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Ladies Swim and Dive Season Wrap-Up

Jake Heilman, Sports Reporter

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Two total losses in the regular season, second in the conference to powerhouse East Grand Rapids, third at the state meet as a team, two individual state champions, swimmer of the year, diver of the year, and diving coach of the year: you could say the ladies swim and dive season was a success. The list of accomplishments runs longer and longer as FHC´s swim and dive team continued through their season. This year, however, didn’t start as high flying as the finish.

After a series of tragic events to start the season, the team looked well beyond the times on the clock and the results of their meets.

“With regards to our expectations early this year, with the passing of two parents in August, the focus was more about supporting each other and worrying about times and winning later,” head coach Tim Jasperse said.

The Rangers came together in those times of turmoil and it helped them grow as a team early on in the season.

“It’s hard, because of course we were all affected,” sophomore Megan Stockenauer said. ¨Especially for the people it most directly affected. It was really hard for them. I felt like we came together and grew closer as a team. In the worst sense, it helped us grow a lot in a positive way in such a rough time.”

Still overcoming the early obstacles, the lady Rangers quickly began to snowball their success after two early dominating wins. With only two losses all season, the expectations were high going into the conference and state meets.

“The meets this year, we were either much better than the opposition or the opposition was much better than us,¨ Jasperse said. ¨There was a good chance that our two losses came from the division one and division three state champs. Our expectation this year was to finish in the top two in the conference and top two in the state. We had a great conference meet where everyone either achieved a personal best time, or a season best time.”

After placing second in the conference meet to rival and annual powerhouse East Grand Rapids, the lady Rangers still had plenty to look forward to with the upcoming state meet. Senior Mae Dessureault was the last to get a state time with an emotional conference swim in her final race on the Saturday of the finals.

Besides Mae, the Rangers sent Riley Hoffman, Kaitlind Hooper, Maddie Cole, Nicki Bailey, Nicole Carlson, Colleen Kramer, Felicity Buchmaier, Anna Hansen, Jessica Schellenboom, Kate Ryan and Emma Krug to the state meet.

At this year’s state meet, the stakes were high as usual. Without veteran diver Erin Neely, it would be someone new who had to step up and make a statement about Ranger diving. Anna Hansen did just that; she not only took the diving state championship but also took the title of Diver of the Year.

Anna was not the only successful diver FHC brought to the final this year. After a second place finisher from Fenton, the Rangers posted placements in third, fourth, and seventh from Colleen, Nicki, and Nicole respectively.

The success of the lady Rangers earned their diving coach Jasmine Ramahi the title of Division II Diving Coach of the Year.

Besides the success of the divers in the state meet, swimmer Felicity Buchmaier also carried weight for the Rangers. She brought home the maximum 40 points individually towards the overall score of the Rangers.

Not only is Felicity bringing back the state title in her two individual events, she also brings home the title of All-Conference, All-State, State Swimmer of the Year, two broken school records (which she already held), and the second state title that she has brought home to FHC. She nearly missed the All-American voting as well.

“After they finished announcing the team scores, they announced the diver of the year, and it was Anna.” Felicity said. “Then they announced that I was the swimmer of the year, and I was just in shock. Oh my gosh. I couldn’t believe I had just done that.”

Even with all of the success from the lady Rangers, the fact that the team overcame their early season struggles was a true testament to the team’s togetherness.

“The state meet only gives out four awards, Diver, Swimmer, Dive Coach, and Swim Coach of the Year,” Felicity said. “We got three out of four of those. If that doesn’t show the kind of depth and talent we have then I don’t know what does.”

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