The Lakeland Swim Club traveled to Tomahawk this weekend for the Central Wisconsin Swim Conference (CWSC) Championship and came home with a first place trophy. The CWSC is made up of 13 teams coming from as far away as Eau Claire, east to Antigo, and up to Bayfield.
The weekend kicked off with a strong Saturday from the Lakeland swimmers.
Max Nowak, who had won the eight and under boys 100 free last weekend at the divisional meet, repeated his top performance, winning easily by eight seconds.
Mariah Angove was the top swimmer in the nine and 10 girls’ 200 free, swimming a 2:26.58 for a new conference and club record.
The eight and under (Leo Rotar, Max Nowak, Avery Tucker and Sule Osaya) and nine to 10 (Liam Hogan, Eric Walbruck, Liam Main and Sam Black) boys both won their medley relays.
The girls nine to 10 medley relay of Mariah Angove, Megan Haggart, Naomi Hamerla and Rylee Ahlborn took second by only six tenths of one second.
Osaya Sule (8) took third in the 25 yard free, and Troy Rice (8) and Kevin Schaars (7) both placed in the event and added points to the team total.
“At divisionals we had more disqualifications than I would have liked and at conference I knew the officials were going to be even tougher. I was really hoping that our swimmers would have smart races,” head coach Chris Garcia said. “The individual medley is an event where the possibility of having a DQ is greater for our younger swimmers. I am happy to say that all of our swimmers in this event made it through without any DQs.”
Liam Hogan (10) took second and Liam Main (10) took fifth. Brieleigh Wescott (9) came down to the meet just for this one event and ended up dropping a lot of time to end her season with a personal best.
The eight and under boys did outstanding in the 25 yard butterfly, placing first, third, fifth and eighth, meaning everyone scored points.
Naomi Hamerla (9) tied for fifth in a very tight heat of the 50 butterfly. All six in that heat made state qualifying times. This will be the first trip to state for Naomi and, as nine year old, is extremely impressive.
Sophie Fieck also swam the 50 fly and had a great time. Leo Rotar (8) came back from a difficult race last weekend to take third in the 50 free, with Osaya Sule fourth and Troy Rice seventh.
Liam Hogan (10) took first and made a state cut time in the 100 yard freestyle. This is Liam’s third state qualifying time, again a huge accomplishment for him.
Trein Benbenek (9), a first year swimmer, took eighth in this event and was part of two relays that placed second. Benbenek has dropped time all year, and did so again in this meet.
Lakeland put all three of its nine to 10 boys on the podium for the 100 backstroke, with Liam Hogan first, Eric Walbruck third and Trein Benbenek sixth. The nine to 10 girls were almost as successful, with Mariah Angove winning, Naomi Hamerla sixth, and LaCrosse Margitan (9) ninth, finishing with a personal best time.
Lakeland finished the day in third place behind Rice Lake and Rhinelander.
“We were where I thought we’d be after the younger age groups swimming,” Garcia said. “I thought we might have some difficulty on Sunday, but was really hoping for some good times and fun races.”
The girls’ open team of Missy Angove, Hailey Teichmiller, Aly Boh and Hanna Garcia took second to the Black River Falls medley relay team by one second.
The 11-12 boys’ medley relay of Brandon Boh, Tyler Teichmiller, Keegan McJoynt and Alex Tucker won their event by four seconds, and each swimmer had great times.
Jack Garcia (13) was a multiple event winner in the 200 free, 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke. Brandon Boh also took home first place medals in the 50 and 100 freestyle races.
Hailey Teichmiller had great swims in the 200 individual medley and the 200 free, winning both. Celeste Teichmiller had an outstanding day with personal bets in her races, including an exciting state qualifying time in the 50 fly.
All Lakeland’s 13-14 girls in the 200 individual medley scored points, with Asha Jain taking second, Kennedy Richards taking fourth and Alex Gallegos close behind in fifth. Kiona Poupart (13) had a great race in the 100 butterfly, fighting hard the last 25 yards to take over second place.
“Kiona is a competitor,” Garcia said. “I could tell she really wanted to finish hard.”
Megan Ross (11) had a great 200 individual medley, dropping 10 seconds.
“Megan was so excited to swim and it showed,” Garcia said. “Her enthusiasm is very contagious.”
Another fun race was in the 13-14 100 backstroke, with Asha Jain and Alex Gallegos going 1-2, with only four tenths of one second between them.
Hanna Garcia (15) had a very confident 500 free and won the event by over 20 seconds. Her sister, Georgia (13) was in the last event of the day, the 1000 free.
“Georgia took first swimming against 15-year-olds and even beating all the boys in this event,” Garcia said. “She is fun to watch, never gives up and always tries her hardest.”
It was also a good day for the Teichmiller family, as Tyler (11) followed in his sister and cousin’s footsteps by winning his event, the 100 breaststroke.
Kristin Schaars (11) took third in the girls’ 100 breaststroke, and Grant Gibson (14) also scored points for Lakeland, taking fourth in the boys 100 breast.
“I really wasn’t paying attention to the point total thinking that I was happy with the way most of our swims were going,” Garcia said. “About half way through the meet, one of our parents pointed out that we were catching up and then a little bit later, pointed out that we were ahead! From then on, I started paying attention a little closer.”
Garcia said despite the deficit at the beginning of the day, Lakeland had climbed back to take a commanding lead.
“By the time the last relays were coming up we had the meet pretty much wrapped up,” Garcia said. “Everyone on the team scored at least some points for Lakeland which meant that it was truly a team effort. I especially want to thank the parents and/or grandparents that brought swimmers to the meet that maybe only had one or two events.”
Lakeland ended the meet with 1,646.5 points, Rhinelander took second with 1,537.5 and Rice Lake finished third with 1,403.
Lakeland’s regular season has come to an end, but 28 swimmers will move on to participate in the USA Swimming regional meet. Lakeland also has six state qualifiers.