By Edmund Hernandez
Teams from the Kalamazoo area came together at the Kentwood Aquatic Center for the Ottawa Kent Red division championships. The teams are gearing up for the MHSAA championships in two weeks. The meet was led by two Michigan commits, Claire Tuttle and Kathryn Ackerman.
1. Rockford 440
2. Holland West Ottawa 409
3. Grand Haven 353.5
4. Hudsonville 353
5. Grandville 248.5
6. East Kentwood 135
The finals sessions got off to a fast start with defending state champions Rockford(1:46.25) and Hudsonville(1:46.97) fighting for first. Rockford was lead by Sara Kraus’ 26.69 back spilt and Rachel Gamm’s 25.14 fly spilt. While Hudsonville got a huge boost from future Michigan Wolverine Claire Tuttle splitting 27.09. Grand Haven rounded out the top 3 in 1:49.80 highlighted by fellow Michigan commit Kathryn Ackerman’s 29.25 breast spilt.
Ackerman, the reigning state record holder, defended her conference title for the fourth year in a row in the 200 IM in a time of 2:02.68. She took it out fast in 56.55(26.77, 29.78) and brought It home with a 36.55 breast spilt and 28.63 free spilt. The senior will have her last chance to lower her all-division record of 1:57.25 in two weeks during the Michigan State Championships. Taking second was junior Sara kraus in 2:06.51. Kraus will look to improve on her 7th pace finish at states.
Ackerman also won the 100 fly in a time of 56.29. An event she also won at the state meet last year in a time of 54.42. Following Ackerman at the OK red championships was sophomore Rachel Gamm stopping the clock at 57.53. She’ll be looking to make the a final at states this year after winning the b final last year as a freshman.
Claire Tuttle won the 100 free in a huge lifetime best of 49.79, taking it out very fast in a 23.51 and coming home in 26.28. Her lifetime best was the only other time she’d broken 51, previously standing at 50.91 from last years state meet. She’ll be in the hunt for her first state title in this event this year after her fourth place finish last year. The top three all have graduated or are no longer competing in Michigan. Taking second at OK reds was the 50 free champion(23.59) Ashley Lund in 51.79. The sophomore will look to move up in the a final at states this year after taking 8th last year as a freshman.
The 200 free relay was another battle between Rockford(1:36.29) and Hudsonville for first. Rockford had Sara Kraus lead off in 24.53, followed by Paige Beers in 24.70, Masy Folick in 23.82 and anchored by Ashley Lund in 23.24. Hudsonville was again helped by a huge spilt from Claire Tuttle(22.29). Holland West Ottawa finished out the top 3 in 1:39.49 powered by junior Lily Brandt’s 23.77.
Claire Tuttle come with a few tenths of her winning time and lifetime best from last years state meet in the 100 breast, winning in a time of 1:01.55. The senior will be trying to break current Michigan Wolverine Miranda Tucker’s state record in two weeks(1:00.56). Taking second in this event was Sara Kraus in a lifetime best of 1:04.33.
Grand Haven stopped Rockfords sweep of all 3 relays with a victory in the 400 free relay, in a time of 3:32.02. They got a huge anchor spilt from Katheryn Ackerman(51.11). Rockford was close in 3:33.83, anchored by Ashley Lund in 51.50.
Other Event Winners
-Lily Brandt took the 200 free(1:53.12), with senior Macy Folsik taking second(1:53.67 and junior Ocean Veldhouse in third(1:54.49)
-Junior Georgia Basil won the 500 free(5:05.21) followed by Lily Brandt(5:09.34) and senior Alonna Clark(5:11.16)
-Ellyn Skodack, a Junior at Grand Haven won the 100 back(58.46) with Rachel Gamm(59.12) and Mary Violet Springer(1:00.05) rounding out the top 3