Thursday’s 119-66 home win against Pontiac was another chance for Morris boys swimming and diving head coach Andrew Porth to evaluate a lineup missing the injured Jimmy Meridieth.
“With this only being a one-level meet, it was good to have all the boys get to be on a varsity level, to see them competing for spots we have on our relays,” Porth said. “My breaststroke competition is very wide open between three or four kids. I’m excited to see what’s that going to bring. In the individual medley, I have a few kids that are going for a couple of spots. That’s always good to see. I’m glad to see these boys competing.”
Competition also is taking place among the Redskins’ divers. Angel Algarin earned a first-place score of 166.05 Thursday, edging out teammate Joe Perez and his 157.30. Perez has been the Redskins’ top diver for most of the last two seasons.
“I was just really in the game, had my mind really focused. Just wanted to keep getting a higher score and set higher standards for myself and the team and just really lead the pack,” Algarin said. “I’ve been working with some harder stuff, but I’m also keeping the basics involved, you know? Just got to remember where I’m going and remember where I’m at and remember that I got to keep pushing myself harder.”
Double individual winners from Morris were Jake Beaudin with a 27.22 in the 50-meter freestyle and a 1:01.05 in the 100 free; and Jackson Riley with a 2:39.66 in the 200 individual medley and a 1:11.5 in the 100 backstroke.
Ian Bashor won the 100 breast, with a 1:29.6, for the first time at the varsity level. Additional wins came from Jordan Ramirez with a 1:05.7 in the 100 butterfly, Sean Smith with a 2:20.29 in the 200 free and Jon Smyk with a 5:13.19 in the 400 free.
Beaudin, Riley, Smith and Ramirez also earned Morris wins in the 200 free relay with a 1:54.77, and in the 400 free relay with a 4:23.98. Ramirez is a relay veteran, but anchoring them is relatively new.
“I like to encourage them to swim faster, and just give me a little bit of a lead so I can bring it in,” Ramirez said. “I feel better in the back. I feel more where I should be. Feels more free, I guess.”
Second-place Redskins, in addition to Perez, were Justin Lizalek, Marcus Schluntz, Bashor and Smyk with a 2:24.35 in the 200 medley relay; Lizalek with a 2:56.55 in the 200 IM and a 1:17.14 in the 100 back; Ramirez with a 27.47 in the 50 free and Schluntz with a 1:34.44 in the 100 breast.