Coaches, swimmers and fans will tell you that these are the fun meets. Two very talented teams going head to head, pushing each other to try and take second instead of third or doing whatever is needed to grab a point here or there. Because when two swim programs like Skyline and Dexter jump in the water, every point matters.
It also matched two defending state champions head to head – something that doesn’t happen very often. Skyline won the Division 1 state title last year while neighbor Dexter was the Division 2 state champ.
And even though it was an early-season SEC crossover meet, this mattered. Both teams wanted this one and the evidence was in the effort. And it wasn’t surprising that the meet came down to the wire.
The Eagles took an 89-82 lead into the final race. Dexter’s team of Niklas Eberly, Michael Baumann, Clayton Kinnard and Casey Dolen finished first with a time of 3 minutes, 16.82 seconds to put eight points on the board.
But the Eagles’ team of Kyle Tschannen, Matt Lee, Keith Kozma and Ben Kurniawan touched second in 3:19.09 to lock up the win with four crucial points. The Eagles also took third for two more points as Skyline won the meet 95-90.
“Dexter is a very strong team so we knew we would have trouble winning events,” said Skyline Coach Mo-Jo Murrett. “We had to get our points from the younger swimmers and we did. I was really pleased with the number of close races we won.”
The Dreadnaughts opened the meet the same way they finished it – in first place. The team of Kinnard, Paul Schaefer, Eberly and Tanner Sharp won the medley relay in 1:38.86. Skyline was second in 1:41.54.
Dexter’s Dolen won the 200 free in 1:45.30 with Kozma taking second (1:45.99) and Evan McKelvey third (1:52.10) for the Eagles.
Dexter’s Kinnard won the 200 IM in 1:57.65 but Skyline again took two-three with Kurniawan (2:01.58) and Ben Keith (2:03.28).
The Dreads won their third straight individual race as Eberly sprinted to a first-place finish in 21.57 seconds. Skyline’s Tschannen was second (22.17) and Dexter’s Sharp was third (22.70).
Defending state champion Henry Schirmer won diving with 298.60 points. Dexter’s Cole Warren was second (207.65) and Skyline’s Andrew Ceely was third (206.65).
In the butterfly, Eberly finished first with a time of 51.10. Tschannen was second (53.28) and Alex Kurniawan third (56.77) for the Eagles.
Dolen returned to the winner’s circle for Dexter as he touched first in the 100 free with a time of 47.99. Lee was second (50.43) and McKelvey third (51.36) for Skyline.
The Eagles had a strong showing in the 500 free as they took the top three spots. Kozma was first in 4:50.66 with Keith in second (5:01.59) and Atticus Dewey third (5:09.35).
The Dreads swept the relays. The team of Dolen, Norris, Sayler and Sharp took first in the 200 free relay in 1:31.30. Skyline was second in 1:32.70.
Kinnard won the backstroke for Dexter with a time of 54.79. Kurniawan was second (54.85) for Skyline with teammate Dewey in third (59.13).
Dexter’s Tanner won the breaststroke in 1:02.67. Skyline’s Derek Mrachko was second (1:03.51) and Dexter’s Schaefer was third (1:03.96).