By Margaret Baker
The Huron River Rats made the trek out to East Grand Rapids on Saturday for the 12th annual Pioneer Classic. The meet is an early-season opportunity for teams across the state to compete against one another.
Farmington Hills Mercy finished first overall with 633 points followed by East Grand Rapids (543.5), Hudsonville (335), Grand Ledge (250), Huron (188), Livonia Stevenson (161), Portage Northern (142.5) and Okemos (64).
Huron broke the top 10 in all three relays in a very fast field.
In the opening 200 medley relay, sophomore Clara Bowman, junior Anna Leone, sophomore Abbey Ketslakh and senior/captain Yu Jin Hyun finished 7th (1:56.99). In the 200 free relay, Hyun, senior Elizabeth Conatser, freshman Ayaka Sakamoto, and Leone clocked in at 9th (1:50.45). Also finishing with a 9th place ribbon was the Rats’ 400 Free Relay team of Ketslakh, senior/captain Olivia Figueroa, and freshmen Zannah Baker and Kathryn Hemmila (3:58.04).
Top 16 scorers for Huron included the ever-faster Ketslakh – 2nd in the 200 IM (2:11.43) and 3rdin the 100 Fly (59.74); Hyun fifth in the 50 Free in 25.69 and 8th in the 100 Free (56.55); and Leone, 9th in the 100 Breast (1:13.14).
Just out of scoring range for the Rats included Bowman, who touched 17th in the 200 IM (2:39:17), and up-and-coming freshmen Kathryn Hemmila (5:49.78) and Ezgi Poyraz (5:52.55), who were 17th and 18th respectively in the 500 free.
Dazzling sophomore Annie Costello blew away the competition on the diving board for a second year in a row at this west-side rodeo, easily finishing first with 449.45 points in the 11-dive competition, more than 50 points over Mercy’s Cira McCliment (394.40).
Rats captain/senior Becca Darnell put in a polished performance, finishing 6th (330.80), and junior Sami Ruud (290.30) was 8th. Also diving for Huron was senior Brooke Brenner, 14th with 231.80 points, and junior Anna Boerst, diving in exhibition with 229.30.
Other Rats making the road trip out to EGR included: freshmen Sara Abdul-Hak, Lydia Hargett, Emma Kaipainen, Margo Leone, Felicia Sang, Cali Streeter, Ali Sutton, and Ayaka Sakamoto; sophomores Amaris Beal, Sophie Getzen, Kiana Hemati, Ella Szymansky and Pooja Yalavarthi; and juniors Faith Baker, Kristina Holcombe, and Emmy Seth.
Huron has two home meets this week: Bedford on Tuesday and Monroe on Thursday. The opening relays start at 6 p.m. at the Ratatorium.