Wow! That is all that can be said of the Lady Chargers finish to the 2017 SVL Finals on Saturday November 4th. Our Chargers racked up a top 5 finish in 9 of 12 events, 8 state cut times, 15 PBâs (personal best), 1 school record fell, and more than a quarter of the team garnered league recognition. The meet began as league juggernaut Midland Dow expected an easy win in the 200 Medley Relay as they carried a wide 3 second win in the prelims on Thursday. The amazing PB effort by Hannah Murawski, Abby Merz, Lara Wujciak and a strong push by Allie Dasky at the finish came within a half second of beating Dow. Five yards more and Dasky would have pulled it out. Dasky followed that race in the 200 freestyle with a 2nd place finish and another PB by more than 4 seconds. In the same race, Emily Snyder also scored a few points and hit a PB. In the 200 I.M. we had Abby Merz and Lara Wujciak place 3rd and 4th, respectively, as well as BOTH hitting state cut and PB times, Lara by 5.69 seconds. Not to be out done, in the same race, Sophomore Hannah Murawski took 12th place and PBâd by over 4.5 seconds. This race was followed by one of the more competitive races in any meet, the 50 Freestyle, where Allie Dasky placed 5th and also surpassed the state cut time. Yet again, the Super Snyder sisters were fantastic with their final 3 dives and finished 2nd (Samantha) and 4th (Emily) overall on the 1M board. Hayley Mazurek and Maddie Mathenia brought home points in the 100 Butterfly and kudos to Mathenia for the courage it took to finishing the race after major muscle cramps kept her from standing after pulling herself out of the pool. Midland Dow and Saginaw Heritage felt heartache again when Lara Wujciak busted out a PB by over 2.5 seconds to take 1st place, a state cut time and a school record that was set just last year by PCHS Legacy swimmer Sarah Kirtek. Points were gathered in the 500 Freestyle by swimmers Olivia Camera and one of the teams Co-Captains, Senior Rylie Dunigan who also hit a PB. Another exciting race by the team of Dasky, Merz, Wujciak and Emily Snyder in the 200 Freestyle took 3rd overall and hit state cut and PB times. This was followed by a strong finish and PB time by Hannah Murawski in the 100 Backstroke as she out touched a swimmer from Saginaw Heritage for 5th place. The 100 Breaststroke did not lack excitement as Olivia Camera surprised many with over a 5 second PB to win her heat. The final heat of that race began as Abby Merz exploded off the blocks to take an immediate lead of which she would NOT relinquish. This appeared to be the longest 100 yard race as Bay City Western and Midland Dow swimmers tried their best but to no avail. Merz swam just shy of 3 seconds faster than her personal best time, blew past the state cut time and brought home 1st place. In the Chargers last race, the 400 Freestyle Relay, the team of Rylie Dunigan, Ella Kovach, Emily Snyder and Hannah Murawski achieved a PB and even more points to help the girls finish 5th overall in the very competitive Saginaw Valley Conference. After the meet, 1st Team All-Conference Honors were bestowed upon Senior Captain Allie Dasky, Freshman Lara Wujciak & Abby Merz. Sophomore Hannah Murawskiâs strong swimming talent and Samantha Snyderâs diving efforts garnered them both 2nd Team All-Conference Honors, and for her incredible efforts throughout the season, Freshman Olivia Camera was given SVL Honorable Mention. We need to make note that swimming is a team sport and not won by 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishes. You must have teammates like Freshman Marina Ella that willingly swim two of the most difficult races for any young swimmer, the 200 and 500 Freestyle, meet after meet. Or Brooke Delgado that took on the Backstroke mid-season like a champion and did it well. Dedication, like Morgan Hayward who dropped major time in her 50 Freestyle or would swim any event asked of her by the coaches. Is it true she love the Fly the best? Another utility swimmer was Hayley Mazurek, you could put her in any event and count on her to score points. Hard work comes natural for a converted hockey player in Ella Kovach, she made the transition look easy. Or Danielle Medley, she greatly improved her stroke and times throughout the season and swam all PBâs at the SVL meet, you have Great Heart Danielle, please keep swimming. Emma Brock who took to sprinting, or any other event asked of her, like a Tiger. Amber Dabish was a staple in Breaststroke all season and stepped up when needed at the SVL meet when a fellow swimmer had to back out of an event. The consistency of Rylie Dunigan swimming distance all season long. Sacrifice, as in Erin Piazza who juggled her swim season with the Powers Marching Band, what commitment and balance. Courage? Just watch Samantha Terrian drop major time during the season in her Breaststroke especially in the SVL Prelims when her goggles fall off and she hits a PBâs anyway. Who does that? Persistence is Alyssa Tipton who cuts her time in the 100 Freestyle almost in half from the beginning of the season. What amazing progress, keep it up Alyssa! Teammates like Ann Rousseau whoâs early season injury might impede success in her true love, basketball. She attends the meets anyway because she loves her friends and wants to cheer them all on to do their best. THAT is what turns a group of kids into a collective team. CONGRATULATIONS to the entire Powers Varsity Girls Swim & Dive team on such a successful season and special thanks to coaches Robbie Rariden and Chase Harvey who drove hard practices but helped the Lady Chargers achieve lofty goals and have fun along the way. The season continues as several Chargers will compete at the Division III State Finals November 17th-18th to be held at Eastern Michigan.