BY CHRIS BROOKS, sports editor, wellsvillesports.com
WELLSVILLE — Sectionals are right around the corner for the Sea Lions. Their time to officially defend their back-to-back championships is slowly but surely, cascading over the horizon.
The time to create a massive momentum shift heading into the big dance, would come on Tuesday in the first of their final two meets of the season in their home waters. It wouldn’t take long for Wellsville to make some noise right out of the gate against visiting Bath-Haverling.
Right from the start and going forward, the back-to-back champs kept setting the tone in one of the biggest ways possible — finding their way to the timing pad first, as they scored wins in the first 10 events, with Hayden Waldon and Grace Kinnicutt both heading the efforts with a pair of individual victories each to power up a seventh straight win for the Sea Lions in a 102-71 rout of Bath-Haverling.
“It was another good meet and a good win for the girls. They continue to put in the hard work at practice, and it keeps paying off with another solid win,” said Sea Lions coach Steve Hand. “The girls keep getting faster and they are getting better times for Sectionals. With about a month left in the season, we’ll start to focus on gaining some more speed. Some girls are right where they need to be, and some need some extra work. A few days off will help with that before we honor our Seniors one last time this weekend.”
Waldon and Kinnicutt both paved the way towards another brilliant showing in the water with two individual victories each, with Kinnicutt recording hers in the back half of the meet with winning times in the 100 butterfly, and later on in the 100 backstroke. Waldon would get one in each half, with her first coming in the 200 freestyle and then the 100 freestyle.
Each swimmer would also race a leg in both of the winning relay teams for the Sea Lions (7-0), with Kinnicutt being part of the winning 200 medley relay squad at the very beginning of the meet, while Waldon raced the final leg in the team’s winning 200 freestyle relay.
The Sea Lions would also see four more individuals net victories of their own. Among them: Morgan Mattison in the 200 individual medley, Kaylee Oswald in the 50 freestyle, Ashley Oswald off the Diving board and Tiernee Brandes in the 500 freestyle.
Wellsville will jump back into their home waters one last time this season bright and early Saturday morning, as they host their Senior Meet against the Dansville Lady Mustangs beginning at 10 a.m.
Team Scores: Wellsville 102, Bath-Haverling 71.
200 Medley – 1. Wellsville (Brandes, Bidzerkowny, Kinnicutt, K. Oswald) 2:10.93, 2. Wellsville, 3 Bath-Haverling.
200 Free – 1. Hayden Waldon (WLSV) 2:11.32, 2. Ava Martin-Putman (B-H), 3. Sara McCormick (WLSV).
200 IMR – 1. Morgan Mattison (WLSV) 2:36.00, 2. Gracie Lindmark (B-H), 3. Jasmine Outman (WLSV).
50 Free – 1. Kaylee Oswald (WLSV) 28.20, 2. Madison Coots (B-H), 3. Allie Bidzerkowny (WLSV).
Diving – 1. Ashley Oswald (WLSV) 171.97, 2. Nanna Christiansen (B-H).
100 Fly – 1. Grace Kinnicutt (WLSV) 1:05.74, 2. Gracie Lindmark (B-H), 3. Sara McCormick (WLSV).
100 Free – 1. Hayden Waldon (WLSV) 1:01.35, 2. Madison Coots (B-H), 3. Kennedy Ewing (WLSV).
500 Free – 1. Tiernee Brandes (WLSV) 6:17.30, 2. Kaylee Oswald (WLSV), 3. Ella Miller (B-H).
200 Relay – 1. Wellsville (Mattison, Bidzerkowny, McCormick, Waldon) 1:58.97, 2. Bath-Haverling, 3. Wellsville.
100 Back – 1. Grace Kinnicutt (WLSV) 1:08.38, 2. Tiernee Brandes (WLSV), 3. Emily Budinger (WLSV).
100 Breaststroke – 1. Chelsey Stewart (B-H) 1:32.41, 2. Abigail Pritchard (B-H), 3. Makayla Skelly (B-H).
400 Free – 1. Bath-Haverling (Coots, Webster, Martin-Putman, Stewart) 4:50.66, 2. Bath-Haverling.