Ranger boys swim to victoryDecember 7, 2020
By COREY STOLZENBACH
LYNNVILLE — They’re young, their numbers are higher than last year and on Monday night, they were winners.
Forest Park’s boys swam to victory Monday night in the quad at Tecumseh, also involving Southridge and Northeast Dubois. The Rangers notched 122 team points on the boys side to claim first place. Northeast Dubois took second with 65, followed by Tecumseh with 33, and Southridge with 11.
"Like I told the kids the other night, 'This is a very athletic group of kids,'" Rangers coach Rachel Berg said. "You can kind of ask them to do anything, and they are willing to step it up, and you can throw things them. You can be pretty tough on them in practice, and they're used to it. Every swimmer that I have is a multi-sport athlete. They're used to this — they're used to the grind."
The led on the boys side through the first eight events, as the lone local boys swimmers to win anything through that point. Leo Alvis, Eli Berg, Ben Kluesner and Carter Fleck secured a win for the Rangers in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:59.47. Berg swam a time of 2:15.28 to score the victory in the 200 freestyle, and Alvis did the same in the 200 individual medley by clocking in at 2:25.04.
They only kept going from there in the latter events, as Kluesner swam to victory in the 100 Freestyle on a time of 56.59, and Alvis in the 500 Freestyle with a 5:54.19 time. Sam Kluesner, Aaron Beckman, Ethan Weyer and Abe Berg combined for a time of 2:03.22 to win the 200 Freestyle Relay. Ben proved victorious again in the 100 Backstroke with a time of 1:06.25, and Alvis, Fleck, Eli and Ben rounded out the evening by notching a win the 400 Freestyle Relay with a time of 4:11.73.
Southridge tied with Tecumseh for the lead through the first eight events on the girls side. The Raiders fielded winners in the 200 Medley Relay, 200 Freestyle and 200 Individual Medley. Dori Sherer, Ruthie Sherer, Jordan Biehl and Calista Martin represented Southridge in the 200 medley relay by combining for a time of 2:15.59. Ruthie swam to victory in the 200 freestyle with a time of 2:17.19, while Biehl did the same in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:42.40 — a six-second margin of victory.
However, Tecumseh pulled away in the latter stages of the meet with a team score of 147. The Raiders came in second with 89 points, using multiple relay teams in the process. Northeast Dubois came in third at 45, and Forest Park fourth with a score of 32.
"It's been a while since we could fill up all the relays in a meet, so I really like that we've got some new swimmers," Raiders coach Amy Kaetzel said. "We've also got several out tonight. So, I've got kids swimming different things than what they're used to, and they they all stepped up and did a really good job with that, too."
Southridge managed a couple of girls winners later on the meet when Dori, Ruthie, Leah O’Brien and Biehl captured the 200 Freestyle Relay with a time of 1:55.73, and Martin won the 100 Breaststroke with a time of 1:29.86.
Monday also brought upon the season debut for the Jeeps. Coach Kendra Friedman noted a lot of her swimmers had a lot of nerves, and she added there will some technical errors, but the team swam well overall. Friedman thought Preston Brinkman, Carter Beckman and Dakota Roach both had some really good swims, and Elizabeth Schepers did the same on the girls side.
"I know these kids are happy they are finally able to compete," Friedman said. "Hopefully, it can stay that way. We don't know what's going to happen after Christmas. So, we're just going to keep our fingers crossed, and we're just going to keep grinding in practice, and hopefully, we can swim as many meets as possible."
These three teams are slated to be back in action on Thursday. Southridge is set to host Forest Park for some Pocket Athletic Conference action.
"I think we got some pretty matches coming up," Kaetzel said. "They've got a really strong boys team this year, and that's really fun to watch — and we're as where our boys are all really new, other than Reilly. I expect that they'll really show some good stuff Thursday night there. The girls side — who knows? We may have some pretty good matches there, too."
Meanwhile, Northeast Dubois is scheduled to compete at Jasper.
"Jasper has numbers on their side, and they're pretty dang fast," Friedman said. "So, I think Thursday is going to be more just getting in and racing, and seeing what we can do."
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