The Merrill High School girls swim team competed at the WIAA Division II Sectionals at UW-Stevens Point on Saturday, posting their highest team score in decades and more than doubling last year’s score.
The team started off by cutting three seconds from their seed time in the 200 Medley relay, swam by Katie Myszka, Rylee Hoeppner, Aliyah Pillai and Kaylee King. In the 200 free, Merrill showed a strong presence with two swimmers in the top heat. Trinity Kanitz finished in third place, and set a new school record. Erin Kanitz missed her first turn but went back and then pushed hard to pull out a 10th place finish. Up next was Camryn Schulz who cut over six seconds and set a new school record in the 200 IM, making the podium in eighth place. Schulz then came back strong and cut two seconds in the 100 Free finishing 11th place overall. In the 500 Free the Kanitz cousins battled it out again with Erin taking fifth place in a personal best swim and Trinity taking third place and qualifying for the WIAA Division II State Meet. Trinity also set another school record with her personal best swim. In the 200 Free Relay, Erin, Camryn and Trinity joined together with Kaylee King to take 10th place, just missing the school record by 0.04 seconds. Then again Erin, Camryn and Trinity joined together this time with Aliyah Pillai to take eighth place and set a new school record in the 400 Free Relay.
All in all the Merrill team had 12 personal best swims in individual events, and four new school records in addition to their first swimmer qualifying for State in several years. The Division II state meet takes place in Madison at the University of Wisconsin’s natatorium on Friday, Nov. 10, swimming starts at 6:30 p.m.