BY MATT McCLELLAND
If the rest of Downriver swimming thought that a name change would help them, they were mistaken. After winning 27 of the 36 News Herald Invitational Swim Meets, the girls swim and dive team won the inaugural Downriver Classic. With three Huron League teams and all six of the Downriver League teams in attendance, Trenton tallied 310 points to easily outpace second place Grosse Ile (246).
For the day, Trenton notched four 1st places, six 2nd places, and three 3rd place finishes on the day. Leading the way once again was senior Lauren Truitt. She won both the 100 (56.40) and 200 (2:04.21) freestyle events, while anchoring the 2nd place 200 free relay, and the first place 400 free relay. Her 100 free was good enough to qualify her for the state meet. Joining Lauren in punching her individual ticket for the state meet was junior Ellie Rodenbeck. Her 3rd place finish in the 100 breaststroke (1:12.92) earned her a trip to EMU on Nov. 17 for the D3 state finals.
In addition to those two individuals, Trenton added two more qualifying swims in the relays and has now qualified all three relays for the state meet. The 200 free (1:44.92) and the 400 free (3:53.46) both earned state cuts. The 200 free relay consisted of the four senior leaders, Katelyn Matusik, Blake Livernois, Claudia Raubolt, and Lauren Truitt. All four of them have qualified for the state meet each of their four years – very impressive. The 400 free relay was Olivia Livernois, Claudia Raubolt, Emma McClelland, and Lauren Truitt. That first place swim completed the day and put an exclamation point on an impressive showing by the Trojans.
Coach Jim DeRupa also identified several other performances that caught his eye. In order of occurrence, the list starts with the 200 Individual Medley. A 2nd place by Blake Livernois (2:24.45) and a 3rd place by Claudia Raubolt (2:24.86) earned 13 and 12 points to help stake the team to an early lead. Next up was a 2nd place finish by sophomore Emma McClelland in the 50 freestyle. Her personal best of 26.06 took all 5’1” of her diminutive frame to out-touch 3rd place by 0.01 seconds. The following event was diving, and senior Gayner Rossi didn’t disappoint. With 312.80 points, she took 3rd place and earned 12 points as the only Trenton diver in the competition.
In the second half of the meet, there were three additional swims that earned special mention. Senior Laura Stapleton had a personal best in the 100 freestyle (1:02.44) and earned a 10th place finish in the tightly contested event. Laura has continued to improve each year and is contributing points to every winning effort. Following her was super sophomore Alexa Francis. Her time of 5:43.81 in the 500 freestyle was just one second from a state qualifying swim and good enough for 2nd place. Lastly, freshman Kelly Truitt had a great swim in the 100 breaststroke. Her season best 1:15.22 garnered her a 6th place finish.
Overall, it was an impressive performance by the team. Points were earned by members of each of the four classes. They were led by the seniors, but also had top three finishes by members of each of the other grades.