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T-Bird swim team opens with a win

After having their first competition of the season snowed out, the Iola-Scandinavia Thunderbird swim team defeated Brillion and Clintonville Saturday, Dec. 18.

“Our season-opening invitational at Wittenberg last Saturday got snowed out,” coach Dick Wright said. “Our kids were really ready to show what they could do this year. It was a big home meet with 120 swimmers involved and our swimmers really came through.”

Wright is working with 38 girls and 23 boys in five age groups. Swimmers range in age from 4 1/2 to 18.

“Our team is very strong this winter because we have such great depth at every age group and we have such a strong contingent of boys,” he said. “We have also developed some very excellent swimmers who dominate many meets.”

Eli Stevens, Kaitlyn Kostuch, Matthew Glodowski and Tayler Carlson led the 8-and-under swimmers. Stevens won the 25-yard freestyle, 50 freestyle and 25 backstroke and placed second in the 25 breaststroke; Kostuch won the 25 butterfly and breaststroke and took second in the 50 freestyle and 25 backstroke; and Glodowski and Carlson added three top-five finishes.

Marcus Glodowski, Jessica Gutschow and Dylan Kostuch led the 9-10 group. Glodowski topped the field in the 50 and 100 freestyle, 50 butterfly and breaststroke and 100 individual medley; Gutschow recorded seconds in the 50 and 100 freestyle, 50 breaststroke and 100 IM; and Kostuch had three thirds.

Ethan Olson and Katherine Leaf led the 11- and 12-year-olds. Olson placed third in the 50 and 100 freestyle and 50 breaststroke and Leaf won the 50 breaststroke and 100 IM and placed third in two other events.

Mitch Glodowski, Zach Shulfer, Ben Gutschow and Morgan Glodowski led the 13-14 group. Mitch Glodowski won the 50 and 100 freestyle and took second in the butterfly and breaststroke; Shulfer won the butterfly and breaststroke and was second in the 50 and 100 freestyle; Gutschow added three thirds; and Morgan Glodowski chipped in with four top-five finishes.

John Faldet, Tyler Faldet, Powers Speers and Teresa Sprangers led the 15-18 group. John Faldet won the 100 and 200 freestyle and the 100 breaststroke and was second in the 50 freestyle; Tyler Faldet won the 50 freestyle, 100 backstroke and 200 IM and was second in the 100 freestyle; Speers added seconds in the 200 freestyle and 100 breaststroke and was third in the 50 and 100 freestyle; and Sprangers added four top-four finishes.

“This was a nice opening meet for us,” Wright said. “We’ve worked hard for three weeks and it really paid off with some great times for our kids.”

The T-Birds also won almost all of the relays. Swimmers of the week were Ben and Jessica Gutschow.

The team’s next meet is a home open meet Saturday, Jan. 8, in Iola. Marathon will also participate.

The T-Birds will also head to a 10-team invitational in Rhinelander Saturday, Jan. 15.

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