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  • Val T.

Rochester swimmers sweep Manchester on senior night


Sports Editor, RTC

Even in a pandemic, the Rochester swimmers are right where they need to be for the first week in January, according to coach Stephanie Brown.

They showed off how far along they are in a senior night sweep of Manchester.

The Lady Zs won the girls meet 105-63. Rochester also scored 116 points in the boys meet as compared to Manchester’s 44.

Northfield’s Grant Dale won the 100 freestyle and 100 breaststroke in the boys meet and accounted for 12 points.

RHS seniors Ashlynn Hudkins, Ellie Shank, Elizabeth Swango, Ethan Brady, Braxton Jimenez and Grady McCall were honored in a pre-meet ceremony.

Another senior, Anthony Peterson, was ill and will be recognized at a later time.

“Christmas break is our toughest training part of the season,” Brown said. “And so the kids did really well. This year, it was a little bit different because we came out of a week off, so we had a week where most of them didn’t swim. And then we had one more week to get geared back up, and then we went into Christmas break, so we had to carefully attack Christmas break to not cause any injury. But they put the time in in the weight room and the pool, and those kids that have never been through it before really hung in and did a really good job.

“And they’re right where they should be right now.”


In the girls meet, RHS swimmers won six of the 11 events contested.

Elena Bode led a 1-2-3 sweep in the 200 freestyle, beating teammates Shank and Madilyn Calloway.

Both Shank and Swango chose to swim the 100 freestyle – per team tradition, seniors pick their events to swim on senior night – and Shank won in 1:07.12 with Swango taking second in 1:11.88 and Lola Brady taking third in 1:17.62.

Sophomore Zoe Seward won the 500 freestyle in 6:35.18, beating Manchester runner-up Hannah Eberly by 47 seconds.

The other RHS individual champ was sophomore Molly Vance-Gruss, who took the 100 backstroke in 1:23.18, edging out teammate Melody Hisey.

The 200 freestyle relay turned into a duel between two RHS teams, one of which contained all three swimmers. A swift last leg from Shank gave her team, which also included Hudkins, Calloway and Swango, a win in 2:19.19. A team consisting of Kendyll Bradley, Brady, Macie Nelson and Araceli Ochoa took second in 2:20.07.

“We split up that relay, so they could race against each other,” Brown said. “We did that for the boys 200 relay too. We wanted it to be that way, where Ellie would have to chase her down at the end. So that was fun to do and fun to watch.”

Shank, Seward and Bode formed 75 percent of the victorious 400 freestyle relay team, where Bode held off a strong last leg from Manchester’s Halle Briner to win by nine seconds. Makenna Beall, who was second in the 200 individual medley and third in the 100 butterfly, also swam on the winning relay.

The showdowns of the night might have occurred in the individual medley and the butterfly. Josie Briner, a state qualifier in the individual medley last year, won a tight race from Beall in 2:20.42. Beall swam a 2:21.60.

Josie Briner is also the defending sectional champion in the butterfly, but it was older sister Halle Briner who won on Monday with Josie Briner taking second and Beall taking third.

Halle Briner won the 100 breaststroke in 1:08.15. That’s a faster time by more than a second than she swam in winning the race at last year’s sectional. Bode was second, and Brady was third.

Brown said she and Manchester coach Heidi Slavkin are friends. The competition between Beall and the Briner sisters was prearranged.

“We like to have the kids have some good competition when it’s available,” Brown said. “I know the Manchester coach well, and I know the Briners. We’ve done this for a couple years … just, hey, can we match them up and get a good race out of it? … Heidi and I are good friends, and we always say it doesn’t matter to us who wins; we just want the kids to have a good race. That’s what it’s about sometimes. That’s how you get better is racing people that are right there with you.”

Girls diving was not contested.


Rochester won eight of the 12 events, including all three relays, in the boys meet. Manchester and Northfield won two events each.

Layne Backus, Ethan Brady, Braxton Jimenez, Dylan Steininger and Jake Seuferer all won individual events for RHS.

Backus won the 200 freestyle with R.J. Keranko and Peyton Hiatt completing a 1-2-3 RHS sweep in the event.

Brady chose the 50 freestyle for senior night and swam a 26.48 and beat Manchester’s Liam York by 0.30 seconds. Brady also swam a 25.88 split as part of the 200 freestyle relay.

“We’ve been working a lot on turns and break-outs, and he’s really been working hard on those, and he had a great medley relay split also,” Brown said. “So Ethan had a good night.”

Jimenez topped teammates Kadin Kelly and Bradly Bickle to win diving. Given that Manchester has no divers, RHS was essentially guaranteed 13 team points before the meet even started. Having said that, it should be noted that one of Jimenez’s dives received scores of six and seven.

Steininger swam a 6:10.91 in the 500 freestyle and beat teammate Jake Freeman by 20 seconds. Steininger was 13th at the event at last year’s sectional.

Seuferer, a freshman, chopped through the water in 1:06.06 to win the 100 backstroke. Teammate Tanner Reese was second. Dale, a state qualifier in this event last year, did not swim it Monday.

Brown also praised Seuferer for his 100 freestyle time of 54.66 seconds. He finished second behind Dale, who swam a 53.00.

RHS also swept all three relays. Seuferer, Brady and Backus joined freshman Wes Steininger on the 200 medley relay team, which won in 1:57.90.

Wes Steininger, Brady, Reese and Seuferer won the 200 freestyle relay over another RHS team. Seuferer’s team won in 1:49.20 while a team with Dylan Steininger, Freeman, Peyton Hiatt and Backus was second in 1:49.94.

“We just came out of Christmas break, so they are very tired,” Brown said in praise of Wes Steininger and all the freshmen. “And especially for a freshman who’s never been through that before. He really hung on and closed his races really well. And it doesn’t necessarily show in the time, but we can see it in the pool.”

The 400 freestyle relay team of Reese, Freeman, Keranko and Dylan Steininger won in 4:24.67.


Scoring on 6-4-3-2-1 basis for individual events and 8-4-2 basis for relays

Winners plus all Rochester scorers

200 medley relay

1. Manchester (Clifford, H. Briner, J. Briner, Eberly) – 2:12.08, 2. Rochester (Makenna Beall, Elena Bode, Elizabeth Swango, Kendyll Bradley) – 2:15.71, 3. Rochester (Melody Hisey, Macie Nelson, Zoe Seward, Araceli Ochoa) – 2:41.50, 4. Rochester (Ashlyn Hudkins, Lola Brady, Madilyn Calloway, Bella Riffle) – 2:46.96

200 freestyle

1. Elena Bode (RHS) – 2:17.61, 2. Ellie Shank (RHS) – 2:21.10, 3. Madilyn Calloway (RHS) – 2:39.27

200 individual medley

1. J. Briner (MAN) – 2:20.42, 2. Makenna Beall (RHS) – 2:21.60, 3. Bella Riffle (RHS) – 2:58.78, 4. Melody Hisey (RHS) – 3:10.22

50 freestyle

1. Eberly (MAN) – 30.60 seconds, 2. Kendyll Bradley (RHS) – 30.62, 3. Elizabeth Swango (RHS) – 31.96

100 butterfly

1. H. Briner (MAN) – 1:00.53, 3. Makenna Beall (RHS) – 1:06.80, 4. Madilyn Calloway (RHS) – 1:28.52, 4. Molly Vance-Gruss (RHS) – 1:28.98

100 freestyle

1. Ellie Shank (RHS) – 1:07.12, 2. Elizabeth Swango (RHS) – 1:11.88, 3. Lola Brady (RHS) – 1:17.62

500 freestyle

1. Zoe Seward (RHS) – 6:35.18, 3. Araceli Ochoa (RHS) – 8:26.40, 4. Macie Nelson (RHS) – 8:50.06

200 freestyle relay

1. Rochester (Ashlyn Hudkins, Madilyn Calloway, Elizabeth Swango, Ellie Shank) – 2:19.19, 2. Rochester (Kendyll Bradley, Lola Brady, Macie Nelson, Araceli Ochoa) – 2:20.07

100 backstroke

1. Molly Vance-Gruss (RHS) – 1:23.18, 2. Melody Hisey (RHS) – 1:26.15

100 breaststroke

1. H. Briner (MAN) – 1:08.15, 2. Elena Bode (RHS) – 1:25.90, 3. Lola Brady (RHS) – 1:39.25, 5. Bella Riffle (RHS) – 1:41.29

400 freestyle relay

1. Rochester (Ellie Shank, Zoe Seward, Makenna Beall, Elena Bode) – 4:20.51, 3. Rochester (Kendyll Bradley, Molly Vance-Gruss, Melody Hisey, Bella Riffle) – 4:39.77


Scoring on 6-4-3-2-1 basis for individual events and 8-4-2 basis for relays

Winners plus all Rochester scorers

200 medley relay

1. Rochester (Jake Seuferer, Ethan Brady, Wes Steininger, Layne Backus) – 1:57.90, 3. Rochester (Lane Shank, R.J. Kernako, Peyton Hiatt, Jake Freeman) – 2:30.69

200 freestyle

1. Layne Backus (RHS) – 2:14.59, 2. R.J. Keranko (RHS) – 2:22.85, 3. Peyton Hiatt (RHS) – 2:45.48

200 individual medley

1. Eberly (MAN) – 2:24.24, 2. Wes Steininger (RHS) – 2:34.54

50 freestyle

1. Ethan Brady (RHS) – 26.48 seconds, 3. Lane Shank (RHS) – 30.48, 4. Tanner Reese (RHS) – 31.88


1. Braxton Jimenez (RHS) – 212.00 points, 2. Kadin Kelly (RHS) – 200.00, 3. Bradley Bickle (RHS) – 177.00

100 butterfly

1. Eberly (MAN) – 1:04.11, 2. Wes Steininger (RHS) – 1:09.27, 3. Layne Backus (RHS) – 1:16.44

100 freestyle

1. Dale (NF) – 53.00 seconds, 2. Jake Seuferer (RHS) – 54.66, 3. Lane Shank (RHS) – 1:12.13

500 freestyle

1. Dylan Steininger (RHS) – 6:10.91, 2. Jake Freeman (RHS) – 6:30.57, 4. Peyton Hiatt (RHS) – 7:20.90

200 freestyle relay

1. Rochester (Wes Steininger, Ethan Brady, Tanner Reese, Jake Seuferer) – 1:49.20, 2. Rochester (Dylan Steininger, Jake Freeman, Peyton Hiatt, Layne Backus) – 1:49.94

100 backstroke

1. Jake Seuferer (RHS) – 1:06.06, 2. Tanner Reese (RHS) – 1:28.05

100 breaststroke

1. Dale (NF) – 1:09.41, 2. Ethan Brady (RHS) – 1:15.93, 3. Dylan Steininger (RHS) – 1:18.56, 4. R.J. Keranko (RHS) – 1:24.83

400 freestyle relay

1. Rochester (Tanner Reese, Jake Freeman, R.J. Keranko, Dylan Steininger) – 4:24.67

Rochester senior swimmers, from left, Ashlynn Hudkins, Ellie Shank, Elizabeth Swango and Ethan Brady were recognized on senior night Monday before a meet against Manchester at the Rochester Middle School pool. Rochester won the girls meet 105-63 and the boys meet with 116-44.

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