Merrill swimmers take on USA state tournament
By Jared Schmeltzer
On Feb. 22-24 two Merrill 12u swimmers competed at the USA state swim tournament. Savannah Orzech and Olivia Pajtash eached qualified and swam in multiple events.
To qualify for the tournament all swimmers must meet a time standard set by age and only about 100 swimmers will qualifiy for each event.
Orzech is from Merrill, however swims for the WYNS program out of Weston for USA events. Orzech would place eighth in the 50m freestyle, 12 in 100m freestyle, eighth in the 200m freestyle, third in the 500m freestyle and 32 in the 50m breaststroke. Pajtash, swimming for the Aqua Jays and NLAC in Merrill placed 68 in the 50m freestyle, 63 in the 100m freestyle, 32 in the 200m freestyle, 18 in the 500m freestyle, 64 in the 50m breaststroke and 55 in the 100m breaststroke.
The weekend of Feb. 27- March 3 was the 13 and older USA state tournament, where Merrill had four swimmers participate including Amber Winter, Claire Schultz, Bailey Orzech and Grace Schultz.
PRMS 8th grader Amber Winter had a nice day placing 36 in the 50m freestyle, 16 in the 100m breaststroke, 23 in the 200m breaststroke, 33 in the 100m IM and 32 in the 200m IM. MHS freshman Claire Schultz, competing for the WYNS club, placed second in the 50m freestyle, 13 in the 100m freestyle, 14 in the 200m freestyle, eighth in the 100m fly, eighth in the 100m IM and 10 in the 200m IM. MHS freshman Bailey Orzech swam for the WYNS club and placed 99 in the 100m backstroke, 62 in the 100m breaststroke and 44 in the 200m breaststroke. Grace Schultz would end her day with finishes of fifth in the 50y freestyle, sixth in the 200y freestyle, seventh in the 100y freestyle,fourth in the 200y backstroke and sixth on the 400y IM.
Merrill High School swim coach Kristie Winter said, “All of the girls showed great sportsmanship and improvement over the winter season and many had multiple personal best swims at their state meet. It is very exciting to see Merrill qualify for and perform on such a large stage.”