Coach Joe Keller has an interesting mix among the girls on the Northridge High School swimming team. On one hand he has great experience and leadership from the seniors while on the other hand he has some youth that are rather inexperienced.
The veteran coach blended the two elements together and the Raiders posted a 110-75 win over the Goshen Redskins in an NLC meet Tuesday evening at Northridge.
“It was a successful night for the girls,” Keller said. “We we excellent. No, that is still a work in progress. But this team is making strides in the areas we need them to.
“Goshen has a good team and in some ways I was expecting this to be a closer meet. In some areas we expected to be a little more challenged.”
Goshen coach Nate Duell said, “We knew coming in it would take a near perfect evening for us to beat Northridge. We had some good swims, but this was our seventh meet in 15 days. That is a brutal stretch of our schedule. I was proud of the effort from the girls. A lot of times in a meet like this things can get away from you but that didn’t happen. We were competitive right down to the last race.”
The last event was the 400-meter freestyle relay and Goshen was in first place entering the anchor leg. About halfway through her swim Northridge senior Brittney Walters charged into the lead and one going away. The Northridge foursome of junior Tessa Peter, senior Ashley Owens, sophomore Nikki Willey and Walters were clocked in 3:53.56.
“That is the thing about Brittney,” Keller said.
“I can sit back and watch because with her being in the last swimmer I know what is going to happen. She also gives me the flexibility to move girls around so we can try to win all three relays.”
Walters was in individual double winner taking the 100 butterfly (1:01.66) and 500 free (5:16.80). She also teamed with freshman Sydney Boyer, junior Courtney Clark and Grove for a first in the 200 free relay (1:44.20).
Quite an impressive night for someone who was ill last week.
“She was sick and left school on Friday crying because she was not going to be able to swim on Saturday.” Keller said.
“The talk this year in Notre Dame football was how much Manti Te’o wanted to be with his teammates. Brittney is the Manti Te’o of our team. All she wants to do is compete with her team and be around the other girls.”
Goshen freshman Emma Hussey won the 200 free (2:08.00) and classmate Clarie Palczynski the 100 backstroke (1:06.72).
“Both of them had big wins for us,” Duell said.
Senior Haley Ronci was another swimmer Duell highlighted.
“She is having a good season for us,” the coach said. “I can put her in about her in about any event and she will give me a good effort.”
Redskin junior Emily Yoder finished second (211.45 points) in diving to Northridge junior Jenna Denlinger (212.35).
“That is a personal best for Emily and will probably put her in the top eight or nine divers at Goshen all time on six dives,” Duell said.
Northridge (5-2, 4-0 NLC) hosts NorthWood next Tuesday. Goshen (6-2, 2-2) is at Elkhart Central Thursday.
200-YARD MEDLEY RELAY — 1, Northridge (Brittani Grove, Brooke Gardner, Ashley Owens, Sydney Boyer) 1:56.98; 2, Goshen 2:05.40; 3, Northridge 2:06.44.
200-YARD FREESTYLE — 1, Emma Hussey (G) 2:08.00; 2, Courtney Clark (N) 2:12.28; 3, Olivia Wenger (G) 2:14.95; 4, Isabella Staltari (N) 2:16.77; 5, Miranda Vancoppenolle (N) 2:17.33.
200-YARD INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY — 1, Ashley Owens (N) 2:20.88; 2, Haley Ronci (G) 2; 2:25.74; 3, Brooke Gardner (N) 2:29.22; 4, Nikki Willey (N) 2:33.63; 5, Laura James (G) 2:36.84.
50-YARD FREESTYLE — 1, Brittani Grove (N) 25.70; 2, Natalie Evans (G) 26.93; 3, Tessa peter (N) 27.36; 4, Molly Hill (G) 27.39; 5, Heather Ronci (G) 27.42.
DIVING — 1, Jenna Denlinger (N) 212.35 points; 2, Emily Yoder (G) 211.45; 3, Mikayla Sprague (N) 189.75; 4, Madelyn Flager (N) 121.45.
100-YARD BUTTERFLY — 1, Brittney Walters (N) 1:01.66; 2, Natalie Evans (G) 1:05.36; 3, Molly Hill (G) 1:08.72; 4, Tessa Peter (N) 1:10.88; 5, Megan Campbell (N) 1:13.04.
100-YARD FREESTYLE — 1, Brittani Grove (N) 55.87; 2, Sydney Boyer (N) 58.51; 3, Olivia Wenger (G) 59.83; 4, Heather Ronci (G) 1:01.21; 5, Surae Woods-Cross (G) 1:01.77.
500-YARD FREESTYLE — 1, Brittney Walters (N) 5:16.80; 2, Haley Ronci (G) 5:35.40; 3, Emma Hussey (G) 5:51.29; 4, Courtney Clark (N) 5:24.27; 5, Miranda Vancoppenolle (N) 6:00.41.
200-YARD FREESTYLE RELAY — 1, Northridge (Sydney Boyer, Courtney Clark, Brittani Grove, Brittney Walters) 1:44.20; 2, Goshen 1:50.26; 3, Goshen 1:57.71.
100-YARD BACKSTROKE — 1, Claire Palczynski (G) 1:06.72; 2, Ashley Owens (N) 1:07.83; 3, Anela Helmuth (N) 1:12.08; 4, Maggie Walters (G) 1:12.45; 5, Emily Morrison (N) 1:13.24.
100-YARD BREASTSTROKE — 1, Brooke Gardner (N) 1:14.45; 2, Sydney Boyer (N) 1:15.31; 3, Nikki Willey (N) 1:17.35; 4, Lynnsey James (G) 1:18.62; 5, MacKenzie Bilbrey (G) 1:22.95.
400-YARD FREESTYLE RELAY — 1, Northridge (Tessa Peter, Ashley Owens, Nikki Willey, Brittney Walters) 3:32.56; 2, Goshen 3:57.71; 3, Goshen 4:22.60.
Northridge 136, Goshen 49
MIDDLEBURY — It was a night of personal bests for the more seasoned Northridge Raiders in an NLC meet with the youthful Goshen Redskins. Northridge ended up with a 136-49 victory Tuesday night at Northridge.
“It’s hard to single anyone out, because we had a lot of personal bests,” Northridge coach Joe Keller said.
“In a meet like this we are able to move guys around into events they normally don’t swim. That is good for the kids since it helps mix things up.”
The powerful Raiders won every event with the exception of the 100-yard freestyle that was taken by Goshen senior Adam Bratten (50.60).
“I told the guys coming into the meet this was an opportunity to swim with competition,” Goshen coach Nate Duell said.
“That is the way you get better and for the most part we did that tonight. One of our sayings for the meet was ‘Embrace the race.’
“We have kids with a lot of heart and desire on the team. Bratten got out of the pool after one of his events and I though he was having an asthma attack. He said ‘no, he had not been feeling well for the last couple of days.’ But he never said anything until then.”
Senior Austin Flager finished first in the 100 butterfly (51.57) and 100 breaststroke (1:04.83), classmate AJ Bernth captured the 200 free (1:50.89) and 100 backstroke (56.83) and junior Jonathan Stoller took the 50 free (22.67) and 500 free (4:55.89) to lead the Raiders.
“The boys team is similar to the girls in the fact that we have a lot of experience and leadership among the seniors,” Keller said. “Where the difference is between the teams is the younger kids on the boys team are experienced.”
There are six freshmen — Alex Bernth, Jeremy Burbrink, Seth Cripe, Jesse Drake, Logan Elijah and Conner Sandt — on the varsity roster.
“The six of them were all at the age group state meet this summer,” Keller said.
“They have enough experience by this point of the season I consider then veterans. They have raced enough to allow them to make the adjustment to high school swimming.”
When you consider freshmen veterans it speaks well of the future of our program.”
All of the youngsters contributed to the victory with Cripe leading the way with his win in the 200 individual medley (2:07.80).
Keller likes the attitude of the team.
“This group won the Indiana Swimming Spirit Award,” the coach said.
“It’s a fun group to be around. They show up everyday ready to work hard in practice. It’s a group that just loves being around the pool.”
Northridge (6-1, 4-0 NLC) hosts NorthWood next Tuesday and Goshen (1-6, 1-3) travels to Elkhart Central Thursday.
200-YARD MEDLEY RELAY — 1, Northridge (AJ Bernth, Chayton Friesen, Alexander Bernth, Conner Sandt) 1:48.;50; 2, Northridge 1:49.62; 3, Goshen 1:50.09.
200-YARD FREESTYLE — 1, AJ Bernth (N) 1:50.89; 2, Joe Mueller (N) 1:56.26; 3, Jesse Drake (N) 1:58.40;. 4, Noah Shreiner (G) 2:15.82; 5, Charlie Ostergren (G) 2:37.83.
200-YARD INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY — 1, Seth Cripe (N) 2:07.80;. 2, Conner Sandt (N) 2:11.46; 3, Takoda Friesen (N) 2:13.77; 4, Tyler James (G) 2:27.20; 5, Alex Metcalfe (G) 2:28.36.
50-YARD FREESTYLE — 1, Jonathan Stoller (N) 22.67; 2, Ian Duell (G) 24.85; 3, Jeremy Burbrink (N) 25.07; 4, Chayton Friesen (N) 25.42; 5, Trevor Wood (G) 28.18.
DIVING — 1, Taylor Berkey (N) 224.45 points; 2, Andre Buller (G) 168.65; 3, Hudson Kay (G) 160.25; 4, Sam Bowser (G) 149.80.
100-YARD BUTTERFLY — 1, Austin Flager (N) 51.57; 2, Alexander Bernth (N) 1:01.08; 3, Daniel Swihart (G) 1:01.11; 4, Logan Elijah (N) 1;03.39; 5, Alex Metcalfe (G) 1:11.42.
100-YARD FREESTYLE — 1, Adam Bratten (G) 50.60; 2, Takoda Friesen (N) 50.70; 3, Tyler Matthews (N) 53.87; Lucas McLain (N) 55.02; 5, Ian Duell (G) 55.77.
500-YARD FREESTYLE — 1, Jonathan Stoller (N) 4:55.89; 2, Joe Mueller (N) 5:06.37; 3, Conner Sandt (N) 5:20.12; 4, Noah Shreiner (G) 6:07.43; 5, Kyle Butler (G) 6:22.99.
200-YARD FREESTYLE RELAY — 1, Northridge (Austin Flager, Phillip Keller, Jordan Lantz, Jonathan Stoller) 1:35.76; 2, Northridge 1:36.89; 3, Goshen 1:47.29.
100-YARD BACKSTROKE — 1, AJ Bernth (N) 56.83; 2, Adam Bratten (G) 57.27; 3, Chayton Friesen (N) 1:02.18; 4, Tyler Matthews (N) 1:04.39; 5, Jacob Lietzan (G) 1:21.65.
100-YARD BREASTSTROKE — 1, Austin Flager (N) 1:04.83; 2, Phillip Keller (N) 1:10.25; 3, Tyler James (G) 1:12.32; 4, Jordan Lantz (N) 1:14.19; 5, Charlie Ostergren (G) 1:20.27.
400-YARD FREESTYLE RELAY — 1, Northridge (Jeremy Burbrink, Jesse Drake, Seth cripe, Chayton Friesen) 3:52.93; 2, Northridge 3:36.99; 3, Goshen 3:49.05.