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Free relays boost Columbus East boys past Seymour

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SEYMOUR — Thursday’s battle in the pool between the Seymour and Columbus East’s boys swimming and diving teams came down to the wire.

East came through at the end, winning the 200 and 400 freestyle relays to edge the host Owls 97-89. Seymour made it a split by winning the girls meet 128-58.

East senior Matt Schutte said winning the 200 and 500 freestyle events earlier in the meet gave him extra motivation for the final two relays.

“Definitely getting first sort of propels you for the later events and gets you through them,” Schutte said. “Mr. (Dave) Fribley (Olympians coach) just puts me up against the kids to race, and all I do is try to beat them.”

Schutte swam the third leg of the 200 free relay and helped boost the Olympians past the Owls, and Isaac Walling finished it off. To close the meet, Schutte and Walling came through in the 400 free relay.

“Mr. Fribley puts us in the right order,” Schutte said. “He puts someone in to get a lead, and then I have to come in and sort of pull ahead. I’m our third swimmer, and I have to really get after it, and then Isaac pulled it off at the end.”

Fribley was thrilled with the boys’ performance.

“We knew it was really going to be close, and we knew Seymour would go after us,” Fribley said. “It seemed like we would get a lead, and then they would go one-two, and then we get another lead. It just kind of went back-and-forth. My kids didn’t give up. We had some unbelievable swims.”

The win was a team effort, Fribley said.

“I said at the beginning of the year that one of the big keys is how the 10th-graders would step up to the plate, and boy, these guys lately have absolutely stepped up to the plate,” he said. “They are just going after it because everybody else is going after it, and they want to be a part of it.”

Walling also won the 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly. Logan Hudson swam on both winning relays, while Seth Frownfelter was the lead-off swimmer in the 200 free relay, and Grant Huffman was the first swimmer in the 400 free relay.

In the girls meet, East’s winners were Lauren Brunn in diving and Raegan Bradley in the 100 butterfly.

Alex Hawkins was a double winner for Seymour, claiming first in the 200 free and 500 free, and she helped the 400 free relay team win to lift the girls team to victory. Other winners were Maggie Tidd (200 IM), Sidney Stout (50 free), Mallory Stuckwisch (100 free), Darren Cain (100 backstroke) and Mikaela Grout (100 breaststroke). Seymour won all three relays.

“We swam very well tonight,” Owls coach Dave Boggs said. “We were right on, if not under, our season-best times. So taper is starting to kick in a little bit. They are all starting to kind of feel good again, I think.”

The Seymour boys won the 200 medley relay to open the meet. Sam Montgomery led one-two finishes in the 100 free and 100 backstroke. Other individual winners were Jon Montgomery (50 free), Chris Robinson (diving) and Noah Bullard (100 breaststroke).

“A couple things could have gone different, but we knew it was going to be a close meet,” Boggs said of the boys. “Every point counts. One more place, that means one more point for us and one less for (East), and those swings really make a big difference, especially on relays.”

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