Merrill Girls Swim Team dives into their season
TINA L. SCOTT
The Merrill High School Girls Swim Team dove into their season with three meets in just five days.
First, Merrill hosted the Annual “Fun in the Sun Outdoor Relay Meet” at the Bierman Family Aquatic Center by the Merrill Area Recreation Complex (MARC) on Thursday, Aug. 19. Nearly 200 swimmers competed, making up 11 teams from within Wisconsin’s northwoods. This meet is “designed to be fun and get teams an opportunity to get kids racing and see where they may fit on the team for the year,” said Girls Swim Team Coach Kristie Winter
The Merrill Bluejay Girls 200-yard Medley Relay team of Grace Schultz, Amber Winter, Claire Schultz, and Laney Zuelsdorff started the meet off strong with a 1st place finish, Winter said.
“Then in event four, the 4 by 100-Yard IM, Bailey Orzech joined Winter and the Schultz sisters to dominate another 1st place finish,” she said. “Finally, in event eight, the 4 by 50-Yard Breast Stroke Relay, Winter and Orzech joined Emma Pajtash and Olivia Pajtash to bring home third place.”
As a team, Merrill finished in fourth place, after Rhinelander, SPASH, and Rice Lake.
“We had a lot of great swims, especially from our Freshmen during the meet,” Winter said. “I think the girls really enjoyed getting back to racing.”
Next the Lady Jays traveled to Marshfield to compete in the Annual Chase the Tiger Invite on Tuesday, Aug. 24.
“This time the team brought home a first place finish overall, with Medford and Marshfield battling behind them,” Winter said. Top finishers were Claire Schultz with a first place in both the 50 Free and 100 Free; Grace Schultz with the top spot in both the 50 Fly and 50 Back; and Winter taking the first place finish in the 50 Breast and second place in the 100 IM.
The 200-Yard Medley Relay team of Grace Schultz, Amber Winter, Claire Schultz, and Bailee Sommer came in at second place, and then the same girls came back to win the 200 Free Relay. The group of Laney Zuelsdorff, Ahna Wilde, Bailey Orzech, and Olivia Pajtash also finished in the top spot in the 100 Free Relay, Winter said.
Most recently, the Merrill Girls attended a Grade Level Pentathlon in Colby on Wednesday, Aug. 25.
“Each swimmer completed the 50 Fly, 50 Back, 50 Breast, 50 Free, and 100 IM,” Coach said. Top finishers, by class, were: Seniors Grace Schultz in second place and Claire Schultz in fourth place; Juniors Amber Winter in first place and Megan Miles in fourth place; and Freshmen Olivia Pajtash in third place and Ahna Wilde in fourth place.
The team has their first dual meet on Tuesday, Aug. 31, at Medford.