from the preliminary sessions repeating their swims for points. Follow @DMacLeanGHT for live updates all afternoon.

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