Merrill Girls Varsity Swim Team: A win, a loss, and a lot of fun

TINA L. SCOTT
EDITOR

On Oct. 11, the Merrill Bluejay Girls mixed it up with the two ladies on the Lakeland Thunderbirds team to create two new teams for their non-conference competition. The new Blue Birds wore the blue caps, and the new Thunder Jays wore the silver caps. All the girls had a lot of fun competing!

The Merrill High School Girls Varsity Swim Team traveled to Wisconsin Rapids on Oct. 6, 2022. “We had some great times with too many best swims to count,” said Kristie Winter, Head Coach for the Merrill Girls Varsity Swim Team. “Rapids has a fast pool. We took advantage and swam some of our best events to see how we were progressing. The girls accepted the challenge, and we really swam great.”
In fact, the Merrill Girls took first place in all of the events:
Event 2. 200 Yard Medley Relay. Addison Jirovec, Amber Winter, Bailee Sommer, and Claire Jirovec came in with a time of 2:05.47.
Event 4, 200 Yard Freestyle. Olivia Pajtash came in at 2:12.18
Event 6. 200 Yard IM. Amber Winter came in at 2:22.01.
Event 8, 50 Yard Freestyle. Bailee Sommer came in at 26.97.
Event 10, 100 Yard Butterfly. Addison Jirovec came in at 1:08.88.
Event 12. 100 Yard Freestyle. Bailee Sommer came in at 1:00.58.
Event 14. 500 Yard Freestyle. Olivia Pajtash came in at 5:46.83.
Event 16, 200 Yard Freestyle Relay. Megan Miles, Caitlynn Pehlke, Claire Jirovec, and Olivia Pajtash came in at 1:57.93.
Event 18, 100 Yard Backstroke. Megan Miles came in at 1:10.22
Event 20, 100 Yard Breaststroke. Amber Winter came in at 1:13.65.
Event 22, 400 Yard Freestyle Relay. Bailee Sommer, Addison Jirovec, Olivia Pajtash, and Amber Winter came in at 4:11.57.
Box Score:
Merrill 112 @ Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln 58

The Girls went to Lakeland on Oct. 11. “The Lakeland team only has two swimmers, so we mixed it up for this non-conference meet,” Winter said. The teams decided to have a little fun. “Merrill is normally the Bluejays. Lakeland is normally the Thunderbirds. We merged the teams and then divided into two new teams: The Thunder Jays vs the Blue Birds, so we made two new teams with a mix of both teams.”
“The Blue Birds were victorious 86-73, but the girls again really stepped up to the basically inter-squad challenge and produced some great times,” she said.

On Oct. 13, DC Everest Girls came to compete in Merrill. “DCE is a very strong competitor in the Conference, only losing so far to Stevens Point,” Winter said. “We knew going in that a team win was not likely due to our small size, but again we had some significant time drops for many of our swimmers.”
True to their reputation, the DC Everest Girls took the win in the majority of the events, but Merrill didn’t make it easy, and they didn’t let them take all the events.
Merrill Girls took both first and second place in Event 6, the 200 Yard IM. Merrill’s Amber Winter came in first with a time of 2:20.13, and Merrill’s Megan Miles came in second with a time of 2:31.33.
Merrill’s Bailee Sommer came in second in Event 8, the 50 Yard Freestyle, with a time of 26.92, and Olivia Pajtash also took second for Merrill in Event 14, the 500 Yard Freestyle, with a time of 5:49.75.
Megan Miles came in first for Merrill in Event 18, the 100 Yard Backstroke, with a time of 1:07.63, and Merrill had another first-place finish in Event 20, the 100 Yard Breaststroke. Amber Winter was first in with a time of 1:11.22.
And the Lady Jays made their teamwork count when they came in first in Event 22, the 400 Yard Freestyle Relay. Bailee Sommer, Megan Miles, Olivia Pajtash, and Amber Winter swam their way to a first-place finish with a time of 4:09.26.
Box Score:
DC Everest 106 @ Merrill 64

“For all of these meets we were really looking at individual performance and execution of the Focus points of our races,” said Winter. “Team score was a secondary thought.”
“We have shown continuous improvement all season for our young team,” she said. “It’s so exciting to watch them improve. Our post season where we will drop down to Division 2 is looking very promising.”
Merrill hosts Marshfield for their last regular season meet on Thursday, Oct. 20, which will also be Parent and Senior Night.

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