SWIM & DIVE: Evenson Wins Events As Saline Defeats Skyline to Open Season

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Kylie Evenson won the 100 backstroke for the Hornets as Saline defeated Skyline.

Sophomore Kyle Evenson won two individual events as Saline defeated Skyline, 134-52 as the girls' swim and dive season commenced Thursday in the Saline High School natatorium.

Evenson won the 100 backstroke in 59.34 seconds, earning her division 1 state cut, and won the freestyle in 1:58.84 seconds. She also helped Saline's 400 freestyle relay team to victory.

(Swim and Dive Photo Gallery, CLICK HERE)

It was a solid season-opening victory against an SEC Red Rival. Coach Todd Brunty said he was happy with the way the girls swam, but he was happiest just to see his team competing. 

"I'm just grateful we're actually here tonight. I'm just so excited for the girls. This is such an important part of their life and in their development as people, as athletes and human beings," Brunty said. "It's just great to see them back here and able to compete."

As athletes in some sports, like golf and tennis, were able to start in August, the girls swim and dive and team's season was in question until a couple weeks ago when Gov. Gretchen Whitmer eased some restrictions on indoor activities, which prompted the MHSAA to allow swim and dive to begin. But unlike athletes in other sports, like soccer, the girls were unable to practice in their regular environment. Coach Brunty had the team engage in dryland conditioning. The team has only been the pool for a little more than a week.

Given everything, Brunty is happy with how his Hornets looked.

"I'm really happy with where we are. I thought we would be further off than where we are at," Brunty said.

Saline opened the meet by taking first and second place in the 200-yard medley relay. Amelia Hayes, Megan Socha, Anna Bosinger and Caroline Klein swam the race in 1:52.97.  Kiersten Russell, Ellie Brunty, Samantha Graden and Sam Bullard were in second in 1:54.05.

Evenson won the 200-yard freestyle in 1:58.84, leading a 1-2-3 finish for the Hornets. Bella Arbaugh was second in 1:59.01 and Johanna Ehrman was third in 2:02.89.

Senior Kiersten Russell won the 200-yard IM in 2:14.72, edging Hayes by .04 seconds. Graden was fourth in 2:19.42.

Skyline's lone victory came in the 50-yard freestyle, which Claire Kozma won in 25.5 seconds. Bullard was second in 26.66 seconds. 

Sophomore Alice English won the 1-meter diving event, scoring 195.15. Gabriella Richards was second with 181.55 and Rachel White was fourth with 142.7.

Bosinger, a senior, won the 100 butterfly in 1:00.96, .03 seconds faster than Graden. Bullard was third at 1:02.96.

Hayes, a junior, led the charge in the 100-yard freestyle, winning in 55.13 seconds as Saline went 1-2-3 again. Russell, 55.77, and Socha, 56.72, were second and third, respectively.

Arbaugh, a sophomore, won the 500-yard freestyle in 5:29.24. Allison Ploutz-Snyder was third in 5:41.03 and Elizabeth Burchart was fifth in 5:52.46. Arbaugh won the race by besting Gina Sadler by just .05 seconds.

The team of Russell, Hayes, Bosinger and Arbaugh won the 200-yard freestyle in 1:43.34.

Evenson's second victory came in the backstroke, which she finished in 59.34 to earn Saline's only state cut of the year. Ehrman was second in 1:02.42 and Nami Sanna was fifth in 1:06.77.

Socha, a sophomore, kept the winning going in the breaststroke, which she won in 1:11.27. Brunty was third in 1:115.57 and Klein was fourth in 1:17.34.

The Hornets capped a strong performance taking first an second in the 400 freestyle relay. Arbaugh, Ploutz-Snyder, Evenson and Socha won in 3:53.04. Bosinger, Ehrman, Sanna and Klein were second in 3:58.13.

(Swim and Dive Photo Gallery, CLICK HERE)

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