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Girls swim and dive wins big on Senior Night

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Despite the high emotions of Senior Night at Tuesday’s meet, FHC’s swimmers had numerous low times and clocked in well before Jenison swimmers in nearly every event. The Lady Rangers demolished the Wildcats with a score of 142-76.

“Coming off of last weeks lost, it was a concern how [the swimmers] were going to rebound,” Head Swim Coach Dennis Neat said. “They stepped up and were ready for this meet.”

The Rangers placed first in the 200 Freestyle Relay, as well as the 200 Medley Relay with a team of sophomores Maggie Zorn, Kaylyn Whitten, Sarah Schenck, and Olivia Luplow. FHC had an unprecedented number of top-three sweeps in this meet. Ranger swimmers placed first, second, and third in the 200 Freestyle, 200 IM, 50 Freestyle in all three heats, along with the 100 Butterfly, and the 100 Freestyle in two heats. Senior Catie Touri contributed two first place finishes in heat one of the 50 and 100 Freestyle.

“[Tonight] is kind of crazy,” Catie said. “It still hasn’t really hit me that this is my last dual meet ever and the last time competing at this pool with my girls. It was amazing [to win]. I’m so happy that I ended this season well and I don’t have any regrets.”

Many things are coming to an end for the seniors this year and the swim season is one of the hardest. Despite emotions running rampant, the team stepped up.

“I felt like the emotion really inspired us,” Neat said. “The underclassmen were trying to [swim] for the seniors and then the seniors were swimming for their last time in our home pool. I think [the emotion] really helped us, more than any inspirational speech I could come up with.”

The diving team continued their hot streak, sweeping the top three places once again. Senior Nicole Carlson placed third, junior Anna Hansen second, and senior Colleen Kramer took first with a personal record score of 271.80 points.

“I’m really happy with my win tonight,” Colleen said. “I started off the season with much lower scores, so to end the season doing better and getting where I think I can be these last three meets gives me a lot more confidence going into the postseason meets.”

Next on the schedule for the Lady Rangers is the Conference meet, held at East Grand Rapids High School. The team is confident they will place at least second, but a win over EGR at this meet will give the two schools the shared title of Conference Champions. From here on out it is a battle to see how far individual swimmers and divers can go, the end-all being the State Championship meet.

Coach Neat, pleased with how his first year of coaching has gone, is excited to go deep into the postseason with his swimmers.

“As coaches, we have to do our job to make sure they’re ready,” Neat said.

For now, the seniors reflect on their last regular season as a Lady Ranger in a short phrase.

(Captain) Felicity Buchmaier: “Amazing.”

(Captain) Nicole Carlson “Fun.”

(Captain) Lauren Ehrlich: “Challenging but worth it.

(Captain) Abby Hier: “Amazing.”

Colleen Kramer: “Unforgettable.”

Catie Touri: “Super fun.”

Kaitlin Weaver: “Hard work.”

Molly Weiblen: “Energetic.”

Catie Touri felt the emotions tonight as she said, “It’s crazy because every year you sit through the ceremony and you think you have so long to go and you never think that it’s going to be you. But then, when we were standing in line tonight to walk out, we finally realized that it’s senior year; this is our last time racing at this pool. It was pretty emotional.”

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Girls swim and dive wins big on Senior Night