Gremlins’ senior salute goes swimmingly

HOUGHTON – Houghton honored its swimming seniors with victories over Kingsford in its last home swim meet of the season.

The Gremlin girls outscored the Flivvers 157-80, while the boys bested Kingsford 126-64.

“I was thrilled with the effort by the boys, especially some surprising times by the seniors. At this point in the season to have James DeClerck go 5:14 in the 500 (yard freestyle) and Daniel Shonnard’s 21.91 split in the 200 free relay is very encouraging going into taper,” Houghton coach Roger Woods said.

DeClerck and Shonnard, both seniors, dominated several events over a wide range, each netting a pair of individual victories and helping two winning relays.

DeClerck was a big winner in the 50 free, touching in 24.55, then churned out the distance pace, posting a 5:14.81 to take the 500.

Shonnard swam a 51.15 to win the 100 free, then switched gears for a win in 1:09.90 in the 100 breast.

Shonnard also reeled in a Kingsford swimmer to secure victory for he and teammates Vladi Kotov, Col Plumer and Torin O’Leary in the 200 free relay by just

.89 seconds.

The Gremlins also got a pair of wins from senior Nikita Velat in diving (150.15 points) and the 100 back (1:10.36).

On the girls’ side, seniors Rebecca Jaszczak (200 IM) and Jill Toorongian (100 free) posted individual wins.

Jaszczak rolled in with a seven-second win in her event, but Toorongian had to outduel Kingsford’s Maria Pirkola, the 50 free winner, 1:00.78 to 1:01.04.

Another senior, Alina Ryynanen was the day’s top diver with 163.15 points.

Sophomore Hannah Gundlach doubled up on the distance swims, taking the 200 and 500 free.

“I thought overall the girls had a solid meet, numerous best times and some quality races. As we are getting closer to U.P. Finals times matter more and the girls responded,” Woods said.

Houghton’s last meet of the regular season is a make-up Monday against GRIMN.

“With the cancelled meet on Tuesday and the reschedule to Monday, I have some tough choices to make for U.P. Finals given the depth on the girls’ side and the surprising swims on the boys’ side. I am looking forward to some rest for the team and a fast U.P. Finals in two weeks,” Woods said.