By Erika Greco
The WLC swim and dive team ended their season with a splash. Coach Jeremy Brandon, along with the three captains, senior Stephen Lee, and juniors Taketo Wakamoto and Chase Weber led the team to the Michigan Division 1 State Finals on March 6.
The team took six swimmers to the Michigan Division 1 State Finals the first week in March, which is what they had worked for all season. They qualified in the 200 Medley Relay, which was made up of four swimmers:Weber, Lee, freshman Josh Pascau, and junior Clay Lemke. Pascua qualified for all relays and two individual events, Weber qualified for all relays and the 100 Backstroke, and Lee competed in all relays as well as the 100 breaststroke.
They placed 14th in the 200 Medley relay as a team, just a second off the school record. Pascua placed 19th in the 200 IM with a 2:00.45 and 30th in the 100 Fly with a 54.56. Weber placed 40th in the 100 Backstroke. Lee finished 3rd overall in the State in the 100 breaststroke and set a new school record with the time of 56.97. The team ended the event in 24th place overall.
“Placing well with swimmers who had never competed at the State Finals bodes well for next year’s team because all of them come back with great experience and confidence in their ability to compete at the highest level.”
In preparation for states, there is much more behind the physicality of the sport. “Honestly it was all mental, so I had to be up and socializing and just have fun with it,” stated Weber.
Throughout the season, Lee was their leader on the team, breaking school records in the 200 IM and 100 Breaststroke. Lee is a returning All-State Swimmer and the fastest returning swimmer in the 100 Breaststroke from State Finals. He will be swimming at Olivet Nazarene University in Chicago next fall.
“The 2014 State Finals were bittersweet for Central Swimming, Lee had the highest finish for any WLC swimmer in the history of the program,” stated Coach Brandon.
Succeeding at States wasn’t a given. Made up of a team of 17, with a majority of first and second year swimmers, the progress of the team was slowed down at the start. Teaching new swimmers how to swim and compete was a major struggle this year. The swim team did double workouts in the middle of the season that some of the new swimmers were not used to.
Brandon explained, “Our lack of strength and consistency cost us two meets this season against Waterford United and WL Western.”
Still, the team improved and they took the City Championship in stride on February 13th; 122 to Western 109, Northern 95.
Congratulations swimmers! We are all looking forward to the 2014 season.