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Krista VerMeersch

By John Addyman

   NEWARK (Oct 14 10) – With three races to go and down by 11 points, Newark coaches Danielle Ohlson and Tedd VanDuyne looked worried. The Lady Reds had surged into the Finger Lakes League championships, but Marcus Whitman, who stood in the way of the crown, put in some stout performances tonight.

The girls got into the water for the 100 Backstroke. Hannah Marvin slipped into the fourth lane. At the starter’s beep, Marvin found herself behind Whitman’s Emily Karszes almost immediately. But in the third and last turn, Marvin lunged off the wall, and took the lead by a palmprint. In a surge that lasted the last 25 yards, she got the win (1:11.07) to Karszes’ 1:11.98.
   But Whitman girls finished 2-3, and Newark hadn’t made up much ground. The Wildcats held the lead, 82-73.
   The Lady Reds didn’t need a first place, they needed a miracle.
Hannah Marvin
   Next was the 100 Breaststroke, and the Newark girls swam the event of their competitive lives. Krista VerMeersch came in first (1:18.56), touching the wall two seconds ahead of the number two finisher…Sarah Days (1:20.44), also of Newark.
   But with Ohlson screaming and jumping up and down next to lane six, the miracle came down the length of the pool, cutting a wake. Danielle Peets finished three seconds later in third (1:23.59), providing a 1-2-3 Newark sweep and for one startling moment, the Reds had a lead, 86-85. 
   After 11 events and a lot of enthusiasm on both sides, the Finger Lakes championships came down to the last event, the 400 Free Relay.
   The Wildcats had a slight lead for the first three legs, but when Newark’s last swimmer, Lauren Allen, got into the pool, she put the Lady Reds out ahead again…but just briefly. In the end, Whitman’s Rachel Gochenaur prevailed by three seconds, and the Wildcats had the title, 95-90.
   “We were three yards short,” said VanDuyne, a synopsis of how close, and how far, the Reds came.
   Ohlson gave credit to some lineup changes Whitman made that surprised the Reds, and the fact that “they popped some 50s” – some surprisingly good times for the Wildcats.
Lauren Allen
   And she said her kids were disappointed. The quick meeting after the last race was tear-filled.
   But Ohlson also gushed about how proud she was of her team.
   “Our girls were swimming great tonight,” she said. “In that 400 Free Relay, those girls never swam that event faster (4:08.58).” In fact, the first three swimmers – Chelsea Power, Leah Marvin and Hannah Marvin – finished their legs and got out of the pool, then laid down, gasping.
   “Tonight was all about their fire and desire,” Ohlson said. “You see some tears because they cared that much about winning tonight.”
   In the 500 Free, Whitman’s Heather Boothe won the event with Newark’s Allen second, but Morgan Dailey swam strong enough to qualify for sectionals. “In the 100 Backstroke, all three swam their best times of the season. This is a special team. They put it all in the water.”
   Chelsea Power won the 200 Free (2:09.20) (and gave the Reds their first lead of the night, 16-14. Whitman took the 200 Individual Medley and the 50 Free, giving Whitman a 34-28 lead. Caroline Gardener won the diving (192.20) with Ciera Lancaster finishing third to get the Reds close again, 37-40, but it wasn’t until the 200 Free Relay, after Whitman had built a 15-point lead, that Newark would win again (Power, Birttani Robinson, VerMeersch,Allen – 1:51.91)
Coaches Danielle Ohlson and Ted VanDuyne
   That set the scene for Hannah Marvin’s win in the Backstroke and that terrific Breaststroke finish.


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  1. Anonymous Said,

    Nice photos.

    Posted on Sat Oct 16, 08:20:00 PM EDT


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