Two powerful Washtenaw County swim teams battled for a win in their final meet of the season on Thursday, February 15, at Saline High School.
Saline matched Ann Arbor Skyline point for point throughout the tough contest.
And in the end, victory came down to less than one second in the final event.
Skyline pulled ahead of Saline in the 400 freestyle relay, placing its A and B relays ahead of Saline. The first relay – a combination of junior Kyle Tschannen, and seniors Samuel Jyawook, David Cleason and Michael MacGillivray – finished at 3:18.23.
The drama came as the combination of juniors Ben Keith and Keith Kozma balanced the swims of seniors Sam Konigsberg and Matteo Procoppe, with Matteo touching the wall at 3:25.63 – just ahead of Saline’s crew, which came in at 3:26.27.
That race closed the tight meet, which started with Skyline taking second in the medley relay. Cleason, MacGillivray, Tschannen and Wilson Noll were less than 1 second behind Saline.
Skyline relays also came in 4th-6th, showing the team’s depth on all four strokes. Swimmers included Konigsberg, Kareem El-Tawil, Derek Mrachko and Shane MacNeil on the B relay; Matteo, Keegan Gardner, Noah Boucher and Russell Noble on the C relay; and Atticus Dewey, Nick Partridge, Patrick Dempsey and Ethan Procoppe on the D relay.
Jyawook continued his dominance in the 200 freestyle, taking first at 1:43.17, well under the state time of 1:46.79. Kozma placed third, while Matteo came in 5th.
MacGillivray then rocked the 200 IM with a time more than 8 seconds under the state time, touching the wall at 1:52.85. Cleason came in 3rd, followed by Konigsberg and Keith.
The 50-free field was sizzing hot, with the top five swimmers all under 23 seconds – and the 6th, El-Tawil, just over that at 23.02, and 7th, MacNeil, touching at 23.07. Tschannen came in third, one second behind Saline’s Matt Lau, followed by Noll in fifth.
Henry Schirmer once again finished in first place in diving, scoring 313.9 points. Drew Ceely placed third, less than 2 seconds behind Saline’s Jason Heisler.
Tschannen was a force in the 100 fly, taking first at 53.07 – one of three state cuts in that race. Keith took third, coming in at 53.77. Mrachko was just behind them at 55.27.
Jyawook took first place in the 100 free, coming in at 47.51, 4 seconds ahead of Jared Ehrman. MacNeil, Noll, and Noble filled out the rest of the fast heat.
Kozma dominated the 500 freestyle, with Cleason coming in third and Ethan Procoppe and Ryan Hsia joining them in the heat.
Saline won the 200 freestyle relay, leaving Skyline to take second with the team of Jyawook, El-Tawil, Noll and Kozma, and third with Noble, Mrachko, Keith and MacNeil. Skyline’s C relay came in 5th, thanks to swimmers Nick Partridge, Dempsey, Bassem El-Tawil and Conor Pyle. The D relay included swimmers Daniel Koselka, Jamison Brown, Thor Clarke and Aidan Majorprice.
Konigsberg showed off his stroke in the 100 back, finishing 2 1/2 seconds ahead of the Saline swimmer. Dewey, in 4th, and Matteo in 5th rounded out the Skyline scorers.
MacGillivray finished first in the 100 breaststroke by almost 3 seconds in a field of strong times. Kareem El-Tawil finished fifth, followed by Mrachko and Gardner.
At that point, the meet’s outcome was coming down to the 400 freestyle relay – and the crowd knew it. The exciting finish capped a satisfying meet, which included a senior night ceremony.