Pats swim to glory on Senior NightJanuary 20, 2020
By COREY STOLZENBACH
LINCOLN CITY — Heritage Hills coach Gary Ayer afforded his swimmers the luxury to choose the events in which they wanted to compete Monday night, and it wound up paying dividends.
The Patriots welcomed Northeast Dubois and Tecumseh for Senior Night in Monday’s triangular meet. Heritage Hills honored eight senior swimmers prior to the meet. Then five seniors combined to win six individual events, and the Patriots won 13 events altogether. Heritage Hills prevailed on the girls side with 137 points, and the boys side with 132 points.
“Rather than focus on what we’re good at, we just did things that were fun and tried to be together as a team so we could enjoy these last few moments together,” said senior Ethan Roos, who emerged victorious in the boys 50 freestyle with a time of 24.86 and as part of the 200 freestyle relay with a 1:45.48 time.
“Right now, I think we’re all on Cloud Nine, but once we realize that this is our last one, it will be one to remember,” said senior Gavin Fuchs, who won the boys 200 freestyle with a 1:55.01 time, 100 backstroke in a 1:02.28 time and was part of the 400 freestyle relay with a time of 3:37.27.
Fuchs thought of the Pats’ home pool as a second home, and added others could agree to that. He thought Senior Night still brought everybody together as a team, even if Heritage Hills would’ve ended up not winning events.
Senior Maddy Detzer traditionally has performed as a diver, but injuries have prevented her from using the diving board. But she did swim on Monday night, competing in the 50 freestyle and also the 200 freestyle relay, finishing sixth and second, respectively.
“It was a good time,” Detzer said. “I was glad that I was able to do something for the team instead of just sitting on the sidelines not being able to dive anymore.”
For Ayer, it will be tough to say goodbye to the eight senior swimmers. It is always tough for him to bid farewell to seniors, but called this one a good group.
“They’ve got a lot to be proud of, and I think they’ll be successful because of the work they do,” Ayer said.
The eight swimmers have gotten along well in their time together, and that’s something they’ll miss about one another.
“I would say we’re going to miss the absolute chemistry between our whole team,” said senior Dominic Williams. “Even though we have a really big team, I feel like we’re all really close together, and just got along really well, which is why I feel like we’ve had such a successful season so far.”
Northeast Dubois finished third with 64 points on the girls side, and second with 104 points on the boys side.
Jeeps coach Kendra Friedman saw technique errors on Monday, and thought the swimmers didn’t swim very well.
“They can go a lot faster than what they did today,” Friedman said. “I think it’s kind of a multitude of it’s a Monday and a lot of them have been sick, so that doesn’t really help much. But I think they just have to know that we have to just put that extra effort in practice.”
Friedman said Northeast Dubois must give 100% in practice to be able to perform. The Jeeps won six events on the night. Some swimmers did stand out to her. Friedman thought senior Colby Stafford, who helped the Jeeps win the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:54.98, had a solid meet on the boys side, as did sophomore Dakota Roach. She also praised junior Hailey Sweeney, who won the 50 and 100 freestyle events on the girls side. Her times were 26.36 and 59.26, respectively.
The Jeeps will be back Jan. 28 at home against Evansville Day and Vincennes Lincoln. Friedman wants Northeast Dubois to improve its technique and endurance, but her main thing is getting her swimmers healthy.
“I’ve been really trying to push everybody to push fluids, get to bed early and eat right, because we can’t all be sick at sectional,” she said.
Heritage Hills will have two days in the pool to get ready for the Pocket Athletic Conference preliminaries Thursday at Tecumseh. Finals are Saturday. Ayer said the Patriots will get after it today in practice. He said it will be a normal practice. Wednesday is likely to be a normal practice, too, while focusing on things the team needs to get better on, such as underwater, starts and turns.
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