By TJ Millman
After both finishing the regular season with a 5-5 record, the Milford Boys and Girls Swim Teams headed into the Henlopen Conference Swim Meet expecting to be right in the middle of the pack. The girls team finished 5th in the Henlopen Conference, scoring 115 points on the day, and the boys finished 7th, picking up 178 points.
Milford had 9 top 10 finishers on the day. Sophomore Mason Sauers finished 5th in the 200 freestyle and 8th in the 100 freestyle, junior Emily Morgan finished 9th in the 200 IM, senior Ben Sobota finished 3rd in the both the 50 and 100 freestyle, senior Stone Davis finished 7th in the 500 freestyle and 9th in the 100 breaststroke, sophomore Allison Benton got 6th in the 100 backstroke, and senior Ryan Mackesey finished 7th in the 100 backstroke.
Milford’s biggest performance of the day came from senior standout Ben Sobota. Sobota hit the podium for both of his individual events and wrapped up his Henlopen Conference career at the top where he belongs. Aside from his school record in the 50 freestyle, Sobota also leaves behind an unparalleled work ethic that he modeled for his team for the last 4 years. Ben will have one last chance to build on his legacy this week when he heads up to the University of Delaware to compete at the State Championships.
Milford super sophomores Allison Benton and Mason Sauers both made a splash at conferences as well. Aside from her top 10 performance in the backstroke, Benton also managed to qualify for States in both of her events. Benton had previously qualified only for the 50 freestyle, and after dropping time in both of her events qualified for the 100 yard backstroke and the 100 yard freestyle. Sauers cracked the top 10 for both of his individual events and continued to strengthen his case as the guy to take over for Sobota next year.
Perhaps Milford’s most underrated and most improved swimmer, sophomore Bryce Wells also made himself known on the day. Wells has quietly dropped seconds off of his times in the 50 and 100 freestyle this year and even managed to qualify himself to States for the 50 freestyle.
Sauers and Wells show that the biggest problem that the boys are facing next year is a lack in numbers, not in skill. Milford is graduating 4 of their only 10 boys swimmers and without more swimmers will find it hard to pick up team wins next year.
As for the girls, Milford is set up for the next few years. The Milford girls are graduating 5 of their 18 swimmers, but the core of the Lady Bucs team is centered around their juniors and sophomores already.
Milford heads to States this weekend at the University of Delaware, with the girls preliminary rounds on Wednesday, February 20 and the boys preliminary rounds on Thursday, February 21. Anyone who qualifies for the Championship Rounds will go back on Saturday, February 23.
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