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May 26, 2018

9/12/2017 7:29:00 AM
LUHS finishes tough week in the pool with some fun
]Nick Sabato/Lakeland Times

Holly Jaeger swims in the 200 yard freestyle during Lakeland’s 102-68 loss to Tomahawk in Great Northern Conference competition on Thursday, Sept. 7, at Lakeland Union High School.
]Nick Sabato/Lakeland Times

Holly Jaeger swims in the 200 yard freestyle during Lakeland’s 102-68 loss to Tomahawk in Great Northern Conference competition on Thursday, Sept. 7, at Lakeland Union High School.

Nick Sabato
River News reporter

After a week off from competition, Lakeland Union High School returned to the pool late in the week, first with the first home dual meet of the season against Tomahawk on Thursday and then in the Hodag Relays at Rhinelander on Saturday.

Tomahawk too much in GNC dual

Lakeland continued its tough conference schedule on Thursday in its first home meet of the season. After falling to Rhinelander to open their GNC dual meet slate last Thursday, the Thunderbirds didn't get much of a break as Tomahawk - the defending GNC champions - came to town.

The Hatchets swept the meet, winning every event by a score of 102-68, but for Lakeland, it was an opportunity to focus on time and continuing to improve.

"Our goal tonight was to really focus on your lane, focus on your race, race against the clock," LUHS head coach Chris Garcia said. "I wanted to see better finishes than last week at Rhinelander. Definitely saw better finishes. Every meet there's small improvements, but a nice list of things we can improve on going forward."

Tomahawk showed off its prowess by not only winning every event, but dominating events which Lakeland is strong in.

That made it a good meet for the young team to focus on getting better.

"I thought that might be the case in certain events so we talked about that before the meet," Garcia said. "You never know what's going to happen, so don't give up. You don't know what's going to happen in the last 10 yards of race."

Anntaya Corbesia took second place in all four of her events, swimming 2:33.52 in the 200 individual medley, while also swimming 59.60 in the 100 freestyle. She also joined Mariah Angove, Celeste Teichmiller and Kennedy Richards on the 200 medley relay that finished with a time of 2:06.62. Corbesia, Angove and Richards also partnered with Amanda Kosmen in the 200 freestyle relay that finished with a time of 1:50.96.

For Corbesia, this was an opportunity to race against strong competition and see where she is at the moment and how she needs to improve.

"I love competition and when I get it, I work hard," Corbesia said. "I just hope it pays off."

Angove earned a pair of second place finishes in the 50 freestyle and the 100 breaststroke, while Georgia Garcia placed second in the 100 backstroke.

Having some fun at Hodag Relays

Lakeland was shorthanded for the Hodag Relays on Saturday, missing eight varsity swimmers due to the ACT exam, but the squad still managed to take third out of six teams.

After a tough week of practice and a tough meet against Tomahawk, the T-Birds viewed the meet as something fun with no pressure.

"It's really just a fun meet. We ran JV and varsity events," Garcia said. "I put girls together that maybe don't normally get to swim in a relay together. I think the girls like this kind of low-pressure meet. It was a busy week with training and then Tomahawk was a tough meet on Thursday. Friday was a pretty hard day so it was good to have no pressure where you can swim and just have some fun."

Lakeland earned one win in 10 events, coming in the 3x50 mixer relay, which was consists of the first leg swimming a 25-yard freestyle and a 25-yard breaststroke, the second swimming a freestyle and a backstroke and the anchor swimming a freestyle and butterfly.

The team of Mariah Angove, Megan Ross and Anntaya Corbesia finished with a time of 1:30.51, which narrowly edged Black River Falls by 0.05 seconds.

Lakeland's team of Kelsee Blaska, Celeste Teichmiller and Ross also took second in the 3x100 backstroke relay. Blaska, Kiona Poupart, Lexie Tiffany and Holly Jaeger took second in the 200 freestyle relay.

In swimming, competitors are usually more concerned with racing against the clock than the swimmer in the next lane, but it's also important for some to place high on the leaderboard also.

"As a competitive person and growing up in that competitive atmosphere, it definitely is hard," Senior captain Holly Jaeger said. "However, being able to look at the clock and think about my own times and race against myself is more beneficial - especially long-term - than being competitive."

Lakeland is back in action with a GNC dual meet at Colby on Thursday.

Nick Sabato may be reached at nick@lakelandtimes.com or via Twitter @SabatoNick.

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