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Chelsea swimmers finish 11th at Division 3 state meet

(Chelsea Update would like to thank Andrew Thomson for the information in this story.)

The Chelsea High School swim team capped off the 2018-19 season at Oakland University on March 8 and 9.

The Bulldogs scored 84 points overall and finished in 11th place overall, narrowly missing a place in the top 10. Mason edged out the Bulldogs for 10th place, posting 86 points.

After the meet, head coach Dave Jolly said, “We came up just short of our team goal, but the guys did everything we could’ve asked them to do this weekend.  We brought seven guys to the state meet, and that was nearly half of our entire team. This group of guys really did a pretty nice job to finish the season on a high note.”

Individually, Gabe Gasbarre swam the 50 and 100 freestyle events, while Parker Olk swam the 100 backstroke.  As a senior getting his first glimpse of the state meet, Gasbarre posted a prelims time in the 50 freestyle of 22.43.  That was good enough for 20th place, but not quite enough to advance to the finals.  In the 100 freestyle, it was a similar story.  Gabe posted a prelims time of 51.29 and ended the day in 32nd place.

Olk finished in 37th place in the backstroke, with a time of 1:00.13.

“As a senior joining us for the first time, Gabe really did some pretty awesome stuff.  The tough part was that we had to rest him going into conference meet in order to get his cuts in the 50 and 100.  The fact that he was still able to bring all he had two weeks later at the state meet was pretty incredible,” said Jolly.  “On the other side of the coin, Parker had the opportunity to swim individually as a freshman at the state meet.  He also had to swim on the 200 free relay right before hopping in for his backstroke.  I was also very pleased with his effort in both those swims in prelims.”

Senior Wes Wickens was responsible for the only other individual swims on the weekend, and he had a great prelims. In the 50 freestyle, he went 20.67 in the prelims, earning him the second position, and breaking the CHS varsity record.  On Saturday in the finals, Wickens ended up third overall, posting a final time of 20.84.

In the 100 freestyle, he also left prelims in the second position with a time of 45.64, and finished third in the finals with a time of 45.84.  He also broke his own school record that he set in 2018.

“Wes is a special swimmer, and he has worked to refine his skills over many years.  The fact that he could not train properly for the first third of the season makes it even more remarkable what he accomplished in the pool this weekend, setting two new school records and finishing top three in the state in two events,” said Jolly.

The Bulldogs also were able to get all three relays into the meet for prelims, which was an incredible feat for the small team.  In the medley relay, the team of Landen Collins, Niko Fannin, Deaglan Krause and Zander Hartsuff finished in 1:46.76 and earned 27th place in prelims.

The 200 freestyle relay team of Gasbarre, Olk, Hartsuff and Wickens finished in seventh place overall, posting a finals time of 1:28.86.  In the 400 freestyle relay, the team of Hartsuff, Gasbarre, Collins and Wickens was fifth overall, and touched with a finals time of 3:14.97.

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