Week 1 in Division 5 did not disappoint–while all three meets were very competitive, the closest one happened to be where the Ninjas were! We predicted this meet to come down to the wire, and sure enough, it took Orange Hunt until the very last race of the day to claim victory.
Both teams knew that things would be razor-thin, and you don’t make it as high as D5 in the NVSL without learning that the things you do outside of the pool can pay off in the water. Both Orange Hunt and Sideburn Run brought lots of energy to get things started.
The meet got off to a great start, winning 7 of 10 freestyle races and taking a 46-20 lead. However, Orange Hunt came storming back–they have a number of strong backstrokers and loaded up the event, winning 7 races of their own and grabbing a 24 point lead for the visiting Sharks. The energy was contagious and it was difficult to stay focused on filming races because both teams had their enthusiastic seniors and coaches running around the pool deck to fire up their younger athletes.
OH and SR split breaststroke as SR became to slowly chip away at the visitors lead. Reese Miller took a massive victory in the 9-10 girls race for SR, which was followed up by Claire Thompson and Alyssa Proulx two events later with a big 1-2 finish. The lead came down to 16 points heading into fly, where the teams split the points pretty evenly.
Orange Hunt had gotten over the 180 mark before relays, meaning SR had to win the majority of relays to pull out a win. The home Sharks took the first 6 of 9 relays, putting the score at 203 – 202 in their favor— both teams would need two relays to win, and Orange Hunt stole momentum when it mattered most by squeezing out a win in the 15-18 girls 200m Medley relay, touching the wall first by .11s. Sideburn Run refused to give up and pulled out the Boys Mixed Age relay by half a second, giving the home side a major boost.
Unfortunately, in the end, there had to be a winner in this meet. Orange Hunt took the final relay of the day with their senior leg, Ellie Oswald stepping up for the win. Sideburn Run looks to be in the mix with the rest of their division–Coach Dobrydney admitted that the team is undergoing a culture shift, but the team is hungry and we will see what these Sharks do down the road!
Orange Hunt looks to be a serious contender, not only because of their strength in most of their age groups, but also their grit and ability to pull out a tough meet. We look forward to following both teams through the remainder of the season and wish everyone from both these incredible communities the best–thank you for having the Ninjas and we will see you soon!