Sometimes big results can come from small teams. That is exactly what the Lakeland girls swim team was trying to accomplish.
Lakeland attended the Wisconsin Rapids Raider Invite on Aug. 22, which consisted of 7 teams, mostly division one schools. Lakeland, division two, was the smallest team, but came out with some great swims.
Right out of the gate, Lakeland’s medley relay team consisting of Brie Wescott, Mariah Angove, Naomi Hamerla and Rylee Ahlborn took second with a time of 1:59.84.
It didn’t take long before freshman Wescott was back in the pool once again. She finished eighth in the 200 IM with a lifetime best time of 2:39.25.
The only win of the day came from Ahlborn in the 50 free with a time of 26.04, just .20 ahead of second place.
“Rylee had a great start and is an awesome finisher,” coach Chris Garcia explained.
Then, Hamerla took second in the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:04.98, three seconds out of first place.
“Naomi looked really strong through the first 75 and then lost some steam on the final 25 yards,” Garcia said. “I’m not too worried as this is just endurance and we’re just a little past the first week of practice.”
In the 100 yard freestyle, both Wescott and Angove finished 2nd and 3rd respectively.
“This was a really fun race to watch,” Garcia said. “These two pushed each other through the race and it paid off for both of them. I’m really happy with where their times are this early.”
A trio of swimmers swam the 500 free as Ahlborn took fourth, Hamerla sixth and Nina Starynski took 10th.
“This was a tough event as we just haven’t had that much time to work on endurance so I was proud of all these swimmers for taking on the long event,” Garcia said.
The 200 free relay team of Amanda Kosmen, Morgan Nowak, Starynski and Wescott had more good results as they finished in third.
“Our relay exchanges were pretty good for not a lot of practice,” Garcia said. “I was happy the way each swimmer really pushed their leg of the relay.”
Lacrosse Margitan and Nowak were within :01 of each other in the 100 breaststroke, finishing with times of 1:31.84 and 1:32.45 respectively.
The final event of the day was the 400 free relay with Kosmen, Hamerla, Angove and Ahlborn. They held on for a third place finish by 5/100ths of a second. Ahlborn beat Simley High School by a touch.
“Overall the performances were better than expected and we are looking forward to the season. Lots of work to get done but the outlook is positive,” Garcia said.
The Thunderbirds next meet comes Thursday, Aug. 29 in D.C. Everest starting at 5 p.m.
Brett LaBore may be reached at [email protected] or [email protected]