Shorewood swim team starts fast, cruises to Woodland Relays title
Greyhounds win seven events
A clean meet, an almost perfect beginning.
Shorewood girls swim coach Rob McCabe wanted a fast start to the Woodland Conference Relays on Sept. 25 and he got it, as the Greyhounds won the first two events and took a second in the third as they cruised to a surprisingly easy title in the meet.
"I was not surprised that we won, but I was surprised by the margin (75 points)," he said. "This was the first time in three years that we've swam mistake-free at this meet without any disqualifications. The seniors we have on this meet have never been to a relay meet where we didn't have a DQ."
When a team does something like that, it leads to the wide margin the Greyhounds had on the rest of the 13-team field, as they took a total of seven firsts and scored 342 points which put them well ahead of Wauwatosa West (267) and New Berlin Eisenhower (264) while Brown Deer/University School was sixth (172).
So clean was the Greyhounds effort that of the 14 swimmers McCabe took to the meet, all of them came back with at least one top three medal and 13 of them came back with a gold medal.
That fast start for Shorewood began with a victory in their trademark event, the 200-yard medley relay as seniors Melissa Clausen and Abby Pech teamed with junior Rachel Munson and sophomore Eva Jorn for a five-second win in one minute, 57.59 seconds.
McCabe said having the state Division 2 record-holder in the 100 breaststroke in Munson makes all the difference in the world in the medley relay.
"She's five seconds better than any other breaststroker in the field," he said. "That being said, the plan was to spread out our talent as much as possible (and) look to get almost every relay in the top three or four and that's what we did."
The medley win was followed by a victory by the 200 free relay team of seniors Lucy Petrick and state 100 and 200 freestyle record-holder Kristin Malone, sophomore Elena Cruz and freshman Leah Jorn (1:48.36) and then the runner-up showing was taken by the 400 individual medley relay of senior Chloe Borut, Munson, sophomore Monica Dix and freshman Grace Anderson (4:28.92).
Other victories for the Greyhounds went to the 300 butterfly relay of Dix, Petrick and both Jorns (3:11.46); the 500 crescendo relay crew of Anderson, Clausen, Cruz and Malone (4:56.47); the 400 medley crew of Borut, Munson, Eva Jorn and Malone (conference record 4:06.44); the 300 backstroke unit of sophomore Shelby Hammond, Borut, Clausen and Malone (conference record 3:03.12); and the 300 breaststroke team of junior Nathalie Bolduc, Munson, Dix and Borut (3:32.95).
In both record-setting efforts, the Greyhounds broke year-old marks they had set themselves.
"I was really pleasantly surprised by our depth," McCabe said. "In a relay meet that's all important and I was really proud of that. Our top six (swimmers) are considerably stronger than anyone else's top six and to have two state record-holders (in Munson and Malone), that's just a blessing."
McCabe has also been very pleased with the leadership his seniors have shown this season.
"I've been impressed with their efforts," he said. "They've really upheld our traditions. They do all our cheers and everyone shows up to practice on time. They (the seniors) also make sure we're dressed up on meet days and that on the Fridays before big Saturday meets we're wearing our team T-shirts."
And one other thing got reinforced with the younger kids at this meet, that while this win was good, it was just the beginning of the serious work for the defending state D2 champ Greyhounds.
"One freshman asked me are we going to jump in the pool (after winning)," McCabe said, "and I told her 'we don't celebrate meets in September.'"
FALCONs SUMMARY: Coach Bob Van Lieshout called it a "Great meet" for his team. Highlights included fourths from the 200 free relay team of Lily Wilson, Nicole Gross, Jackie Her and Natalie Surfus; and the 100 medley relay team of Hannah Leedom, Paige Sprink, Carol Haney and Laura Marlin and fifths from the 400 free crew of Surfus, Gross, Wilson and Her and the 800 free relay team of Wilson, Leedom, Bianca Morales and Surfus.
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