Merrill swimmers close but no cigar in Medford dual

The Bluejay swimmers were edged out of several events and it contributed to a 112-57 loss at Medford on Thursday.

“We had quite the dual match up against Medford,” MHS coach Bethany Preboske said. “Before the meet started I told the girls that I wanted each one of them to out-swim everyone else in the pool and not to leave anything behind for the opponents.

“This was a struggle today; most of our finishes were close and the result wasn’t for us. We know that will give us a challenge throughout the season and we need to focus some time in practice on it before we get into the swing of the season.”

The Bluejays did place 1st and 3rd in the 50 free behind Courtney Kolehouse’s :27.46 and Jourdyn Mootz’ :29.69 PR.

The Jays also won the final event, the 400 free relay, in 4:30.06.

“We had a very exciting race at the end of the night that brought everyone to their feet,” Preboske said. “The 400 free relay stepped up to the challenge. Elise Ordemann and Emma Sowieja led the team off to a great start, both earning their personal best for the 100 split. Megan Koelsch held the team close and left the rest to Courtney Kolehouse to finish the race.”

Sowieja added, “All I can remember is watching Courtney catch up. She pushed herself harder and just touched the girl out. It was a victory fought hard for and I was so proud of our team.”

Merrill earned several runner-up finishes, from: Sowieja (200 free, 2:34.12); Robin Opsahl (100 fly, 1:23.29); Tori Engel (500 free, 7:04.23); the 200 medley (Mackenzie Baacke, Sowieja, Ordemann, Kolehouse, 2:14.79); and the 200 free (Sowieja, Ordemann, Koelsch, Kolehouse, 1:58.83).

Ranking third were: Baacke (100 back, 1:19.92); Mootz (100 brea, 1:31.13) and the 200 free (Megan Johnson, Baacke, Taylor LaBorde, Opsahl, 2:06.17).

“Many fantastic moments took place in Medford,” Preboske said. “Once again, the new swimmers (LaBorde, Olivia Wilmink, Jennica Jahnke) were in the spot light.”

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