HYDE — Clearfield head coach Jackie Morrison knew her girls team would have their hands full with rival DuBois Tuesday night at Robert L. Shearer Natatorium, and the Lady Bison couldn’t have performed much better against their toughest dual meet competition to date.
The Lady Bison won nine of the 12 events on the evening and picked up key second- and third-place finishes along the way to earn a 103-83 victory over the Lady Beavers.
The boys matchup was a near sweep for the Bison, who won all but the 400 free relay, which they swam as an exhibition, in a 131-52 win.
“Both teams swam well. Unfortunately, we came up short on both the girls and boys sides,” said DuBois coach Mike Gressler. “We kind of knew wha the result was going to be with the boys, so we used the night to work on some strategies. We told the kids if they were in a nice race, to just go for it and see what happens. Drew Canter swam well tonight and faced some stiff competition even though he didn’t come on top.
“As for the girls, they had some people in the right places to score some points against us. We had some holes in our lineup, and they went after those. It wasn’t a lost night though. We had some kids swim very well. Alayna Cornelius has been swimming very well and she continued that tonight. And, Lauren Usaitis’ breaststroke looked strong again tonight. This was a good in-season meet for her for that stroke.
The Lady Beavers won the first event as Kiersten Pearce, Julie Marchioni, Usaitis and Gabi Wayne teamed to beat the Lady Bison by nearly 11 seconds in the 200 medley relay.
Wayne also picked up a win in the 100 free (55.45) and Pearce touched first in the 100 back (1:04.41).
But Clearfield responded with a strong performance in the 200 free and kept the momentum much of the night.
Paige Mikesell won the 200 free in 1:57.61, besting Wayne by almost nine seconds. Mikesell also landed in first in the 100 breast (1:09.43) in a key event.
Paige Conrad had a big meet as well, taking the 200 IM in 2:22.29 and the 100 fly in 1:02.78, holding off strong challenges from Pearce and Marchioni, respectively.
Makeeli Redden added a victory in the 50 free (25.99), out-touching teammate Raegan Mikesell by one-hundreth of a second.
Talitha Narehood ran away with the 500 free, swimming a time of 5:44.31 to beat her closest competitor by 15 seconds.
The Lady Bison also won the 200 free relay and the 400 free relay.
Raegan Mikesell, Redden, Conrad and Paige Mikesell won the 200 in 1:44.18. The Mikesells and Redden were then joined by Narehood to close out the meet with a victory in the 400 free relay (3:49.04).
Morrison was also pleased with her second relay teams, which picked up crucial points in the 200 and 400 free.
Abby LaBorde and Jaclyn Freeman swam in both, while Madison Kipp, Sydney Coval, Ashley Struble and Conrad each competed in one.
The Bison turned in another masterful performance, led by Chase Bietz and Luke Mikesell.
Bietz won the 200 IM (1:58.29) and 100 back (54.63) in personal best times and he and Mikesell teamed with Isaac Swanson and Peyton Priester for an impressive 200 medley relay time of 1:41.99.
Mikesell picked up a win the 200 free (1:46.66) and then blew everyone out of the water with a time of 4:49.79 in the 500 free.
Isaac Swanson was the only Bison swimmer to collect four firsts.
In addition to being on the winning 200 medley and 200 free relays, he also scored victories in the 50 free (23.36) and 100 fly (58.94).
The other half of the Swanson brothers, Tate grabbed a win in the 100 free (52.08) and joined Priester, Hayden Steiner and his sibling in the victorious 400 free relay.
Priester also had a win in the 100 breast, beating out DuBois’ Garrett Fleming by less than a second (1:06.30-1:07.25).
Clearfield had the two fastest times in the 400 free relay as well, but swam those in exhibition, so DuBois’ Andrew Canter, Paul Brittain, Tinoi Deemer and Gaven Wolfgang took that event in 3:43.28.
Clearfield also got a lift from its diving team.
Lady Bison Josie Grice and Alexis Shomo finished first and second to pick up some key points and kickstart the second half of the meet, while Tristen Buck, Cody Shaw and Sam Pennington went 1-2-3 for the boys.
“Last year we beat them (Clearfield) 101-85 (in girls meet) in the first meet over here (DuBois), then they beat us by a point over there the second time around,” said Gressler. “They’ll remember that, and we remember that, and we’ll both be ready to go again in February (for meet at DuBois).”
DuBois is back in action Monday at home against Brookville, while Clearfield travels to Brookville Thursday.