Bob Dylan once sang, “the times they are a changing.” At the SEC Red Division boys’ swimming and diving league meet, the tune was more like, “the times they are a dropping” or “the records they are a falling.”
The SEC Red Division has long been one of the top swimming and diving conferences in the state and 2021 was no exception. In fact, the time drops for the Big Four – Pioneer, Saline, Skyline and Huron – at Saturday’s league meet in Saline were quite stunning.
In the individual events, many swimmers posted their best times of the season with a pool full of Division 1 state-cut times. Also, every local relay team swam best times with the top four in each race recording D-1 times. And several pool, varsity and SEC records were broken along the way – we will get to all of that as we swim along through the results.
When the water had finally settled, the team results ended up where most people figured they would. Pioneer swam away with first-place honors after racking up an impressive 670 points. Saline was second (436 points) and just out-touched a fast Skyline team (426.5) as the Eagles landed third. Huron was fourth (247.5), Temperance Bedford took fifth (230), Monroe was sixth (111) and Ypsilanti seventh.
It didn’t take long to set the tone (or tune) in this meet. Saline busted out of the gate by breaking the pool and SEC record in the 200-yard medley relay. The team of Matthew Adanin, Josh Brunty, Cooper Osgood and Ethan Saunders took first with their record-breaking time of 1 minute, 32.70 seconds.
Pioneer’s team of Jack Wilkening, Anthony Gibbons, Robert Yang and Alex Farmer was a close second in 1:34.54. Skyline’s team of Ben Deininger, Daniel Osterholzer, Lucas Caswell and Matthew Lee was a close third in 1:35.92. Huron’s team of John Gao, Daniel Huang, Thomas Zoldowski and Ian Metter was fifth in 1:45.29.
Here is an example of how fast this meet was on Saturday. The top 10 finishers in the 200 freestyle recorded Division 1 state cut times – now that’s flying. Pioneer’s Ryan Hume began his big day by taking first in the 200 free with a time of 1:40.58. Teammates Teodor Jaworski (third, 1:44.34), Harrison Sanders (fourth, 1:44.35), Cameron Williston (fifth, 1:44.55) and Alec Lipham (sixth, 1:45.08) helped the Pioneers grab five of the top six spots – amazing.
Skyline’s Evan McKelvey was seventh (1:45.25) and Huron’s Drew Lindstrom was eighth (1:47.17). Skyline’s Daniel Koselka took 10th with a D-1 state-cut time of 1:47.43.
In the third event of the day, another record went by the pool side as Pioneer senior Matthew Segal went 1:50.19 in the 200 IM to break the Saline pool record and obviously finish first.
Skyline’s Ben Kurniawan had a fantastic day on Saturday for the Eagles. The junior took second to Segal in the 200 IM with a D-1 state time of 1:55.63 – just out-touching Bedford’s Thomas Zoldowski (1:55.92).
Ann Arbor schools dominated the rest of the top spots with Pioneer’s Caleb Rice (fourth, 1:57.16), Skyline freshman Caswell (fifth, 1:58.99), Pioneer’s Samuel Fonte (sixth, 1:59.13) and Huron’s Eli Atkinson (seventh, 2:02.16). All were D-1 state-cut times.
Pioneer landed two in the top three in the 50 free with Farmer second (21.95 seconds) and Wilkening third (22.06). Skyline’s Matthew Lee had a strong showing with his fourth-place finish (22.11) and Yang was sixth (22.19) for the Pioneer.
The Pioneers also dominated the diving. Senior Cole Tremewan continued his perfect season by taking first with 538.85 points. Skyline senior Jason Heisler was second with 444.45 points followed by Pioneer freshman Gabriel Mercier (third, 366.70) and Pioneer junior Max Rolla-Mullis (fourth, 333.75).
Kurniawan returned to the winner’s circle in the 100 butterfly for his second first-place finish of the day. The Skyline speedster went 50.86 to win a very fast race with seven D-1 state-cut times. Yang was second (51.29) and Lee took fifth (53.09). Pioneer’s Justin Su was sixth (53.78) and teammate Gabriel Almeida was seventh (53.98). Huron’s Drew Lindstrom was ninth (54.58) and teammate AJ Stewart was 10th (54.62).
Skyline’s McKelvey, a junior, was second in the 100 free in 47.47. Pioneer took the next three spots with Farmer (47.54), Labadie (48.55) and Sanders (48.61). Koselka was sixth (48.62) for Skyline and Huron’s Atkinson was eighth (49.27). For those keeping score, all were D-1 state-cut times.
Remember Hume’s big day? Well, the Pioneer junior not only won the 200 free but he broke the SEC record with a first-place time of 4:37.74 in the 500 free. It was a huge event for the Pioneers, who took the top five places with Williston second (4:43.01), Jaworski third (4:46.35), Lipham fourth (4:51.47) and freshman Jensen Wood fifth (4:52.06) – all D-1 times. Skyline freshman Andrew Xi was eighth (5:03.91).
The 200 freestyle relay was a pretty amazing event for a pool full of reasons. Let’s splash in …
Saline went 1:25.31 to win the 200 free relay but it came down to a finger nail and a pool and SEC record for the Hornets. The Pioneer team of Segal, Wilkening, Hume and Farmer finished second in 1:25.34 – it doesn’t get much closer than that. In the process, Segal broke the Pioneer varsity record in the 50 free leading off the relay.
The Skyline team of McKelvey, Deininger, Lee and Kurniawan touched third with a D-1 state cut time of 1:27.18. Huron’s team of Stewart, Lindstrom, Alex Moskus and Atkinson also recorded a D-1 state-cut time with a 1:30.73, which landed the River Rats fourth.
Saline junior Matthew Adanin broke the pool record in the 100 backstroke with his winning time of 49.94. Wilkening took third in 52.42 and Rice was fifth in 53.60 for Pioneer. Caswell was sixth (54.91) and Ben Deininger was seventh (55.08) for Skyline. All D-1 state-cut times.
Segal broke the SEC, pool and his own varsity record with a time of 53.99 to win the 100 breaststroke. Pioneer also took four of the top five spots with Gibbons third (59.30), Fonte fourth (1:00.17) and Sung-Jae Lee fifth (1:01.13). Skyline’s Osterholzer was sixth (1:01.26) and teammate Jack Staunton, only a sophomore, was seventh (1:01.36). Pioneer’s Almeida was eighth (1:01.43) as the top eight record D-1 times. Skyline sophomore Lewis McCammon was ninth (1:01.97) and Huron sophomore Peter Fazekas was 10th (1:02.09) – both D-2 times.
One more event and one more record performance as the Pioneer team of Yang, Williston, Hume and Segal broke the pool, SEC and varsity record in the 400 free relay with a time of 3:04.99.
Skyline’s team of McKelvey, Caswell, Koselka and Ben Kurniawan was third in 3:11.09. Huron’s team of Atkinson, Lindstrom, Fazekas and Stewart took fourth in 3:19.83.
The top four times in the 400 free relay were D-1 times.
PHOTOS BY NANCY FONTE