Bluejay swimmers show up strong versus valley foes
The Merrill High School Swim Team kicked off their 2020 versus D.C Everest on Saturday, Sept. 26 at their home pool at Prairie River Middle School; falling short of a season opener win 49-119. Despite being outnumbered 4-1 by the ‘greens, the Bluejay girls showed up with strong, making their presence known in several events.
“The team is down to only 8 varsity swimmers due to Covid situations and quarantine did not have enough members to fill a roster,” comments head coach Kristie Winter..
Strong performances were seen by senior Captain Erin Kanitz taking 1st place in the 500 free with a time of 5:38.51 setting her in 1st place over all in the Wisconsin Valley Conference in the event so far this season.
2nd place finishes were achieved by junior Captain Emma Pajtash in the 50 Free and sophomore Amber Winter in the 100Fly in a personal best time. The 3 also joined by junior Captain Laney Zuelsdorff for a 1st place finish in the 400 Free relay.
“The girls have been working very hard and are just so happy to be able to compete,” Winter adds.
“We posted many personal best swims and were very proud of our performance under the circumstances.”
home versus Wausau-West-Tuesday, Sept.29.
The ladies resumed competition on Tuesday, facing off against Wausau-West. Still outnumbered, the Jays waged another strong fight and narrowing the margin; falling short 72-93.
Merrill took 1st place in 6 of the 11 events Kanitz won the 200 Free and 100 Back, Winter took the 200IM and 100 Breast. Then the 200 Medley and 200 Free relays of Kanitz, Winter, Zuelsdorff and Pajtash also finished 1st.
“In addition to the top spots we had multiple second place finishes,” Winter adds. “Pajtash took 2nd in the 50 free. Caitlyn Pehlke was just out touched for 2nd in the 100 Fly and Zuelsdorff pulled out a second place finish in the 100 Free. Junior Tanaya Pillai battled for a second place finish in the 500 free. The energy at the West meet was great the girls really pushed themselves. We had some really fun races to watch.”
The swim team travels to Wausau East on Thursday and the Hosts Marshfield on Tuesday.