Swimming: River Rats enjoy great success at SEC Regionals

By Margaret Baker / For WLAA

The Rats competed this past weekend at Skyline for the SEC Regionals. If you know anything about swimming in this southeast region, you know that the competition is tough, with powerhouses Saline, Skyline, Pioneer, and Dexter all in the same pool. Nonetheless, there were some outstanding Huron performances.

Top sixteen finishers were as follows: sophomore Jasmine Xu, 3rd in the 100 Free (52.55) and also the 100 Breast (1:06.73); sophomore Sawako Sakamoto, 10th in the 100 Fly (1:01.12) and 6th in the 100 Back (1:00.95); senior/captain Zannah Baker, 4th in the 50 Free (24.45), senior Kathryn Hemmila, 11th in the 200 Free (2:00.30) and 8th in the 500 Free (5:21.62); senior/captain Emma Kaipainen, 8th in the 100 Breast (1:09.24); sophomore Ece Uyulur, 16th in the 200 Free (2:06.70) and 14th in the 500 Free (5:43.15); and senior Ayaka Sakamoto, 13th in the 200 IM (2:26.14) and 14th in the 100 Breast (1:14.15).

Both the 200 Medley relay squad, S. Sakamoto, Kaipainen, Xu, & Baker (1:51.55) and the 200 Free team, Kaipainen, S. Sakamoto, Baker, & Xu (1:38.97) landed in 3rd overall in their races. Special kudos to the following girls who took lots of time off in their swims:  Hemmila, 20 seconds in the 500 Free; junior Hannah Burmann, 14 seconds off in the 200 free; Uyulur, 18 seconds in the 500 Free; sophomore Shayla Pawlicki, 22 seconds off in the 500 Free and 17 seconds off in the 200 Free; senior Sophia Riegle, 8 seconds off in the 100 free; freshman Claire Leone, 14 seconds off in the 200 IM, freshman Maya Sudhan, 9 seconds off in the 100 Free, and senior Margo Leone, 16 seconds off in the 200 Free and 9 seconds off in the 100 Backstroke.

Also participating in the two-day SEC Championships were: freshmen Savannah Duman, Jane Ireland, Maya Martinson, and Ashley Paterson; sophomore  Rihanna Gleason, juniors Lucy Schneidewind and Analiese Heissenbuettel and seniors, captain Cali Streeter, Ezgi Poyraz, and Alli Sutton. 

The team thanks coaches Andrea Stanczyk and JZ Zakrajsek and announces the following girls who will swim to represent Huron at the State Championships in Holland on Nov. 19-20:

Baker, Hemmila, Kaipainen, S. Sakamoto, Uyulur and Xu.