The Jenison Wildcats make a huge splash against the Hudsonville Eagles


Danielle Timmer, Staff Writer

The wildcats swam against the eagles in a close matchup. This swim meet is significant because Hudsonville is one of the hardest teams Jenison swims. The rivalry between the two teams is immense and the closer that the score is, the better it makes the wildcats feel. This swim meet set the tone for the rest of the season. 

The meet began with the 200-yard medley relay. The Wildcats knew they would not be able to get first place in this event due to the amount of skill the eagles possess in their relays. Luckily, the Wildcats saw they had a chance to outscore the eagles with Jenison’s A relay taking second and the B relay placing third. This gave the Wildcats an advantage from the start of the meet. After the 200 yard medley, the swimmers advanced into the next few events consisting of the 200 yards IM and the 50-yard freestyle. Once again, the Wildcats took second and third in the 200 IM helping the team out with more points to keep the lead.

In the 50 yard freestyle, Mycah Kasper took first place helping out with more points. Hudsonville happens to have more sprinters and was able to take a close second, third, and fourth. This set the two teams up for a close meet.

A diving board at the JHS pool.

The next event to come; diving. Jenison’s team is short divers this year with only two of them. At this meet, Abbi Morse was the only diver able to compete for the wildcats. Hudsonville got lucky with seven divers competing against the team which put the wildcats behind in points. Morse took second place but Hudsonville was able to outscore the Wildcats taking first, third, and fourth which gave the Eagles a huge advantage in this competitive meet. After diving finished, the girls felt the competition heating up.

 “The diving set us up for an intense back-half of the meet. The team felt the pressure.” said senior Elvie DeJonge. The 100 fly was up next giving the wildcats some hope. Sophomore Rachel Huyser took second giving the team 4 more points and another point from fifth place. This was not enough to gain the lead back.

 After the 100 fly, the 100 free only gave us 4 more points with a third-place and sixth-place finish. Next up was our distance event. “Jenison has a lot of strong distance team,” said Samantha Steck. The distance girls came out and swam their hardest to give us a first place, third, fifth and sixth-place finish helping the team score more points. After the 500 free came to another relay to try to gain some points back for the wildcats. They were successful in gaining six more points with a second and third-place finish from the A and B relays. 

Swimmers start the backstroke.

The 100 backstroke came next with some great finishes. Senior Mycah Kasper took first and getting her first state cut of the season. Helping out with more points were the third and fourth place finishers Lilly Bydalek and Caroline Norton. The 100 breast was not as successful in points for Jenison. The achieved a first-place finish from Elyse Radawski. This was still not enough to pull ahead in points.

 The final event always seems to be the hardest. The Jenison A relay came out fast and ended up with a first-place finish in the 400 free relays. As a result, the Wildcats received eight needed points. The Wildcats could not come out with a win for this close rivalry between the Wildcats and Eagles. 

With only a 19 point difference, the wildcats may not have had the most points, but they worked together to be successful in their own way.