Swimming: Pioneers set pool, varsity records and rack up 11 state-cuts in dominating season opener

State cuts in the first meet? Pool records in the first meet? Varsity records in the first meet?

Most teams would be upset with the schedule-maker if they saw always talented Saline as their first meet of the season. Well, Pioneer is not “most teams” and imagine what Saline thought when they saw Pioneer at the top of their schedule. The Pioneers opened the 2021 season with a splash that is sure to be heard all over the state as it was an impressive “statement” of just how good, how focused and how determined this team is – and it was just the first meet.

Pioneer set varsity and pool records and racked up 11 individual state cuts on their opening night with an impressive 129-57 win over Saline on Thursday.

And it started not only with a bang but with two new records. The Pioneer 200 medley relay team of Jack Wilkening, Matthew Segal, Robert Yang and Caleb Rice set varsity and pool records with a time of 1 minute, 33.80 seconds.

The Pioneer team of Ryan Hume, Anthony Gibbons, Justin Su and Alex Farmer was third in 1:39.81. Both relays earned state-cut times.

Cameron Williston had a state-cut and winning time of 1:46.39 in the 200 freestyle. Teammate Teodor Jaworski was second in 1:49.40.

Ryan Hume’s 1:52.58 in the 200 IM earned him a state-cut time and first-place finish. Rice took third with a state-cut time of 2:00.30. Wilkening was fourth in 2:03.44.

Segal sprinted his way to first place with a state-cut time of 21.09 seconds in the 50 free. Farmer took second in 22.50 for the Pioneers.

In diving, Cole Tremewan took first place with 288.05 points. Gabriel Mercier was third (207.25) and Max Rolla-Mullis was fourth (180.05) for the Pioneers.

Yang went 52.00 in the butterfly to finish first and earn a state-cut time. Su was fourth in 55.95.

In the 100 freestyle, Farmer took second place with a time of 49.58.

Jaworski (first, 4:49.74) and Williston (second, 4:50.26) both earned state-cut times in the 500 free to help the Pioneers take the top four spots. Alec Lipham was third (5:09.72) and Harrison Sanders touched fourth (5:16.58).

The 200-free relay team of Farmer, Segal, Yang and Williston took first with a state-cut time of 1:28.92. The Pioneer team of Jensen Wood, Su, Jaworski and Lipham took third in 1:35.83.

One of the many highlights of the meet came in the backstroke. Wilkening broke Pioneer’s varsity record (from 2015) and earned a state-qualifying cut with his winning time of 50.77. That time, for those keeping score, would have put him second at the 2019 state finals.

Right behind Wilkening was Hume, who took second for Pioneer with a state-cut time of 51.26, which would have been fourth at the 2019 state finals. Rice finished fourth with a state-cut time of 54.28. A varsity record and three state-cuts – not bad.

And consider this little interesting nugget. Saline’s Matthew Adanin is one of the best backstrokers in the state – maybe top five good. His time of 52.36 would have been fifth place at the 2019 state finals. And he finishes third in a dual-meet. That’s how good Pioneer is this year.

Segal followed up by adding his name to the record books. The senior set both varsity and pool records with his state-cut and first-place time of 54.86 in the breaststroke. Segal set the pool record last year and the varsity record was from 2013. The Pioneers dominated the event with Gibbons second (1:04.22), Gabriel Almeida third (1:04.97), Sung-Jae Lee fourth (1:05.56) and Samuel Fonte fifth (1:10.82).

The 400 free relay team of Williston, Jaworski, Rice and Hume finished things off with a state-cut and winning time of 3:15.87. The team of Labadie, Lipham, Harrison Sanders and Wilkening took third in 3:28.42.

Segal, Labadie and Williston are team captains for this year’s Pioneers.