SYRACUSE — It’s almost to the point of the season that neither team had the energy to realize it was a major rivalry night in the swimming pool.
As the holiday break approaches, two very tired swim programs returned to the competition lanes for yet another Northern Lakes Conference dual. And with it came a Wawasee girls swim win, 101-82, over Warsaw and a Tiger boys victory, 115-71, against the Warriors.
Not only are both clubs exhausted, with Warsaw having six duals in 11 days and Wawasee five duals and two Wawasee Invitationals since Nov. 29, but sickness is starting to spread around. Two of Wawasee’s star swimmers in Breanna Robinson and Sebastian List were ill all day but still pressed forward. But as both swimmers personified the air around the pool Tuesday night, the schedule says push forward.
“Both (Bre and Sebastian) decided for their teams that they wanted to come out here and compete and score points,” said Wawasee head coach Julie Robinson, who was also feeling under the weather. “I think that takes a lot of courage and shows a lot out of both of them.”
Despite the illness, Robinson still gutted out wins in the 200 (2:00.87) and 100 (56.20) while swimming anchor on the winning 200 and 400 free relays at 1:48.22 and 4:01.25, respectively. List also had a win in the 200 (2:06.93) and was part of Wawasee’s winning 200 free relay at 1:37.36.
Robinson was joined by Kendra Miller, Kayla Hershberger and Rachel Rozow for the 200 relay and Hershberger, Miller and Betsy Rozow for the 400 relay.
The team scores really carried the themes for the remainder of the night, with Wawasee taking 10 of the 12 event wins on the girls side while Warsaw grabbed eight of the 12 top showings.
Wawasee had six different girls claim an individual win, led by the pair from Robinson and wins in the individual medley (2:24.47) and 500 (5:53.75) by Hershberger. Miller won the 50 (27.11), Rachel Rozow the butterfly (1:08.27), Betsy Rozow the backstroke (1:06.19) and Tori Sylvester in diving at 204.35.
Ashley Van Wormer had Warsaw’s breaststroke win at 1:13.91 and joined the medley relay to open at 2:03.43. Malorie Rheinhardt, Margot Rheinhardt and Jess Sweatland completed the relay.
“We have yet to have eight girls step up that you need to win a swim meet,” said Warsaw head coach Nate Long. “Right now we have one or two that are out in front of everybody else. We are waiting for the six others to step up and decided who they are going to be.”
Jayden Parrett and Spencer Davidson each had two individual wins and teamed to lead Warsaw to two relay wins.
Parrett smoked to a 50 win at 22.94 and came back to win the backstroke at 55.64 while Davidson conquered the butterfly at 55.84 and edged Wawasee’s Zac Hershberger in the breaststroke at 1:02.35. Parrett and Davidson were both on the winning medley relay (1:44.19) and 400 free relay (3:31.56). Caleb Snyder and Matt Wildman were on the winning medley relay while JD French and Zach Taylor were winners in the 400 relay.
Josh Miller had an exciting win in the 100, going 53.39 to clip Wawasee’s Luke Smith at the wall by .13. Dean Katris gave Warsaw a diving win at 222.15.
“Josh Miller has stepped up; Zach Taylor (was) strong, if we develop him a little bit more,” stated Long, reeling off a list of Tigers that showed improvement over the course of the evening. “A whole bunch of people are stepping up for us. One or two guys can’t win you a swim meet, its more six or eight.”
Hershberger swam a lifetime best in the individual medley at 2:06.93 to go with his season best breaststroke at 1:03.68 and Logan Brugh continued to shave time on his 500, winning at 5:07.36. Brugh, List, Hershberger and Smith won the 200 free relay at 1:37.36.
Warsaw will take a breath as they head into winter break. The Lady Tigers are 5-3 overall and 3-3 in the Northern Lakes Conference with a date at Tippecanoe Valley on Jan. 2 and the final NLC dual on Jan. 5 when they host Concord. The Tiger boys are 7-1 overall and 5-1 in the NLC, their lone blemish coming against Northridge.
Speaking of Northridge, Wawasee still has some work to do in traveling to Middlebury Thursday to face the undefeated Northridge programs. The Lady Warriors are 6-1 overall and 4-1 in the NLC and could jump into a tie for first with Northridge with a win. The Warrior boys are 3-2 overall and also in the NLC. With two rivalry meets in the same week for a Wawasee program that is already seemingly running on fumes and Tylenol P.M., is there anything planned for Thursday’s showdown?
“I think right now with having so many meets, they are just mentally and physically tired,” Robinson said. “I don’t know if it has anything to do with rivalries. They are just tired. It is going to be nice to have a few weeks to focus on training and get back to technique and basics and not have so many meets.”