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Gremlins swim teams defeat Kingsford

HOUGHTON — Looking for a strong performance in their returns home, the Houghton Gremlins swim teams both did what they needed to do to win in a dual meet with Kingsford Tuesday.

The boys won, 99-54, while the girls tied, 84-84.

The competition was tight throughout the afternoon, leading to a moment many of the competitors will not forget anytime soon, as Flivvers swimmer Adelaide Roberts broke the Houghton High School pool record in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:16.48.

“On the girls side I was very happy how we stepped up against a well coached Kingsford team,” said Gremlins coach Erik Johnson. “Jim (Lindstrom) always has his team very well prepared and they didn’t disappoint tonight. Kingsford’s Adelaide McRoberts broke the pool record in the 200 IM tonight, so that was very fun to watch.”

Sophomore Leah Komarzec had a banner day for the Gremlins. She won the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 27.44, more than a second better than the Flivvers’ Anna Lundholm. She followed that performance up with a second-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly.

While the team did not have any other individual winners, Johnson was pleased with the efforts of several of the girls. He singled out his “B” relay teams, the first one comprised of sophomore Gabrielle Bishop, senior Adele Dognon, sophomore Kaci Dewar and junior Elise Erva, who combined to take fifth in the 200-yard medley relay.

Later in the meet, the “B” team of freshman Claire Filpus, Erva, junior Emma Jenkins and sophomore Clair Isaacson took second in the 200-yard freestyle relay. In the 400-yard freestyle relay, the “B” team of Dewar, freshman Kayleigh Carlson, junior Chloe Neves, and sophomore Elli Wagner took second.

“It was a complete team effort for the girls tonight,” said Johnson. “When a meet is this close, it comes down to every swimmer in every event putting in their best and they really did that tonight.

“It wasn’t just the individual swims but the relays that made a difference as well, our B relays stepped up big time and scored some very important points for us tonight. It isn’t about winning every event but how each kid steps up in the events they have.”

Johnson was also quick to point out that he is proud of Dewar, a first year swimmer, who continues to attack every event the coaches throw her way.

“Our program has been built around depth for a long time and our depth is what kept us in it tonight,” he said. “Kaci Dewar swam in both the 200 and 500 free. (She) never backs down from a challenge and you have to love a kid like that.”

On the boys side, sophomore Davin Evans continues to impress in the 200-yard individual medley, where he won with a time of 2:22.19.

Another sophomore, Conner Holombo, won the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:12.09, more than 14 seconds faster than Thomas Lindholm of the Flivvers. Holombo also led the “A” team to victory in the 200-yard medley, where he was joined by Evans and sophomores Archer Olson and Ty Haataja. The quartet also won the 400-yard freestyle relay.

“On the boys side, we had a lot of improvements and that is what we are looking for,” said Johnson. “We have a lot of meets packed into the next few weeks and we are expecting a lot of great things from the kids over these few weeks.

“Conner Holombo stood out in tonight’s meet, he was in a few different events and really attacked them. He swam really well in our relays helping our 200 medley relay and 400 free relay collect wins. He also swam the 100 fly and made the cut. He had just missed it by .01 seconds the last time he swam it, so I was happy for him to make the cut there.”

Johnson was also proud of the effort put in by Haataja, who also won the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 1:10.30.

“Ty Haataja swam an excellent 100 fly as well and was also on the relays with Conner,” Johnson said. “The boys keep pushing each other and that is what we need, competition in practice every day makes them better on meet days.”

Olson also had a strong day, winning the 500-yard freestyle (5:41.12) and the 100-yard backstroke (1:09.40).

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