By Teddy Rydquist
Leader Staff Writer
For the final date on their schedule, five Lady Wildcat swimmers represented Oxford High School in the Michigan High School Athletic Association Swimming & Diving State Finals at the Holland Community Aquatic Center, Nov. 23.
Speaking to the depth of head coach Jackie Rank’s program, just one of Oxford’s qualifiers – Ashlee Weltyk – is a senior. A trio of juniors – Grace Charnstrom, Jenna Fistler and Amelia Knotts – and a sophomore, Cali Schnur, rounded out the Wildcats’ five participants.
“This is the strongest presence we have had at the state meet in school history,” Rank shared the day before the competition.
“With five girls competing in nine events, we had our highest ever finish in the Oakland County Championships earlier in the season and we’re looking to follow that up.”
Totaling 25 points, Oxford finished 20th among the 37 competing schools. The Farmington Hills Mercy Marlins took home the state title with 298 points, fending off Ann Arbor Pioneer by half-a-point.
Breaking her own school record in the 100-yard backstroke, Weltyk came in 11th in the state at 57.82. Holding the Oakland Activities Association White record, the 400-yard freestyle relay team consisting of Charnstrom, Fistler, Schnur and Weltyk also placed 11th.
A rising star to watch in the OAA over the next two years, Schnur captured 13th-place in the 100-yard butterfly, as well. Operating at an impressive 58.95 pace, she was less than seven-tenths of a second behind Zeeland Chix junior Chelsea Engelsman for 12th.
The Wildcats’ standout diver throughout the season, Knotts placed 11th in the semifinals with a score of 250.25. One of 16 divers to advance to the finals, she finished 14th at 314.55.