Merrill swimmers take on State meet
The Bluejay swim team sent five athletes to the WIAA Division 2 State meet on Friday, Nov. 15. While the Jays may not have finished in first place for any of their races, the swimmers gave it their all and represented Merrill with pride.
In the 200 medley relay, Merrill’s team of Camryn Schulz, Amber Winter, Evelyn Blennert and Trinity Kanitz took 12th place overall, with a swim time of 1:52.06. Merrill’s 200 freestyle relay team swam a time of 1:41.87, good enough for 14th place. Swimming the 200 freestyle relay for the Jays include Erin Kanitz, Trinity Kanitz, Blennert and Winter.
In the individual events Blennert led things off for the Jays with the 200 freestyle, where she had a very nice showing with a sixth place finish, swimming a time of 1:56.42. Blennert would then swim in the 100 freestyle, taking eighth place with a swim of 53.50. Trinity Kanitz swam in the 500 freestyle for the Jays, finishing with a time of 5:21.51, good enough for ninth place. The 100 breaststroke saw Winter swim a time of 1:10.06, earning herself a 14th place finish.
“I am so proud of our team and how they performed this year,” said Merrill head coach Kristie Winter. “All of the swimmers held their times very close to where they qualified. Having season best times at sectionals and then staying at or near those times for state is a great accomplishment. Our freshmen gained experience performing on such a large stage and handled the pressure well. I am excited to see what next season will bring. We are only losing our one senior, Trinity Kanitz from the group.”
Rewriting the “school books” at WIAA Sectional meet
On Saturday, Nov. 9, the Merrill swim team traveled to Wisconsin Rapids for the WIAA Division 2 Sectional meet. The Jays faced off with some of the top schools in the area and would break four Merril High School records, while qaulifying for the WIAA Division 2 State meet in six events.
Merrill’s 200 medley relay team consisting of Camryn Schulz, Amber Winter, Evi Blennert and Trinity Kanitz took second place in the event, swimming a time of 1:51.49, breaking the MHS record.
“This medley relay team has broken the school record multiple times over the course of this season,” said Merrill head coach Kristie Winter. “Now, having cut off nearly 10 seconds since the start of the season, they are seeded seventh at state and continue to improve.”
Erin Kanitz, Winter, Trinity Kanitz and Blennert also swam in the 200 freestyle relay where took third place, good enough to qualify for state. A swim of 1:41.09 was just fast enough to beat out Rhinelander for the third spot.
“The 200 free relay heads into state seeded sixth and continues to cut time,” added Winter. “It will be fun to see where they land on Friday.”
Individual qalifiers for the Jays include Amber Winter, Tinity Kanitz and Evelyn Blennert. MHS sneior Trinity Kanitz will be headed to the state meet for her third time out of her four years. Kanitz will be racing in the 500 freestyle, where she placed second in the sectional meet.
“Trinity heads to state for her third time, seeded 10th in the 500 free.” explained coach Winter. “She has challenged herself to break the school record she set last year and just missed at conference by less then a second. She will be a great leader with her experience the state meet which can be a little nerve wracking your 1st year.”
Blennert broke two MHS records on Saturday, while qualifying herself for the 100 freestyle and 200 freestyle. Blennert’s times of 1:55.84 (200 freestyle) and 53.07 (100 freestyle) where good enough to take second place and break the MHS record for both events.
“Evi goes into the state meet seeded 6th in both of her events,” said coach Winter. “Also a new freshman, she has been a great addition to the team. She choose to swim some of the most highly contested events for her chance at state. There are some really fast girls she will be competing against.”
Another Merrill freshman, Amber Winter will look to turn heads at the State meet, as she qualified for two events; 100 breaststroke and 200 IM. At the sectional meet Winter took first place in the 100 breaststroke, while breaking the MHS record with a swim of 1:08.89. Winter also took third place in the 200 IM, with a swim of 2:18.52.
“Amber goes into the state meet seeded ninth in the 100 breast,” added coach Winter. “She is excited to qualify as a freshman and represent MHS at this historic meet.”