12/5/2017 7:26:00 AM T-Bird swimmers surge past Shawano late
Photos by Nick Sabato/Lakeland Times
Jack Garcia swims to victory in the 500-yard freestyle during a 98-71 win over Shawano in a Great Northern Conference dual meet on Thursday, Nov. 30, at Lakeland Union High School.
Jack Metzger competes in the 100-yard backstroke for Lakeland during a 98-71 win over Shawano.
There is no rest for the weary in the early portion of the season for Lakeland Union High School's boys' swim team.
Following the first dual meet of the season last Tuesday, the Thunderbirds were right back in the pool with just one day of rest to host Shawano Thursday evening in a Great Northern Conference dual meet.
Some of the times reflected the tiredness of the team, but Lakeland was still able to pull away late in the meet for a 98-71 win.
"I'm not necessarily sure that I like the Tuesday-Thursday meet lineup. It's kind of hard," LUHS head coach Chris Garcia said. "A lot of our guys could use the extra practice, but they did good. It did seem like we were swimming tired at the end."
Scott Bresnahan placed second in the 200-yard freestyle as Lakeland mixed up its lineup a bit and he dropped nearly five seconds from his time in the event a year ago.
In mixing up the lineup, the T-Birds moved Jack Garcia away from one of his top events - the 200 freestyle - while Grant Gibson did not swim the 50 freestyle.
Instead, some different swimmers got a chance in those events, while swimmers like Garcia and Gibson tried some other events.
"I put Tyler Teichmiller and Alex Tucker in the 200 individual medley, so I knew we were going to get some good points out of that one even though we weren't maybe going to win the 200 free," coach Garcia said. "You just never know where they're going to put their guys, but I knew our second half of our meet is usually our strongest. I wasn't worried. I was just really happy with the times the guys came up with."
Teichmiller and Tucker finished in the top two spots in the 200 IM, while Garcia and Gibson were still both quadruple winners.
Garcia won the 100 butterfly with a time of 57.26 before taking the 500 freestyle by more than 33 seconds. He was also part of the 200 individual medley and 400 freestyle relay teams that took first place.
Gibson won the 100 freestyle and also took the 100 breaststroke by more than seven seconds, while being a part of the 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams.
"Both Jack and Grant have been doing doubles pretty much five days a week," Garcia said. "They're tired so I've been letting them swim off-events. Going forward, though, I will make sure they're in at least one of their prime individual events every meet so they get practice racing that race. I just like to put them in different things. If you're swimming the same events every meet it gets a little boring."
Brandon Boh was part of the 200 IM and 200 freestyle relay teams, while also placing second in the 50 freestyle and 100 backstroke, an event that racked up a wealth of points as Bresnahan took third and Jack Metzger was fourth.
Liam Hogan finished second in the 100 breaststroke, third in the 50 freestyle and was also on the 200 individual medley and 200 freestyle relays.
While Garcia would like to see her more experienced swimmers get more practice time during the week, she does think it's good for young swimmers to gain experience by racing.
"I'm good with those guys racing a little bit because they do need some practice racing," Garcia said. "Like our JV guys, it was good for Travis Cisney, Trent Mayo - they did well. It was good for them."
Lakeland (2-0) gets some much needed rest now and won't race again until Thursday, when it travels to Medford.
Should the T-Birds win, it would be the 20th consecutive conference dual meet victory.
Nick Sabato may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @SabatoNick.