Ah, the No. 23. It was Michael Jordan’s number you know. It’s also one of the most commonly cited prime numbers – if you’re into that sort of thing. In Dexter, the No. 23 is about swimming superiority.
The Dexter Dreadnaughts have been No. 1 in girls’ swimming for over two decades – and for those counting, it’s 23 years to be exact. The Lady Dreads left no doubt – on land or in the water – that they are still the prime team in the SEC White Division.
Dexter swam undefeated in the dual-meet season to grab a share of the league title and wrapped up the whole enchilada with a dominating 720 points to win Saturday’s league meet at Chelsea. The host Bulldogs were a distant second with 446 points. Tecumseh was third (301), Lincoln (244) fourth and Pinckney fifth (202).
Dexter’s Lily Witte continues to finish first in diving and shatter pool records along the way – even ones that have stood for 27 years. Only a sophomore, Witte took first place in Friday’s final with 496.35 points, breaking the old Chelsea pool record of 450.40 set in 1993. She also beat her own SEC White Division record of 462 set last year. And she delivered 20 points to her Dexter teammates.
Vivian Kinnard also had a huge day. Another super sophomore, Kinnard delivered 17 points by taking second place with 436.45 points, not far off that 1993 pool record.
And if that wasn’t enough points, junior Elysa Grossman took third in diving with 380.40 points to complete the sweep at the top of the leaderboard. Dexter senior Emily Rooney placed seventh with 220.85 points.
The Dreadnaughts splashed into the pool on Saturday and won the opening medley relay. The team of Lauren Witte, Emma Sortor, Delaney Parker and Holly Durand touched first in 1:53.56 – beating Tecumseh (1:53.58) by a fingernail.
Senior Hailee Waters won the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:57.31. Maddy Matos was third (2:02.12) and Laura Walton touched fifth (2:08.01) for the Dreadnaughts.
Dexter senior Charlotte Schultz was second in the 200 IM in 2:13.79. Natalie Koenn was fourth in 2:23.58 and Delaney Parker touched sixth in 2:31.57.
The Dreads sprinted to the top two spots in the 50 freestyle behind a couple other super sophomores. Marea Balcom was first in 25.66 and Holly Durand touched second in 25.69. Lilly Witte was fifth (25.87) and Emma Sorter was sixth (26.09). And since we are here, Angela Castle was eighth (26.95), Dani Schulz was ninth (27.03) and Theresa Rutz was 10th (27.39).
Sortor won the 100 butterfly in 1:01.34 (individual state cut time) with teammate Lauren Witte right behind her in second with a time of 1:01.44. Isa Reyes was fifth (1:05.64), Theresa Rutz sixth (1:06.40) and Claire Blodgett seventh (1:07.98).
Durand took third in the 100 free in 55.84 and Balcom was sixth in 57.09.
Waters made her second trip to the winner’s circle when she took first in the 500 free with a time of 5:19.82. Walton was fourth in 5:37.77, Rose Clark took sixth (6:02.08), Elizabeth Higgins took seventh (6:07.24) and Alex Seidleck was ninth in 6:20.40.
The Dexter team of Schultz, Balcom, Waters and Lily Witte took first in the 200 free relay in 1:42.96.
In the backstroke, Schultz took first in 59.15. Lauren Witte was second in 1:01.05 and Maddy Matos took fourth with a state-cut time of 1:02.20.
Parker took first in the breaststroke with a state-cut time of 1:11.01 and Koenn took a very close second in 1:11.75. Reyes was sixth (1:20.37) and Elizabeth Young was eighth (1:24.34) for Dexter.
The Dreadnaughts wrapped things up with a first place in the 400 free relay. The team of Waters, Balcom, Schultz and Lauren Witte touched first in 3:40.11.
Team photo by Melanie Reyes