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Sailors News · Caledonia, Lowell, South Christian join forces for new co-op swim team

By John Raffel | Advance Newspapers
on September 23, 2016 12:35 AM

CALEDONIA — Caledonia, Lowell, and South Christian have joined together to form a new co-op boys swim team and is enjoying a unique season.

Coaches are Stephanie Huyser for the girls and Andrew Vanderlei as the assistant. For the boys’ team in the winter, they’ll switch positions for the same co-op tandem.

Caledonia and South Christian had been part of Byron Center’s team. They branched off and joined Lowell. It’s Huyser’s first year coaching at the high school level.

The swimmers travel to GR Community College for pool time.

“GRCC seems to be the most central location since the three schools are in such different directions,” Huyser said. “We share the pool with West Catholic’s team.”

They are not hosting any meets.

“So far, they’re doing really well,” Huyser said of the girls’ team. “We took first place this past weekend at an invitational.”

The team has 22 swimmers and two divers, and competes in an OK Conference of all co-op teams.

“Caledonia makes up about half the team,” Huyser said. “Lowell and South Christian are pretty equal with the remaining half.”

Top swimmers in the 50 and 100 freestyle have been Sid Schering, who is close to getting state-qualification times for Division I.

“We have no doubt that she’ll get it this season,” Huyser said.

The relay teams are looking effective. Relay swimmers include Madeline Schmehling, Emma Norman, Zea Bud, Lexi Singscock, and Alyssa DeShane.

“Between them, we have a pretty fast relay team,” Huyser said. “I could probably list 24 girls and have a fast team. All the girls score at least once.

“We have some events stronger than others. We have good swimmers in every event. In our 50 free, we have a lot of strong swimmers, as well as in the 100 free. We have a few really good long-distance swimmers and a couple of IM swimmers.”

Winning the conference is among the team goals.

“We want to become a team, become like a family, and enjoy the season,” Huyser said.