Raiders win first two events, give Hawks a fight in opening meet
MEDFORD BOYS SWIMMING
The Medford Raiders won the night’s first two events and held their own after that while getting the boys swim season off to an encouraging start Tuesday in an 85.5-69.5 loss at Shawano.
Carrying a lineup of five experienced swimmers and five newcomers, the Raiders led the meet through seven events. The Hawks finally tied Medford at 55.5 when they took first and third in the 200-yard freestyle relay and then clinched the meet with wins in the last three races.
“It was a great meet,” Medford head coach Shari Bergman said. “I was real happy with how the boys swam. We had many results close to personal best times. The guys are upbeat and always portraying a positive mental attitude.”
Matt Buchan and Isaac Dittrich pulled off a one-two finish in the 200-yard freestyle, putting up 10 early points for the Raiders. Buchan won it in 2:26.35, while Dittrich came in at 2:33.38, 11.73 seconds ahead of Shawano’s third-place swimmer Drew Kane. Later in the meet, Buchan swam the 500-yard freestyle in 6:59.07 to take second and Dittrich was third in 7:02.48. They trailed the Hawks’ Peter Fuller, who won in 6:06.81.
The Raiders’ 200-yard medley relay team of Ethan Kraemer, Jacob Mitchell, Tahtankka Damm and Jack Griesbach won the meet’s opening race in 2:13.6 as both of Shawano’s teams were disqualifi ed.
Medford scored nine big points in the 100-yard freestyle with Kraemer taking second in 1:09.97 behind the Hawks’ Wylee Springborn, Christian Di Benedetto taking third in 1:20.12 and Blaze Kesan taking fourth in 1:20.38. Griesbach and Damm scored seven points with their second- and third-place times of 1:27.85 and 1:31.71 in the 100-yard butterfly. That was Damm’s first-ever varsity butterfly race.
Damm also tied Shawano’s Jack Reed for second place in the 50-yard freestyle with his time of 27.4 seconds. Kesan, a first-year senior, was fourth in 31.21 seconds and Nathan Sislo, a first-year junior, was sixth in 33.77 seconds.
Freshman Jacob Mitchell had a solid first race in the 100-yard breaststroke, taking second in 1:28.76 behind Shawano’s Carson Cummings (1:24.82). Di Benedetto, Medford’s exchange student from Italy, was third in 1:47.4. Kraemer took third in the 100-yard backstroke at 1:20.97 and Sislo was fourth in 1:40.2. Shawano’s Josh Bergmann won in 1:07.23.
“All our first year swimmers looked great,” Bergman said.
Griesbach had a solid first 200-yard individual medley swim of the season, taking third in 2:51.55, while Mitchell was fourth in 3:15.58. Fuller won that race in 2:28.7.
Mitchell, Kesan, Dittrich and Buchan scored four points with a second-place time of 2:06.07 in the 200-yard freestyle relay, 8.33 seconds behind Shawano’s top team. Dittrich, Kesan, Di Benedetto and Sislo got credit for third place in the 400-yard freestyle relay at 5:59.73 after Medford’s top team was disqualified.
Di Benedetto, Sislo, Dylan Kraemer and Griesbach had a time of 2:10.72 in the JV 200-yard freestyle relay. Dylan Kraemer notched two JV wins, taking the 50-yard freestyle in 34.37 seconds and the 50-yard backstroke in 46.11 seconds.
Medford hosts defending Great Northern Conference champion Rhinelander today, Thursday, at 5:30 p.m at the MASH pool. GNC contender Lakeland visits on Dec. 12.