ROCHESTER — Manistee’s boys swimming team crowned its first-ever individual state champion over the weekend.
Meanwhile, Ludington’s season ended in Friday’s preliminaries in the Division 3 state finals at Oakland University.
Manistee junior Alec Lampen, a member of the Ludington summer swim program that competes in USA Swimming, touched the wall ahead of the field in the 100-yard backstroke in a winning time of 50.20 seconds.
That time was 1.1 seconds faster than his entry time, and 0.14 seconds better than his clocking in the Friday’s preliminaries. He is Manistee’s first state champion in the sport.
“We were all pulling for him,” said Manistee coach Corey VanFleet. “He did pretty well and led all the way. He’s a good kid, he’s a good swimmer and he’s a good student.
“He’s 6-foot-5, that’s part of it,” said VanFleet. “The longer boats beat the shorter boats. It has to do with water displacement. The other thing is he’s a ferocious worker. In this world, you don’t get very far if you don’t work hard. He’s coachable, and a pretty happy kid. That’s important. He’s a good teammate. He’ll swim anything you want him to swim, and he’ll work hard at it. He’s the real McCoy.”
Lampen,who has a 4.0 grade-point-average, added a second place in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 20.87 seconds, just 0.3 behind Grand Rapids Christian junior Ben Sytsma.
Every swimmer who competed in the state finals for Manistee recorded career-best times.
Lampen also swam on the 200-yard individual medley relay with senior Trevor Adamczak, junior Drew Mendians and senior Tug Thuemmel that took fourth with a 1:36.75.
The same foursome took ninth in the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:28.19.
Adamczak knocked 0.3 seconds off his entry time and was 0.23 seconds faster than his preliminary clocking with a 22.43 in the 50-yard freestyle and finished 12th.
Mendians finished 10th in the 100-yard freestyle in 48.88 seconds and ninth in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 59.67 seconds.
“The boys all swam well and gave it their all, it just wasn’t our year to be in the finals,” said Ludington coach Joe Schneider. “I would like to thank all the boys this season on all their hard work and giving it their all at every practice and meet. As well as to the parents for their behind the scenes wrok with meals and transportation. A huge thank you to assistant coach Kris Anderson and diving coach Evan Bennett.”
Ignacio Molina encountered some bad luck and was disqualified in the 50-yard freestyle after swimming a 22.67. He was 21st in the 100-yard freestyle in 50.35.
The Orioles 200-yard freestyle relay team of Kyle Wendt, Lucas Peterson, Owen Kasley and Molina finished 23rd with a time of 1:34.17.