Otsego, Wayland secure top-10 finishes at finals
If the Division 3 boys’ swim and dive state finals were a movie, then Otsego’s Brennan Richardson would have been cast as the leading man in terms of Allegan County athletes.
Richardson earned a pair of fourth-place finishes in individual events and was part of two fifth-place relay teams to help the Bulldogs place sixth with 129 points.
Wayland was close behind in seventh place with 126 points, while Hamilton (23rd with 17 points), Plainwell (24th with 16 points) and Allegan (28th with 11 points) also competed.
Cranbrook Kingswood won the state title with 268 points, followed by East Grand Rapids (255), Holland Christian (241.5), Chelsea (227) and Spring Lake (153).
Richardson secured his first fourth-place showing in the 200-yard freestyle, posting a time of 143:18. He later swam a 4:44.2 in the 500 free to finish fourth in that event as well.
In the relays, Richardson anchored both the 200 free and 400 free teams to their fifth-place finishes. The 200 free team (1:27.8) also included Adam Coe, Trevor Sparks and Josh David, while the 400 free team (3:12.34) also included Sparks, David and Traxel Jirgens.
Wayland’s Mason Hooker nearly matched Richardson’s performance. He finished fifth in the 500 free, was sixth in the 200 free and helped the Wildcats to two top-seven relay finishes.
Hooker swam a 4:47.21 in the 500 free and a 1:44.1 in the 200 free. He joined with Jordan Sopjes, Matthew Jenison and Max Antel to place sixth in the 400 free relay (3:13.56) and teamed with Rory Bessinger, Jenison and Codey Clewell to place seventh in the 200 medley relay (1:39.22).
In addition to Richardson and Hooker, five other area swimmers scored for their teams in two events by placing in the top 16.
For Otsego, Sparks was eighth in the 100 free (48.2) and 11th in the 200 free (1:45.59), while Jirgens was 10th in the 200 IM (2:00.98) and 12th in the 100 breaststroke (1:00.81); Wayland’s Sopjes was sixth in the 100 butterfly (51.53) and 10th in the 200 free (1:45.03), with teammate Clewell 15th in the 100 free (48.78) and 16th in the 50 free (22.38); and Hamilton’s Brenden Ritchie was 14th in the 50 free (22.17) and 16th in the 100 free (49.22).
Hamilton diver Nathan DeJonge placed sixth with a score of 422.25, while Allegan’s Nathan Greenway was 16th in the event with 325.15 points. Plainwell’s Brendan Edgington was seventh in the 500 free at 4:53.08.
The remaining scoring relays included Wayland’s team of Clewell, Anthony Muscarella, Antel and Sopjes in the 200 free (sixth at 1:29.15); Otsego’s 200 medley team of Jirgens, Owen Grile, David and Coe (10th at 1:39.9); and Allegan’s team of Sy TerAvest, Weston Rife, Jackson Foster and Francisco Mosquera in the 200 free (12th at 1:29.85). Plainwell’s Ricky Holly, Josh Sikes, Tyler McClenny and Edgington teamed to place 16th in both the 200 free (1:31.55) and the 400 free (3:24.37).