PRIMED AND WAITING — The Springville-Griffith Institute varsity swim team waits to enter the pool. Photo by Dave DeLuca.
SPRINGVILLE — The Springville-Griffith Institute boys varsity swimming and diving team began its season on Nov. 30, with a home meet against St. Francis High School.
The boys won that first meet of the season 75 – 26. All three medley relay teams finished “extremely well,” according to Coach Katie Shelley. The varsity finished first and third in the event, including the 200-medley relay, a near miss of breaking the school record by 12 100ths of a second.
The relay team was made up of Donald Piatek, Trey Aebly, Ryan O’Hara and Mitchell Bunic. Leading the diving, in the meet, were Hunter Louth and Sam Shepard. Both divers finished first and second, respectively, with Louth’s scoring a 140.7 and Shepard’s scoring a 122.78. Eliott Tessmer finished in first place in the 200-freestyle. Bunic, the reigning point champion, from last season, finished first, in the individual medley.
“I can pretty much put him in any and every event, where I need him to be.” Shelley said, about Bunic. “He swims all four strokes with great technique and speed. He is basically a utility player. That is rare – to find someone who has the ability to perform all four strokes that well.”
Bunic has made it to the Section VI championships, the past two years, both to the prelimary and final rounds. He is also an honor roll student.
“He’s always at practice and works hard, while he is there,” Shelley said. “He is only a sophomore, but many swimmers and divers look up to him and strive to become as fast as Mitch. He’s an outgoing kid; friendly [and] funny. [I] never worry about him getting into trouble, either. He is a great role model, especially for our new and younger swimmers.”
Other first place finishes were made by Aebly in the 50-free and 100-breast. Ryan O’Hara added the 100-fly to his first place finishes, in the meet. Piatek won the 100-free and 100-back, while Nolan West won the 500-freestyle.
The 400-free relays took first and second place with West, Garret Olrogg, Brad Zifra and Trevor Cooper coming back, to out-touch St. Francis, at the finish. The 200-freestyle relays took first and second with “very impressive times,” according to Shelley. She also added that the team’s newest members, Hartenstein, Jonathan Arriaga and Paul Frank, dropped time in their events and she said she is excited about what they can do, in the upcoming meets.
The team traveled to Alden for its second meet of the year and won by a score of 111 – 71. Leading the list of first place finishes was the 200-medley relay of Piatek, Aebly, O’Hara and Bunic. West won the 200-free, Bunic won the 50-free and O’Hara took the 100-fly, with Aebly in the 100-breast. The 200-free relay of Tessmer, Aebly, O’Hara and Piatek and the 400-free relay team of O’Hara, West, Piatek and Bunic joined the 200-medley team, for first place finishes.
Louth scored 152.55 points in diving and Shepard scored 149.18 points, as they took first and second in diving.
“As the coach, for the past five years, I have never been more excited than I am now,” Shelley said. “I am lucky to have such a great group of athletes who all support and encourage each other to always do better. They are starting off strong and this season is definitely going to be a game changer, for the team.”
The boys had a meet on Dec. 7, at home against Lake Shore.