IR swimmers earn split against Milford in return to competition

MILFORD – Thursday, Jan. 11 at the Greater Milford Boys & Girls club, Indian River’s swim team returned to competition against the Milford Bucs in a Henlopen South showdown.

The afternoon meet marked the first time head coach Colin Crandell’s squad hit the pool for competition since IR’s away meet at Sussex Central Tuesday, Dec. 19.

Winter break and last week’s snow storm made it difficult to coordinate practices for schools across the Henlopen Conference, but it didn’t keep the Indian River swim team from earning a split with the Bucs in their return to the water.

“When you have a Christmas break – we had 18 day’s worth of snow days off – your biggest concern is, are they still in shape? I couldn’t hold practices – the practices I could hold, people weren’t all showing up – so your biggest concern is trying to get a pulse on where the team is,” said IR head coach Colin Crandell. “So, I had two or three days of practice and I was a little worried about it. Overall, I’m happy. I’m pleased. The ones who trained didn’t miss a beat, and the others know it and are going to jump up and start swimming a little better.”

IR junior Dylan Tuttle finished first-place in the 100 breaststroke Thursday afternoon (Sussex Post/Ben Heck).

The boys picked up a 102-65 victory to improve to 5-1 on the season, while the girls dropped a 102-66 loss against the Bucs.

“I am happy with where we are, but we have some work to do with all those missed days,” coach Crandell continued. “Any coach will tell you, this is the pivotal time of the year. And to have a Christmas break right in the middle of the season is the hardest thing to overcome for any program.”

Senior Blake Shuart and Freshman Emma Barthelmess each picked up a pair of individual wins for the Indians.

Shuart placed first in the 200 individual medley (2:21.98) and the 100 butterfly (1:01.05) events.

Barthelmess placed first in the 50 freestyle (:28.83) and 100 breaststroke (1:20.74) events.

The boys’ squad, falling only to Caesar Rodney (53-41) so far this season, out-manned Milford in terms of numbers. With 26 swimmers on its preseason roster, coach Crandell is confident in the depth the boys have this season.

As for the girls’ squad, many of the swimmers were trying out new events against Milford but were still able to have a decent turnout.

“We had a lot of girls try new events, so I was really impressed with the girls, all-in-all, stepping up and trying new things. That was really impressive,” coach Crandell said.

Across 11 events, the IR boys earned five first-place individual finishes and a trio of first-place relay finishes. The girls, out of 11 events, earned two first-place individual finishes and one first-place relay finsh.

The full results can be found below.

Complete list of boys’ meet winners:

200 medley relay: Michael Barnes, Jonathan Kohr, Blake Shuart and Dylan Tuttle (1:51.60)
200 freestyle: Declan Burke (2:03.97)
200 individual medley: Blake Shuart (2:21.98)
50 freestyle: Milford’s Ben Sobota (:23.36)
100 butterfly: Blake Shuart (1:01.05)
100 freestyle: Milford’s Ben Sobota (:53.65)
500 freestyle: Ryan McCoy (6:43.57)
200 freestyle relay: Jonathan Kohr, Max Kohr, Michael Barnes and Blake Shuart (1:39.02)
100 backstroke: Milford’s Ryan Mackesey (1:05.32)
100 breaststroke: Dylan Tuttle (1:12.02)
400 freestyle relay: Jonathan Kohr, Max Kohr, Mitchell McGee and Delcan Burke (3:59.81)

Complete list of girls’ meet winners:

200 medley relay: Milford’s Brianna Wells, Sydney Millman, Sophia Williams and Emily Morgan (2:13.32)
200 freestyle: Milford’s Sydney Millman (2:13.39)
200 individual medley: Milford’s Brianna Wells (2:43.67)
50 freestyle: Emma Barthelmess (:28.83)
100 butterfly: Milford’s Sydney Millman (1:16.30)
100 freestyle: Milford’s Summer Davis (1:13.86)
500 freestyle: Milford’s Emma Shockley (7:42.15)
200 freestyle relay: Lexi Hall, Grace Furman, Amber Hills and Emma Barthelmess (2:07.53)
100 backstroke: Milford’s Brianna Wells (1:10.72)
100 breaststroke: Emma Barthelmess (1:20.74)
400 freestyle relay: Milford’s Brianna Wells, Sydney Millman, Sophia Williams and Emily Morgan (4:45.75)

Next up for both swim teams is a home meet against Dover Tuesday, Jan. 16 at 4 p.m.

Sports Editor Ben Heck can be reached at

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