GOSHEN — With the swim postseason squarely on the horizon, business was still in order Saturday for a pair of very tired swim programs.
Goshen hosted Wawasee Saturday morning in the final round robin meet for the two teams as the teams prepare for its respective Northern Lakes Conference swim championships. Wawasee got all it could handle from Goshen but pulled off a pair of wins, 100-80, on the girls ledger and 109-77 on the boys side.
Goshen, which swam a nauseating 10 meets in 24 days before the holiday break between the two teams, looked very much the tired group. Wawasee were not much better, having swam five duals and a pair home invitationals in the course of 16 days just ahead of the holiday break. With just five days separating Saturday’s dual and the NLC girls tournament preliminaries at Northridge, both coaches saw the effects December brought to each program.
“The kids swam really hard over winter break trying to catch up from all of those meets,” said Wawasee head coach Julie Robinson. “I was still impressed with how the kids were fighting through that. They knew what they had to do to win the meet, and they came out and did that.”
Added Goshen head coach Nate Duell, “We got lucky that the flu bug that goes through every team every year went through right at the end of school. We were able to get a full training camp, but we are really tired, really broken down. Big picture is really bright. We are in good shape and getting some rest, preparing for the championship meet.”
Wawasee’s two teams each won nine of the 12 events, but in a real show of just much of a toll the grinder of the season has been, only one win the entire day – which came from Goshen’s Adam Bratten’s backstroke win at 56.89 – bested a seed time set earlier in the season.
Bratten would actually serve Goshen’s three wins for the boys, taking the backstroke as well as the 50 free (23.25) and working the first leg of the medley relay teamed with Tyler James, Dan Swihart and Ian Duell at 1:50.78.
Wawasee’s Logan Brugh was a four-time winner on the day, taking the fly (1:00.18), 500 (5:04.51) and working the 200 and 400 free relays with Sebastian List, Andrew Busse and Zac Hershberger. The 200 relay won at 1:40.73 and the 400 at 3:37.05.
List was a winner in the 200 (2:00.62), Hershberger in the 100 at 52.55 and Busse the individual medley at 2:19.24. Mason Germonprez added a win for Wawasee in the breaststroke at 1:10.92. Tristan Mauk posted the Warriors’ first win of the day in diving, accumulating a 188.80 on the board.
Wawasee also had a four-time winner in Bre Robinson on the girls side, who cruised to 100 (54.54) and 200 (1:55.19) freestyle wins along with anchors on the 200 and 400 relays. Robinson, Kayla Hershberger, Kendra Miller and Rachel Rozow won the 200 at 1:47.52 and Robinson, Hershberger, Miller and Betsy Rozow claimed the 400 at 3:58.05.
Betsy Rozow took the backstroke at 1:05.77 while older sister Rachel took the breaststroke at 1:17.19. The Rozow sisters, Mikala Mawhorter and Hannah Winters won the medley relay at 2:03.38 and Hershberger grabbed the IM at 2:25.21. Tori Sylvester won another diving dual with a 199.05 award.
“I think the times here at this pool are usually slower,” Robinson said. “Every time we come here, the times are slower for whatever reason. I don’t know if its the darker pool or if its just coming back from Christmas break. We always bounce back when its time for conference. I’m not too worried about the NLC next weekend.”
Goshen had three different girls win events, led by an spirited 5:37.70 from Hayley Ronci in the 500, who sped past Hershberger early on and never looked back. Natalie Evans worked the fly at 1:06.79 and Olivia Wagner zipped to a 26.81 win in the 50 free.
Duell was impressed with Ronci’s grit in the 500, and thinks she could be a real contender come the NLC next weekend.
“Hayley in the 200 and 500 is one of the toughest trainers we have,” Duell said. “She had a great race today and should be a good one for us. I’m looking forward to a lot of our younger girls to get that first real high school taper and rest period.”
The completion of Saturday’s meet left Wawasee’s girls at 7-2 overall and 5-2 in the NLC while Goshen dropped to 10-3 and 4-3. The Warrior boys are 4-3 overall and in the NLC while Goshen fell to 4-8 and 3-4 in the conference.
The NLC girls tournament will begin at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Northridge with the preliminary qualifying swims. Saturday will have the divers begin its seeding dives and championship and consolation swims beginning at 1 p.m. with diving finals taking place midway through the meet. The boys tournament will take place Jan. 24 and 26 at Concord.