Sweating out a 22-point victory on the road at Lake of the Woods, the Union Swim Team completed its first-ever undefeated dual meet season Monday.
Union went 5-0 (4-0 in division meets) with its 284-262 win over Lake of the Woods on the road.
The Squids also defeated Arbor Oaks, Pacific and Indian Hills in Gateway Swimming and Diving Conference division meets and Barrington Downs in a nonleague meet.
“I’m so excited,” exclaimed Union Head Coach Cathy Nowak. “I had no idea the season would hold this.”
Nowak knew Union faced a difficult assignment in trying to beat Lake of the Woods.
“I was told their team was stacked and there was no way anyone would beat them this year,” Nowak said. “Our kids were ready for it. They knew this was a really hard team and our kids were swimming for everything they had.”
Nowak remarked that Union has won a championship meet before, but hadn’t gone undefeated in a dual meet season until this year.
The Squids will attempt to sweep the season Saturday in Pacific. The division meet starts there at 8 a.m.
“We have a lot of really good swimmers who are not coming,” Nowak said. “We want to win it, but it will be a little harder. The other teams will be really good, too.”
Union saw expansion of its team this year and ends the season with 118 active swimmers on the roster.
“It’s the biggest team I’ve had,” Nowak said. “I’ve been coaching since the team’s third season and this is the most swimmers we’ve ever had. I think a lot of it has been due to word of mouth. Kids coming to the pool to swim will ask about the team. The community is starting to recognize us. Interest in swimming as a sport in this area is growing. The Four Rivers YMCA has its own team and kids like swimming.”
Nowak recently has announced she will be stepping down after the conclusion of the season.
“I really will miss it,” Nowak said. “I’ve had over 11 years as head coach of the Squids. I had four kids swimming when I started. Two are in college and one is in high school. I am looking forward to just being a swim parent next year.”
In Monday’s meet at Lake of the Woods, the first event was the individual medley.
Union’s winners were Alexis Garlock, Porter Allmeroth and Autumn Garlock.
Squids swimming to second were Madelyn Helling, Aidan Garlock, Halle Fischer and Andrew Tchiblakian.
Earning a point for third place were Brianna Brown, Cole Cummings, Jennifer Eagan, Clay Cummings, Morgan Livesay and Tyler Bell.
In the freestyle races, Union’s winners were Matthew Tchiblakian, Rachel Bolte, Aidan Garlock, Alexis Garlock, Porter Allmeroth, Autumn Garlock and Clay Cummings.
Union’s breaststroke winners were Aubrey Gerdel, Lily Tchiblakian, Connor Smith, Maddy Tchiblakian, Abby Tchiblakian, Kate Hod and Andrew Tchiblakian.
In the freestyle relay races, Union’s winners were:
• Boys 6-Under team of Matthew Tchiblakian, Liam Callahan, Samuel Tecklenburg and Dylan Loepker;
• Girls 7-8 team of Victoria Webb, Gisele Bolzenius, Lily Tchiblakian and Rachel Bolte;
• Boys 7-8 team of Jack Allmeroth, Connor Smith, Gabe Rio and Aidan Garlock;
• Girls 11-12 team of Halle Fischer, Rilyn Tesar, Abby Tchiblakian and Alexis Garlock;
• Boys 11-12 team of Porter Allmeroth, Colton Lewis, Cole Cummings and Chad Livesay; and
• Girls 13-14 team of Kate Hood, Sierra Fenner, Jennifer Eagan and Autumn Garlock.
In the backstroke races, Union’s winners were Rachel Bolte, Maddy Tchiblakian, Abby Tchiblakian, Jennifer Eagan and Andrew Tchiblakian.
Union’s butterfly winners were Lily Tchiblakian, Alexis Garlock, Porter Allmeroth, Autumn Garlock and Jillian Johnston.
In the medley relay races, Union’s winning teams were:
• Boys 8-Under team of Jack Allmeroth, Connor Smith, Aidan Garlock and Gabe Rio;
• Girls 11-12 team of Sydney Gerdel, Abby Tchiblakian, Alexis Garlock and Halle Fischer;
• Boys 11-12 team of Colton Lewis, Jacob Nowak, Porter Allmeroth and Cole Cummings;
• Girls 13-14 team of Sierra Fenner, Kate Hood, Autumn Garlock and Jennifer Eagan; and
• Boys 13-14 team of Drew Allmeroth, Andrew Tchiblakian, Grant Smith and Clay Cummings.