By Nick Beversdorf
On Tuesday, the varsity swimmers battled it out at the PRMS pool for the first home meet of the season. Things did not go as well as they had hoped, however, as Medford dominated most of the events. The final team scores for Merrill and Medford were 59 and 111, respectively.
Bright spots for Merrill included Freshman Trinity Kanitz, who placed first in both individual events she participated in, the 200-yard medley and the 100-yard backstroke. Trinity barely edged out Aubrey Buskerud of Medford in the medley with a final time of 2:32.27, compared to Aubrey’s 2:32.32. Trinity more so dominated the breaststroke with a total final time of 1:13.27, beating Leah Leonard of Medford by over three seconds.
Trinity was also a solid performer in the 200-yard freestyle relay as part of the Merrill A team with a time of 27.93 seconds. Coupled with Sophomore Kaitlin Woller’s time of 30.42, Sophomore Katy Ball’s time of 30.35 and Senior Caitlyn Kolehouse’s time of 27.77, they placed second with a time of 1:56.47. The Medford A team placed first with a time of 1:51.38.
Other strong performers include Senior Faith Wheat who placed second in the 200 yard freestyle with a time 2:27.19 and third in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 6:43.40, and Caitlyn Kolehouse who placed second in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 26.82, barely short of first by five-hundredths of a second.
“We had some great swims from both our veterans and incoming freshman at the meet,” comments head coach Kristie Winter. “Seniors Caitlyn Kolehouse and Faith Wheat posted times comparable to the WVC meet at the end of the 2015 season which sets them up to be very competitive this year in the Valley.
“Kolehouse took second in both the 50 free and 100 free while Wheat took 2nd in the 200 free and third in the 500 free. We also had a strong freshman showing by Trinity Kanitz taking first place in both the 200 IM and 100 backstroke, both personal best times for her. Trinity is a great all around swimmer and I expect we will see many more strong swims from her as the season progresses.
“Freshmen Aliyah Pillai and Trinity Evans also had top three swims in the 100 Butterfly and 100 Backstroke respectively. This was a nice start to our season, last year Medford really ran away with the meet, this year we closed the gap quite a bit. All the girls had a great attitude and showed great sportsmanship as well with the entire team posting personal best or near personal best times. The season is just beginning and we seem to be picking up where we left off in November which is how any coach would like to start out.”
Merrill varsity swimming will have their next meet on Thursday, Sept. 8 at 5:30 p.m. against Wausau East at the PRMS pool.
For the full result list, click here.