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MSC takes fourth-straight title
For the fourth consecutive year ,the Mercerwood Shore Club is the Midlakes Champion. The club swim team won the championship meet with 1907.5 team points, while the Mercer Island Country Club took third (1198.5) and the Beach Club finished fifth (929).
“We won by more than I thought,” said MSC coach Alice Godfred, whose team won by 348 points over Edgebrook. “The kids did really well. We had some make some surprising moves up.”
The most surprising swims by Islanders were the six new Midlakes records set during the meet.
MICC swimmer Ethan Hallowell had the biggest day, setting two individual records and helping a relay team to take third place.
Hallowell started the day with a first-place finish in the boys 13- and 14-year-old 200-yard freestyle with a record time of 1:47.47.
Hallowell then went on to set a new record in the 100-yard freestyle taking first place with a time of 48.71.
“Ethan is just having a great meet,” said MICC head coach Chris Simpson.
Earlier this year Hallowell broke an 18-year-old record in the 50-yard freestyle set by former Olympic champion Ugar Taner.
Hallowell, together with teammates Andy Wingerson, Duncan Howard and Eric Benca set a new league record in the 13- and 14-year-old 200-yard freestyle relay event, taking first place with a time of 1:34.37.
Hallowell’s events helped the Country Club place third for the second consecutive year.
“We are getting closer to Edgebrook,” said Simpson. “We are still improving.”
The club has improved eight places since Simpson took over five years ago.
MSC’s 15-and-over relay team also set two league records. Murray Longbotham, Patrick Goodwin, Devon Morris and Kevin Goodwin teamed to take first in the 200-yard medley relay with a record time of 1:40.20. The team took first and set a new record time of 1:28.42 in the 200-yard freestyle relay.
Longbotham came within three one-hundredths of a second of the Midlakes record in the 15-and-over 200-yard freestyle, taking first with a time of 1:43.39.
Overall, Mercer Island swimmers took 30 first-place finishes out of the 90 events swam.
Five Island swimmers took two individual first-place finishes.
Country Club swimmer Alex Hoff took first in the boys 15-and-over 100-yard individual medley (55.27) and in the 50-yard backstroke (25.57).
Country Club swimmer Lauren Poli took first place in the girls 13- and 14-year-old 50-yard breaststroke (32.04) and in the 50-yard butterfly (27.50).
Shore Club swimmer Morgan Ciliv won the boys 11- and 12-year-old 100-yard individual medley (1:08.05) and the 50-yard breaststroke (34.18).
Rachel Godfred took first in the 15-and-over 50-yard butterfly (26.86) and the 100-yard individual medley (1:01.73) for the Shore Club.
The Mercerwood Shore Club’s fourth consecutive title is just one away from tying Newport Hills and Samena for the most consecutive titles since 1973. Samena won five straight, twice during that time. Edgebrook holds the record for consecutive titles, with 11, from the inception of the league in 1962 until 1973.
The only Beach Club swimmer to take an individual first place was Jack Delay in the 8-and-under 25-yard breaststroke in a time of 21.91.
The Mercer Island Beach Club finished fourth last year after competing the entire season at the division II level. This year, the club moved back to division I and placed fifth.
“We graduated a big group last year,” said MIBC coach Tad Homchick. “But it has been nice to see a younger group step up.”
Overall, the Beach Club had just three first-place finishes during the meet as its depth propelled it into the top five.