BRIDGMAN — Bridgman won the meet, and St. Joseph took the most exciting events.
Both teams had positives to take away from an Oct. 25 girls swimming double dual, which also included Coldwater. Bridgman, a co-op program comprised of several area schools, defeated St. Joseph 105-81 and Coldwater 138-48. The Bears beat Coldwater 136-50.
“A lot of our girls swim together in the offseason, so that’s always a fun thing for them to see each other,” Bridgman coach Emily Nannfeldt said. “That’s always a fun thing for them to see each other, just to have that. It was really awesome today because St. Joe swam really well, we actually swam a lot of our personal bests today. It was a good meet.”
St. Joseph won two relays by the narrowest of margins. In the 200-yard medley relay, the Bears’ team of Mia Wurster, Sylvia Park, Breanne Pratley and Emma Dibkey came in at 1:58.48, edging Bridgman’s time of 1:58.60.
The 200 freestyle relay was even closer, decided by just one hundredth of a second. St. Joseph’s team of Addie Straub, Ella Ott, Dibkey and Park won in 1:47.58, with Bridgman finishing at 1:47.59.
“There were quite a few events that came down to the final touch, and St. Joe got most of those,” Bears coach Janet Beemer said. “Two meets ago we lost every outtouch, so we’re working on things.
“This is the year we’ve been the most competitive with Bridgman for awhile. We had some season- best times. The girls have been working extremely hard this week.
“I like to have the fast races, the ones that maybe they felt like they should’ve won those,” Nannfeldt said. “You’ve got to get beat sometimes in order to realize how hard you’ve got to work. I appreciate every one of those close losses.
They’re learning experiences.”
Park was an individual standout for St. Joseph. In addition to swimming on both of the Bears’ winning relay teams, she also took first in the 100 butterfly and 100 breaststroke.
“She’s just like ‘I’m not going to let them beat me,’ Beemer said. “She hates to lose. She’s a great competitor.”
Gabrielle Wiskow took first in diving for the Bears with a score of 174.50.
Bridgman was led by Audrey Dixon and Leah Horvath, who each took two individual events. Dixon won the 100 and 200 freestyle, and Horvath placed first in the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke. Jalynn Krieger won the 500 freestyle and Madylin Keigley took the 50 freestyle, and they teamed up with Alyvia Baker and Dixon to take the 400 free relay.
The swimming season started late due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and both teams have faced challenges. Beemer said she’s kept her swimmers distanced at practice and use a microphone to communicate. Nannfeldt noted that having a co-op program makes staying cautious extra important, to avoid spreading the virus between schools.
“Starting late, we’re not swimming how probably we would be if we had a normal season, but at least we’re swimming,” Nannfeldt said.
BRIDGMAN 105, ST. JOSEPH 81
200 medley relay — St. Joseph (Mia Wurster, Sylvia Park, Breanne Pratley, Emma Dibkey) 1:58.48; 200 freestyle – Audrey Dixon (B) 2:01.52; 200 IM – Leah Horvath (B) 2:26.96; 50 freestyle – Madylin Keigley (B) 26.66; diving – Gabrielle Wiskow (SJ) 174.50; 100 butterfly – Sylvia Park (SJ) 1:03.21; 100 freestyle – Audrey Dixon (B) 56.21; 500 freestyle – Jalynn Krieger 5:48.11 (B); 200 free relay – St. Joseph (Addie Straub, Ella Ott, Emma Dibkey, Sylvia Park) 1:47.58; 100 backstroke – Leah Horvath (B) 1:03.74; 100 breaststroke – Sylvia Park (SJ) 1:12.95; 400 free relay – Bridgman (Alyvia Baker, Jalynn Krieger, Madylin Keigley, Audrey Dixon) 3:54.90.