Source: Sherman Publications

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Swimmers break personal, school records at league meet

by Gabriel L. Ouzounian

November 09, 2011

Junior Kelsey Bird competes in the OAA League Meet last week. Photo G. Ouzounian
Lake Orion's girls swimmers competed in the Oakland Activities Association League Meet Nov. 2-4, finishing in sixth place just behind the swimmers from Clarkston, the Dragons' season-long rivals.

Despite finishing behind the Wolves, Head Coach Darin Abbasse said the meet turned out how he expected, adding his swimmers truly "stood up and did a fantastic job." He noted how the league championships gave the team a chance to shine over typical dual meet challenges, where team depth and size are important.

"We had an unbelievable finish," he said. "All of our swimmers swam season-best times, 93 percent set personal records and the team set several school records."

Abbasse was particularly pleased for senior Annie Jongekrijg, who set a meet record in the 100-yard freestyle race with a 51.53-second finish. She was one of two seniors named Senior of the Meet, while junior diver Katie Corcoran was named to the all-league team with a third place overall finish.

Other notable performances included junior Courtney McClear who finished third in the 200-yard individual medley and sixth in the 100-yard breaststroke. Freshman Bethany Abramczyk finished fourth in the 200-yard freestyle, sixth in the 500-yard freestyle and qualified for the Div. 1 state swimming and diving championships that will take place later in November. Freshman Danielle Kudla finished ninth in the 50-yard freestyle, sixth in the 100-yard freestyle and also qualified for the state finals.

A total of five Lake Orion swimmers will be going to the state competition, with the potential for a sixth, freshman Lydia Mattar, to join them if she performs well at a special second-chance meet. Mattar missed out on qualifying by less than a second in her race.

The state finals take place on Nov. 18-19 at Eastern Michigan University. The Lake Orion team competing there last year took eighteenth place in 2010 and Abbasse said this year's swimmers are simply looking to beat that finish.

"Our goal is to finish in the top ten," he said. "Jongekrijg and McClear have the best opportunity to swim in the finals. They were both all-state last year and should perform well again this year."