Pirates finish runner-up at sectionals
BY RICH PALZEWIC
NEENAH – The Bay Port girls swim and dive teams continued their impressive run towards the WIAA D1 state championships.
Backed by a strong performance from sophomore Emma Lasecki, the Pirates finished runner-up to Neenah at the Neenah Sectional on Nov. 3-4 by a narrow 376 – 351 margin.
“It was a great meet,” said Bay Port swim coach Meghan Wood. “I was so impressed with how the girls swam and dove this weekend. We set three sectional and pool records.”
Lasecki, the Fox River Classic Conference swimmer of the year for the second straight season, won the 100 Butterfly (55.60) and 200 IM (2:05:24) in sectional and pool-record times and will be heading to Madison on Nov. 10-11 in both events.
Lasecki’s 200 IM time will be the No. 1 seeded time in Madison, while her 100 Fly time will seed her second.
Erin Samels (second – 100 Breaststroke, 1:05:69) and Riley Melendy (third – 200 IM, 2:08:60; second – 100 Backstroke, 57:52) will also go individually to Madison.
The 200 Medley Relay team of Melendy, Samels, Lasecki and Sophia Thibert won a sectional title and will be making the trip to state as well. Like Lasecki in her individual events, their time of 1:46:60 was a sectional and pool record. That time will have them seeded third at state.
The second-place 200 Freestyle Relay team (Samels, Shae Gustafson, Emily Zimmer, Lacy Geurts, 1:42:30) and third-place 400 Freestyle Relay team (Melendy, Thibert, Gustafson and Lasecki, 3:36:88) will be heading to state as a group.
On Nov. 3, diver Brightyn Zuelke finished second (409.55) and will head to Madison for the second consecutive season, while Ella Thibert (sixth, 335.45) and Sasha Sliwinski (seventh, 332.75) had strong showings for the Pirates, too.
“Thibert and Sliwinski finished out a solid season and Zuelke (senior) will continue on to Madison,” said Bay Port’s dive coach, Tricia Zuelke, who is also Brightyn’s mother. “It will be hard not to take the ‘three musketeers’ as a group. We spend hours upon hours together at practice and then on weekends at the meets. Two-thirds of the diving team will be missing.”
Other results for Bay Port were an eighth place for Samels in the 200 IM (2:17:95); a fourth for S. Thibert in the 50 Freestyle (24:97) and a sixth in the 100 Freestyle (55:31); a seventh for Gustafson in the 100 Fly (1:01:15) and fifth in the 100 Backstroke (1:01:12); a seventh for Geurts in the 100 Freestyle (55:85); and a seventh for Liz Ely in the 500 Freestyle (5:36:21).