Sandpoint swimming impresses in first meet
Emily Ballard competes in the home meet against Lakeland last season. She won the 100 breaststroke and 200 freestyle on Saturday.
(File photo by DYLAN GREENE)
Sports Editor | September 20, 2021 4:43 PM
COEUR d'ALENE — The Sandpoint swim team finally got its season underway on Saturday with a dual against Post Falls and Wallace at the Kroc Center.
The Bulldog girls edged out Post Falls 133-118 while the boys didn't have enough numbers to keep up with the Trojans. They both took down the Miners.
Head coach Greg Jackson said it was great to see his athletes back in the pool competing.
"It was kind of neat to see the kids get in the water and see my freshmen and where their capabilities are," he said. "I can kind of have an idea in practice, but I can really now start planning for how I want districts and state to possibly look and what our potential is."
As a team, Sandpoint lost to Post Falls 271-211. However, the Bulldogs were without six swimmers, including Maren Davidson and Hayden Leavitt. Jackson said that lack of depth really made the difference when team scores were tallied.
"It's not like we didn't have the speed, we just didn't have the kids," he said.
Despite being shorthanded, Jackson said he couldn't have asked for a better start to the season.
"I was so thoroughly impressed with every person on that team," he said. "It didn't matter whether they were the least experienced freshman or most experienced senior, everybody on that team performed extremely well."
Junior captain Caleb Norling grabbed a pair of individual titles for the boys, winning the 100-yard butterfly and 500 freestyle. He also was a part of the first-place 400 free relay team, along with Lon LeBlanc, Max Zuberbuhler and Jack Grzincic.
Jackson said Norling continued to dominate in the pool.
"He swam really well, but if he had somebody next to him, boy that kid would have gone a lot faster," he said. "He did excellent in the relays."
Grzincic and Zuberbuhler finished first and second respectively in the 100 backstroke, and Lon secured second in the 500 free. Grzincic was just a few seconds behind Norling in the 100 fly, capturing second.
Zuberbuhler was third and Harrison Gedde fourth in the 100 free. Luc LeBlanc, Gedde, Grzincic and Norling led the boys to a runner-up finish in the 200 free relay.
Only seven swimmers competed for the boys, who fell to Post Falls 153-78.
Jackson said his three sophomore boys — the LeBlanc brothers and Gedde — rose to the occasion on Saturday and filled some holes in the relays.
"Those three boys stepped up to the plate and they really performed well and really made me rethink how I work them out," he said. "I think they are going to get some harder workouts because they're capable."
The girls won nine of 11 events and Ayiana Prevost led the way taking home two individual titles in the 200 individual medley and 500 free. She also swam legs on the first-place 200 medley and 400 free relay teams.
The junior captain was about 15 seconds faster in the 500 free than Jackson expected her to be for this point in the season.
"Ayiana is doing exceptional across the board regardless of what aspect you look at," he said. "She's just really amped up her game and her swim in the 500 was phenomenal ... She killed it."
Freshman Ryleigh Bamer left her mark in her first meet for the Bulldogs, earning first in the 50 free and 100 fly. Bamer, Ava de Leeuw and Emily Ballard were also a part of the two winning relays for the girls.
Jackson said he has known Bamer for about eight years, but had never seen her compete in a meet prior to Saturday. He enjoyed watching her shine in her element.
"I got to see how she performs at peak level and we got to identify opportunities we can capitalize on," he said.
Ballard secured victories in the 100 breaststroke and 200 free and de Leeuw, a freshman, placed first in the 100 back and second in the 500 free.
April Davis, Sadie Dignan, Terra Converse and McKinley Jensen finished second in the 200 free relay. Jensen was third in the 100 back and fourth in the 500 free. Sophie Dignan (50 free), Converse (100 fly), Davis (100 free) and Sadie (100 breast) all notched third-place finishes.
The Bulldogs will battle Moscow, Lake City and Wallace at the University of Idaho pool at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
Coming into the season, SHS only had four meets scheduled prior to regionals, but they have added a home meet with Skyline on Friday, Oct. 8 at the Litehouse YMCA and a trip to Idaho Falls on Oct. 22.
DUAL SCORES — Sandpoint 157, Wallace 16; Sandpoint 133, Post Falls 118.
200-yard medley relay — 1, Sandpoint (Ava de Leeuw, Ayiana Prevost, Ryleigh Bamer, Emily Ballard), 2:06.79.
200 freestyle — 1, Emily Ballard, 2:14.20.
200 individual medley — 1, Ayiana Prevost, 2:38.42.
50 freestyle — 1, Ryleigh Bamer, 27.05. 3, Sophie Dignan, 33.79. 7, Georgia Gedde, 34.92.
100 butterfly — 1, Ryleigh Bamer, 1:06.89. 3, Terra Converse, 1:26.45.
100 freestyle — 3, April Davis, 1:17.72. 5, Sophie Dignan, 1:19.40. 6, Sadie Dignan, 1:22.32.
500 freestyle — 1, Ayiana Prevost, 6:01.59. 2, Ava de Leeuw, 6:02.36. 4, McKinley Jensen, 6:40.01.
200 freestyle relay — 2, Sandpoint (April Davis, Sadie Dignan, Terra Converse, McKinley Jensen), 2:10.51.
100 backstroke — 1, Ava de Leeuw, 1:11.96. 3, McKinley Jensen, 1:15.98. 5, Terra Converse, 1:21.48.
100 breaststroke — 1, Emily Ballard, 1:20.20. 3, Sadie Dignan, 1:41.06. 6, Georgia Gedde, 1:54.69.
400 freestyle relay — 1, Sandpoint (Emily Ballard, Ayiana Prevost, Ava de Leeuw, Ryleigh Bamer), 4:02.76. 3, Sandpoint (Terra Converse, Sophie Dignan, Sadie Dignan, McKinley Jensen), 5:06.03.
DUAL SCORES — Sandpoint 90, Wallace 41; Post Falls 153, Sandpoint 78.
200 medley relay — Sandpoint, DQ.
200 freestyle — 5, Luc LeBlanc, 2:56.48.
200 individual medley — Lon LeBlanc, DQ.
50 freestyle — 5, Calvin Williams, 53.44.
100 butterfly — 1, Caleb Norling, 57.61. 2, Jack Grzincic, 1:00.41.
100 freestyle — 3, Max Zuberbuhler, 1:00.96. 4, Harrison Gedde, 1:05.86.
500 freestyle — 1, Caleb Norling, 5:19.39. 2, Lon LeBlanc, 7:37.65.
200 freestyle relay — 2, Sandpoint (Harrison Gedde, Luc LeBlanc, Jack Grzincic, Caleb Norling), 1:49.57.
100 backstroke — 1, Jack Grzincic, 1:05.77. 2, Max Zuberbuhler, 1:10.20. 6, Harrison Gedde, 1:37.52.
400 freestyle relay — 1, Sandpoint (Lon LeBlanc, Max Zuberbuhler, Jack Grzincic, Caleb Norling), 3:51.48.