Sturgis’ swimming and diving team finished off the home slate with a 135-48 victory over Battle Creek Central Thursday on senior night.
“It was a great way to send the seniors off,” said Trojans coach Andy Feyes, who took a few moments after the diving competition to talk to the crowd about outgoing athletes Grant Brown, Kris Gibbs, Derek Hamblin, German foreign exchange student Luca Kromer, Grant Lancaster, Michael Maynard and Nathan Stemen.
David Polzin, Hunter Stanke, Michael Clark and Gabe Kurszka started the meet with a win in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:51.84. And it was smooth sailing from there on out for Sturgis, which is now 3-2 in the Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference, with victories in all 12 events.
With a big lead, some Sturgis competitors such as sophomore Brandon Jones, gained experience in races in which they don’t normally compete. For the first time in three years, Jones jumped into the pool for the 100 butterfly and he took first place with a time of 1:04.49.
“I swim all the distance [races], but today we’ve been trying some new events,” he said. “I’ve been confident in myself. That’s the second-fastest time on our top-10 board.”
Jones is four seconds away from qualifying for the state meet in the 500 freestyle, which is his primary focus. His typical meet schedule includes 850 yards in four events, requiring an intake of roughly 3,400 calories per day.
Brown took first in the 200 free (1:57.59), Stanke won the 200 individual medley (2:14.18), Michael Maynard claimed the top spot in the 50 free (25.04) and Gibbs posted a score of 196.30 to take first in diving.
Stanke was first in his next dip into the pool with a 52.82-second performance in the 100 free, Daniel Tetzloff won the 500 free (5:38.46) by nearly 18 seconds, and the quartet of Brown, Stemen, Maynard and Stanke cruised in the 200 free relay (1:37.42).
Polzin clipped the field by over eight seconds with a 1:04.95 in the 100 backstroke, Jones added another victory in the 100 breaststroke (1:13.73), and Brown, Tetzloff, Jones and Stemen capped the night with a time of 3:46.36 to easily win the 400 free relay.
It was the last dual meet of the season for Sturgis, which will compete at the SMAC East Championship Feb. 21-22 at Harper Creek.