Plymouth boys host 5-way with CMA, Bremen, Knox and Tippy Valley

PLYMOUTH — Plymouth held an impromptu invitational Monday.
With last week’s weather wreaking havoc on area schedules, Plymouth’s boys swim team found itself having to make up a snowed-out three-way meet with Bremen and Culver Military on top of another three-way with Knox and Tippecanoe Valley. The result was sometimes confusing, but the Pilgrims got it done, topping both Knox and Tippecanoe Valley 99-48-36 and splitting with winner CMA and third-place Bremen in their three-way 97-61-28.
“We had a nice little invitational tonight,” chuckled Plymouth boys swimming head coach Leanne Senter. “Last week when the meet got cancelled, (PHS Athletic Director) Mr. (Roy) Benge said Bremen said they’d just as soon come to the Knox meet and then CMA was given the choice of Monday or Wednesday, and everybody just came tonight. We didn’t know Tippy Valley was coming; that wasn’t written on our schedule, but it was written on their schedule and Knox’s schedule and one of our officials’ schedules so obviously we dropped the ball on that.”
“I have to thank Plymouth for bringing us over here,” said CMA head coach Tom Duckett. “We lost a Plymouth-Bremen three-way last week to the blizzard. We needed this meet. Plymouth needed this meet so they brought us over here. It was a confusing set-up, but they pulled it off and we all got to swim.”
With the Warsaw Sectional convening in just a little over a week, the CMA-Plymouth make-up was particularly important as it gave coaches a chance to gauge their teams’ relative times and to prepare accordingly for possible lineup adjustments when the state series begins Thursday, Feb. 17. On the other hand, with tapering yet to begin and the topsy turvy nature of the two teams’ practice schedules in the face of cancellations last week, both Senter and Duckett were cautious about forecasting any sectional outcomes.
“The kids are torn down. They’re tired; they should be. So it makes it hard to predict anything,” said Duckett. “A very young team — we don’t know. I would expect they would perform at sectional much better than they did here, but I can’t make any clear projections yet. I did get out of this meet what I needed and that was times for sectional. I’ve identified some changes I need to make in the lineup.”
The Eagles claimed wins in seven total events versus the Pilgrims and Lions, including victories in both the 200 medley and 400 free relays and one-two performance in the 100 and 200 freestyle races. Plymouth claimed the top spot in just three events as Poaolo Palmitessa finished first in the 100 backstroke, Jared Hill won the 50-yard freestyle, and the Pilgrims’ 200 free relay squad of Palmitessa, Hill, Elliott Eads and John Slater won their event.
“We had some fantastic swims, and some that weren’t so hot, but the snow days last week really hurt us,” said Senter. “We couldn’t practice on Wednesday, and we were supposed to have a meet on Tuesday. We got in the water on Thursday and Friday, but it’s just been kind of a weird week and a half.”
“I’ll make some adjustments in my relays of how I go about things,” she added. “I kind of swam off one relay and sat the other two, and I’ll probably divide and conquer a little bit more.”
While they fell in a convincing 97-61 decision to sectional-rival Culver Military, the Pilgrims did see some dramatic drops by freshmen Richie Such and Levi Schuler Monday.
“I had a couple freshmen, Richie Such in the 50 free — he didn’t get to swim it tonight, but he swam on the relay,” Senter said. “He’s been at a 28 all year and I said ‘Richie, it’ll drop,’ and tonight he swam a 26. Then Levi Schuler swam a 58 in the first leg of the 400 free relay. I have no idea where that came from either, but those are things to be considered when we get to sectional time.”
Meanwhile, Bremen claimed a pair of wins at Plymouth as Ryan McCreary won the diving competition with a 195.9 score, and Stuart Schmeltz captured first in the 100 breast, nearly three seconds ahead of CMA’s Leopoldo Burguete.
“It wasn’t our best meet of the year, performance-wise,” said Bremen head coach Seth Donnelly. “We had a really good swim out of Stuart Schmeltz; he won the 100 breast for us, so that was good, but overall we’re just getting ready for sectionals. This was just a good prep meet for it, so I’m not too worried about the times.”
Joe Pena won his diving competition with a dominant 277.4, but the Redskins were able to win just one race against Plymouth and Tippecanoe Valley. Senior Kyle Elam placed first in the 200-yard Individual Medley with a 2:32.03 stop, while sophomore Dillion Heaton was also able to drop some time Monday.
“They pulled some times, dropped some times, which I didn’t anticipate at all,” Knox head coach Bill Richards said. “We’ve had so much time off because of the snow. We lost, what, three days last week, and it makes it very difficult to bring them back in, especially when you’ve had one or two days of practice. You don’t anticipate these kind of drops when you’re missing time in the water.”
At Plymouth
200 medley relay: 1. CMA (David DeVries, Leopoldo Burguete, Javier Bravo, Zach Grant) 1:51.25, 2. Plymouth 1:57.49, 3. CMA 1:58.34; 200 free: 1. David DeVries (CMA) 1:52.18, 2. Pablo Padilla (CMA) 2:04.1, 3. Jack Fanning (B) 2:14.09; 200 IM: 1. Leopoldo Burguete (CMA) 2:14.3, 2. Stuart Schmeltz (B) 2:21.48, 3. Harris Allen (CMA) 2:31.5; 50 free: 1. Jared Hill (P) 25.13, 2. Elliot Eads (P) 25.26, 3. Jose Herrera (CMA) 25.3; Diving: 1. Ryan McCreary (B) 195.9, 2. Daniel Tuerff (CMA) 169.35, 3. John Slater (P) 167.6; 100 fly: 1. Javier Bravo (CMA) 1:02.04, 2. Tom Serf (P) 1:07.66, 3. Adan Beltrones (CMA) 1:09.23; 100 free: 1. Jorge DeLaVega (CMA) 53.77, 2. Zach Grant (CMA) 54.00, 3. Matt Kertai (B) 55.32; 500 free: 1. David DeVries (CMA) 5:10.7, 2. Jared Hill (P) 5:50.68, 3. Nik Kasper (CMA) 5:59.75; 200 free relay: 1. Plymouth (Poaolo Palmitessa, Elliot Eads, John Slater, Jared Hill) 1:40.31, 2. CMA 1:40.41, 3. CMA 1:47.98; 100 back: 1. Poaolo Palmitesssa (P) 59.86, 2. Zach Grant (CMA) 1:03.38, 3. Adan Beltrones (CMA) 1:05.63; 100 breast: 1. Stuart Schmeltz (B) 1:09.21, 2. Leopoldo Burgete (CMA) 1:12.18, 3. Bryan DeVries (CMA) 1:14.16; 400 free relay: 1. CMA (Zach Grant, Leopoldo Burguete, Jorge DeLaVega, David DeVries) 3:37.47, 2. Plymouth 3:53.46, 3. CMA 4:08.73
At Plymouth
200 medley relay: 1. Plymouth (Tom Serf, Brandon Brashere, Ben Shortt, Jordan Wendel) 1:57.49, 2. Knox 2:00.85, 3. Tippy Valley 2:01.68; 200 free: 1. Jake Martin (P) 2:17.36, 2. Isaac Rosentreter (P) 2:19.54, 3. Cameron Chiles (K) 2:21.61; 200 IM: 1. Kyle Elam (K) 2:32.03, 2. Brandon Brashere (P) 2:36.65, 3. Tommy Alexander (T) 2:38.09; 50 free: 1. Jared Hill (P) 25.13, 2. Elliot Eads (P) 25.26, 3. Dillon Button (K) 26.04; Diving: 1. Joe Pena (K) 277.4, 2. John Slater (P) 167.6, 3. Brady Ruffing (P) 145.55; 100 fly: 1. Tom Serf (P) 1:07.66, 2. Dillion Heaton (K) 1:07.91, 3. Jimmy Hudgens (K) 1:08.72; 100 free: 1. Kenneth Surface (T) 54.86, 2. Elliot Eads (P) 56.53, 3. Ben Shortt (P) 1:00.23; 500 free: 1. Jared Hill (P) 5:50.68, 2. Tommy Alexander (T) 6:05.6, 3. Matthew Pearson (P) 6:30.99; 200 free relay: 1. Plymouth (Poaolo Palmitessa, Elliot Eads, John Slater, Jared Hill) 1:40.31, 2. Tippy Valley 1:47.38, 3. Knox 1:47.3; 100 back: 1. Poaolo Palmitessa (P) 59.86, 2. Tom Serf (P) 1:07.31, 3. Dillon Button (K) 1:15.87; 100 breast: 1. Kenneth Surface (T) 1:11.36, 2. Tyler Martin (K) 1:13.75, 3. Brandon Brashere (P) 1:15.00; 400 free relay: 1. Plymouth (Elliot Eads, Jared Hill, Ben Shortt, Poaolo Palmitessa) 3:53.46.