The Saline girls swim and dive team avenged its only conference loss by upsetting host Pioneer at the 2019 SEC Red Championship meet Saturday,
Saline finished with 586 points - 16 more than second-place Pioneer. Skyline was third with 354. Huron, 346, Bedford, 183 and Monroe, 123, also competed.
The Hornets were propelled to victory by conference champions Samantha Graden, 100-yard butterfly, Amelia Hayes, 100-yard backstroke, and Emma Loveland, 100-yard breaststroke.
After the 200-yard freestyle, which Pioneer won, the Pioneers held a 420-413 advantage with just three events to go.
But Saline vaulted in front in the 100-yard backstroke. Hayes, a sophomore, won in 56.26 seconds. She was followed in by junior Kiersten Russell, who was second in 56.49. Pioneer’s Autumn Bullinger finished second. But Saline added more points thanks to a fourth-place finish by Johanna Ehrman, 59.08, and ninth-place finish Graden, 1:00.5.
In all, Saline gained picked up 20 points on Pioneer in the backstroke.
Saline padded its lead in the breaststroke. Loveland, a senior, won in 1:04.81. Pioneer’s Lily Carmer was third. Saline senior Madison Miller was fourth in 1:05.91. Megan Socha, 7th, 1:08.3, and Courtney Marsh, 9th, 1:08.52, added to the Hornet point totals. Saline padded its lead on Pioneer.
The Hornets did more than enough in the 400-yard relay to hold hang on to victory,
The meet opened with Saline taking third in the 200-yard medley relay. Russel, Miller, Marsh and Caroline Klein swam the race in 1:49.68. The Saline “B” team of Hayes, Loveland, Graden and Socha won the consolation heat.
In the 200-yard freestyle, freshman Bella Arbaugh finished third in 1:54.26. Ehrman, 5th, 1:57.31, and Anna Bosinger, 7th, 1:57.83, also swam in the championship heat. Jillian Bradin, 12th, 2:04.68, also picked up points for Saline.
Hayes took second in the 200-yard IM, finishing in 2:08.87. Russell, 3rd, 2:08.92 and Loveland, 5th, 2:11.52, also swam in the championship race. In the consolation heat, Abigail Phillips, 10th, 2:23.71 and Jane Altevogt, 17th, 2:25.28, also picked up points for Saline.
Klein was the fastest Hornet in the 50-yad freestyle event, finishing eighth in 25.76. Miller, 11th, 25.81 and Sam Bullard, 12th, 25.94, also added points.
In diving, Paige Gidley, third, 363.25, led the Hornets. She was followed by Megan Mulligan, 4th, 344.9, Gabriella Richards, 6th, 337.05, and Ava Turner, 11th, 314.45.
The Hornets made up a lot of ground the 100-yard fly. They were led by Graden. The sophomore shaved .89 seconds off her time to win in 56.67 seconds. Fellow sophomore Allison Ploutz-Snyder was second in 58.21 seconds. Bullard, 7th, 59.78, and Marsh, 8th, 1:00.06, also picked up points in the championship race. In all, the Hornets picked up 60 points in the fly.
Socha finished third in the 100-yard freestyle, finishing in 53.92. Also picking up points was Klein, who was ninth in 55.59.
Arbaugh took second in the 500-yard freestyle, finishing in 5:06.35. Ploutz-Snyder, 4th, 5:09.98, Bosinger, 7th, 5:16.88, and Elizabeth Burchart, 8th, 5:21.23, also helped Saline gain ground in the championship heat.
Bullard, Miller, Burchart and Ploutz-Snyder finished third in the 200-yard freestyle. Bosinger, Loveland, Ehrman and Arbaugh won the consolation heat to help the Hornets take more points. Their time was actually good enough to finish third in the championship heat.
Saline picked up 61 points in the backstroke and then added 56 more in the breaststroke to take the lead heading into the 400-freestyle relay. Pioneer won the relay. The big story for Saline was that Arbaugh, Russell, Socha and Hayes dropped 8.49 seconds off their preliminary time to prevent Pioneer from cutting into Saline’s lead. And in the consolation heat, the team of Bosinger, Klein, Ehrman and Graden dropped 5.03 seconds to win their race.
The Hornet divers will compete at regionals. The rest of the team will prepare for the swim and dive finals, Nov. 22-23 in Holland.