Winter, Kanitz turn out big finishes at state swim meet
The MHS Swimmers had an exciting end of season performance at the state meet on Friday, Nov. 6 in Waukesha. The Bluejays had qualified for the WIAA DII state meet in 4 events at least week’s WIAA Sectional meet. The first Merrill swimmer in the water was Amber Winter in the 200y individual medley. She came out strong setting the tone for the competition, breaking the school record by over a second and a half in the event. Winter would hold her seed and finish in 8th place over all. Next up was Erin Kanitz in the 500y freestyle. Erin went into the event seeded in 14th place. She took the distance event out fast and never held back, cutting just over 11 seconds from her seed time in a new personal best swim.
Kanitz moved up 8 spots to take 6th place overall in the event and gave Merrill their trip up to the podium for the evening.
“ ’m so proud of Erin’s determination and work ethic,” commented head coach Kristie Winter.
“Erin set a goal and battled thru this difficult season to achieve it. It was a great swim to watch and an amazing way to end her high school swim career.”
After a short break, the MHS 200y Free relay was on the block. Led off by Kanitz, the team of Laney Zuelsdorff, Emma Pajtash and Winter swam a season best time with each swimmer having a personal best swim. The team finished in 16th place. In Merrill’s last event of the night Winter would break her own school record from last season and finish in 3rd place, missing the 2nd place spot by .01, giving her a trip to the podium as well.
“Amber went into the race seeded 3rd but was a full 2 seconds behind the 2nd place seed, she had a great start and closed the gap, it was neck and neck the entire race and very exciting to watch”, added Coach Winter. The team finished in 19th place overall at the meet, up a spot from lasts year’s 20th place finish.