2005. 2.27 Ann Arbor News
Records fall for Pioneer swimmers at SEC meet
Pioneers win with 631 points; Saline second, Dexter third
Sunday, February 27, 2005
BY JEFF ARNOLD
News Sports Reporter
On a day when times dropped and records shattered, the Pioneer High School boys swimming team remained as steady as ever.
Paced by junior Sho Koba, who set new Southeastern Conference records in two events, the Pioneers distanced themselves from the rest of the SEC in the kind of state tournament primer coach Dennis Hill was hoping to see.
In addition to Koba's record swims in the 100-yard and 200-yard freestyle, Pioneer's 400 freestyle relay, and 200 freestyle set new conference marks. In addition, Pioneer senior David Curtis (500 free), Jason Hass (100 fly) and diver Ross Bornschein set new pool records - all of which contributed to Pioneer's runaway championship.
"We swam pretty well today. I think we're in pretty good shape," Hill said. "We've got two weeks yet (before the state finals), but I feel pretty good about where we're at."
Pioneer scored 653 points in Saturday's championship final, well ahead of Saline's 421. Adrian, which finished fifth overall, placed third in the Red Division standings. Dexter claimed the SEC White title with 382 points, finishing thirs overall and ahead of Chelsea (306), Tecumseh (160) and Lincoln (56).
In addition to Pioneer's record-breaking performances, several other conference and pool records were broken during Saturday's championships. Dexter's 200 medley relay set a new pool record, and the Dreadnaughts' Bryan Vessels broke the SEC and pool marks he set in Friday's preliminaries in the 50 free and set a new pool record in the 100 backstroke.
Divers Mike Eberbach (Dexter), Sean Cleary (Chelsea) and Shawn Bergman (Chelsea) set new pool marks with their performances Saturday.
While new individual standards were set Saturday, Saline's strong two-day performance resulted in the Hornets sending six swimmers to the upcoming state championships. Dan Warner claimed the 200 IM and finished second in the 500 free while Saline's 400 relay posted a second-place finish to lead the Hornets.
Junior Kyle Begley also had a second-place finish in the 50 free.
"I didn't have the greatest times (Friday), and so I really looked at how focused I was and really tried to concentrate on what I needed to do to go faster," Warner said. "And it worked today."
With the conference meets over, state qualifiers will use the next two weeks to prepare for the state championships. For Pioneer, that means keeping some events steady while preparing others for the increased level of talent they'll see in the race for a state title.
"I think we'll go faster now - how fast I don't know," Hill said. "But we're on track we need to keep coming because it's not over yet."
Jeff Arnold can be reached at email@example.com or at (734) 994-6812.