Races to watch (Sea Lions vs Sea Turtles)

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The St. Johns Sea Lions will attempt to defend their pool when they take on the Owosso Sea Turtles tomorrow (December 18th) at SJHS.  This dual has been the late December Meet for both clubs in recent years and has seen some terrific races.  Here are just a few that we think are worth the price of admission! (There is no cost by the way, come out and cheer them on.)

200 Freestyle
Brayden Hirschman (Sea Lions 2:44.63) vs Madelyn Usher (Sea Turtles 2:43.37)
Brayden is only .63 seconds away from qualifying for the MTSL State Championships in this event and he will most likely have to touch the pads before Madelyn to achieve this goal.  Samantha Hallead (Sea Lions) and McKinley Guru (Sea Turtles) are also swimming this event for the first time in their careers.

25 Freestyle
Anderson Usher (Sea Turtles 18.10) will be a strong contender for the State Title this year in this event (5th last year).  He will push current qualifiers Hannah Ray (Sea Turtles 20.20) and Landan Johnson (Sea Turtles 21.50) to catch him and may help set a qualifying pace (21.50) for Aldan Ott (Sea Lions 22.53), Breanna Boettger (Sea Lions 23.23), Robin Simmons (Sea Lions 24.02), Caleb Jurhs (Sea Turtles 24.03)  or Sean Lacelle (Sea Lions 26.50).

50 Freestyle
Luke Nurenberg (Sea Lions 25.94) vs Alex Binger (Sea Turtles 26.36)
This is what we come to swim meets for.  An epic battle of two 15 year old powerhouses, battling for the fastest swimmer title.  The water will be flying in this one!

50 Freestyle (Girls 11-12)
Madelyn Usher (Sea Turtles 30.31) vs Josephina Nurenberg (Sea Lions 31.36)
Keep an eye on this one as the two girls competing in the same heat at the 15 year old boys above may help them swim faster than anticipated and help Josie to achieve the State Time (31.00)

25 Butterfly
Taylor Alexander (Sea Lions 28.42) vs Anderson Usher and Landan Johnson (Sea Turtles 29.04, 29.65)
This is anyone’s race and there’s nothing better than watching 8 & Under swimmers give it their all in the Butterfly. Cordyn Kanan (Sea Turtles) will also be making her first appearance in this event.

50 Butterfly
Josephina Nurenberg (Sea Lions 34.63) vs Lillian Pumford (Sea Turtles 35.42)
Both swimmers have already qualified for States in this event, so we can just enjoy it for what it is, two terrific swimmers trying to get to the wall first.  Jesse Richards (Sea Lions 53.40) also has a shot at qualifying in the 9-10 group (50.50).

100 Butterfly
Alyvia Spousta (Sea Lions 1:19.53)
Alyvia will be swimming this event by herself.  Can she use that as motivation to reach the 1:17.00 MTSL State Qualifying Time?  We’re guessing some crowd noise just might do the trick! Update: Luke Nurenberg will be swimming the event also.

100 Freestyle (Heat 4 of 5)
Keep an eye on lanes 7 and 8 in this one as Jesse Richards (Sea Lions 1:33.40) and Kendal Grinnell (Sea Turtles 1:27.78) look to qualify for the State Meet (1:23.00 girls, 1:29.00 boys.)  They’re going to need good improvements, but swimming against all older swimmers may be the motivation to get it done.  This is the type of outside chance that can sometimes take the energy of a meet to a new level.

25 Backstroke (*Our pick for race of the night)
Lizzy Murray (Sea Lions 22.21) vs Anderson Usher (Sea Turtles 22.51)
This race is stacked and any one of the 8 finalists could come out on top.  The State Qualifying time (26.50) will be chased by Robin Simmons (Sea Lions 26.66) and Aldan Ott (Sea Lions 28.18) while Breanna Boettger (Sea Lions 23.65 ), Hannah Ray (Sea Turtles 24.70),  Landon Johnson (Sea Turtles 24.91) and Caleb Jurhs (Sea Turtles 25.56) have all already qualified.  They will be looking to un-seed the top two ranked backstrokers and claim the blue ribbon.

50 Breastroke
Lillian Pumford is the clear favorite here and was the runner up as a 10 year old at last years State Meet.  The race will be for second and could produce a close finish.  Samantha Hallead (Sea Lions 49.37), Aiden DeFrenn (Sea Turtles 50.95), Kevin DeFrenn (Sea Turtles 51.21), Xavier Maliska (Sea Lions 52.21), Sara McCastle (Sea Lions 53.41), Blake Binger (Sea Turtles 54.54) and Reid Binger (Sea Turtles 57.52) will all be looking to set a new personal record and come away with the silver ribbon (or is the color blue on their minds?)

By SJSportspage.com
Have an athlete or team that you think should be featured?  Email us at sjsportspage@gmail.com



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