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Gremlins swim teams sweep Blue Devils

HOUGHTON — The Houghton Gremlins boys and girls swim teams swept the Sault Ste. Marie Blue Devils teams Saturday at the Houghton High School Pool.

On a day where the teams celebrated their seniors, the Gremlins performed about as well as they possibly could.

“Today we had a chance to honor our seniors and everything they have brought to our program,” said coach Erik Johnson. “Senior Night is always a time to reflect and celebrate those who have helped shape the program and continue to push it forward. It is also a chance to thank the parents who have put in so much work and effort to help support the athletes and their dreams.”

With just seven seniors between the two squads, Johnson has been proud of the way the small group has grown in to leaders.

“Our seniors included Kayleigh Carlson, Kayleigh Matson, Oliver Anderson, Ian Evans, Baha Saleem, Daniel Liu and Gage Berkey,” he said. “I can honestly say the team, and the program, are in a better place for having these amazing kids be a part of it. They are definitely leaving big shoes to fill.”

The girls won their competition 135-48. the boys won a much tighter competition at 92-71. Johnson was excited to see another large batch of personal-best times.

“We had a total of 46 best times,” he said, “and I was impressed with how everyone showed up for each other today.”

Four girls set qualififying times for U.P. Finals, Katelyn Meyers in the 200-yard freestyle, Evelyn LaTendresse in the 200-yard individual medley, Aya Keteri in the 100-yard freestyle, and Kayleigh Carlson in the 500-yard freestyle.

Aya Keteri won the 200-yard freestyle. LaTendresse won both the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard butterfly. Rose Dennis was also a two-time winner in the 50-yard freestyle and the 500-yard freestyle. Meg Ruohonen won diving, and Willow Jenson won the 100-yard backstroke.

On the boys’ side, Evan Massaway won the 50-yard freestyle. Baha Saleem won the diving competition. Collin Raasio won the 100-yard butterfly. Josh Bennet won the 500-yard freestyle, and Anderson Limkemann won the 100-yard breaststroke.

“The success of a program comes from a lot of things, including the leadership of the seniors, but it is also important to remember everyone who makes these seasons a success,” said Johnson. “Parents getting kids to and from practice, teachers helping our student athletes find success in the classrooms, the athletic director keeping things running smoothly throughout the whole season, administration that helps hold kids accountable and supports everyone year round, bus drivers getting us to and from meets safely, and the maintenance and janitorial staff who keep things up and running.

“We couldn’t do any of this without them and it’s important to recognize that.”

UP NEXT

The Gremlins have two more home meets this week, Tuesday and Thursday. Then they will compete in U.P. Finals on Feb. 16 and 17 in Marquette.

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