The Lakeland girls’ swim team got to choose the events they swam in on Tuesday night, but the opponent was always going to be Merrill and that proved to be problematic for the Thunderbirds.

The Bluejays took the top spot in 10 of 11 races in the program and dominated the T-Birds 99-70.

“It was a non-conference meet so I let people choose their own events,” head coach Chris Garcia said. “We had some girls swim off events. We had an all senior relay(plus one sophomore). We swam OK.”.

The highlight for the T-Birds was Mariah Angove’s win in the 100 yard backstroke.

Other than that, it was all Bluejays in first.

And though it was a laid-back night for Lakeland, there were moments of suspense.

The 200 yard medley team of Megan Ross, Mariah Angove, Celeste Teichmiller, and Rylee Ahlborn finished only 0.10 behind Merrill’s winning team of Erin Kanitz, Bailey Orzech, Claire Schultz, and Camryn Schulz. And in the 50 yard freestyle Rylee Ahlborn was only 0.28 seconds behind Merrill’s Trinity Kanitz.

Lakeland swimmers still have time to redeem themselves at home since they are hosting the Great Northern Conference meet next Friday.

“It is nice that we are hosting conference,” Garcia said. “It was not the last meet the seniors will have at home.”

The conference meet starts next Friday at the LUHS pool at 5 p.m. 

Jacob Friede may be reached at jacob@lakelandtimes.com or sports@lakelandtimes.com.