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Swimming: At home at great Heits
Times photo: Mark Nesbitt Monroes Haley Kaiser swims the backstroke in a dual meet against Milton Thursday night. The 11-12-year-old 200 medley relay team of Kaiser, Angie Beaver, Marissa Berg and Zoey Benish took first (3:24.53), by almost 20 seconds.
MONROE - Sara Heitkamp, as a high school swimmer for Monroe, knows how grueling training for swimming can become.

After winning the open 50-meter freestyle (34.13 seconds), several timers beat her back to the blocks for a back-to-back race - the open 200-meter individual medley. Heitkamp won the 200 IM with a time of 3 minutes, 13.55 seconds to help the Monroe Area Swim Team win over Milton in the home meet finale Thursday night.

When asked about how she felt winning back-to-back races, Heitkamp said, "tired."

"This is the fun season," she said. "I don't take it all that seriously."

MAST coach Jessica Wells was confident in Heitkamp, but didn't intend for her to swim two straight races.

"I wanted her to swim the IM because I wanted her to do that, not realizing they are close together," Wells said. "It showcases all the strokes. She can handle that."

Heitkamp uses the summer swimming season as a training ground for the fall high school season.

"You are already in shape," Heitkamp said. "You don't have to take time to get used to swimming and get back into the water. You are taking off time as the season goes."

Monroe girls swimming coach Linda Moser understands Heitkamp is a versatile swimmer.

"She has a good heart and that is what swimming takes," Moser said. "It takes good heart and passion and she has those two things. For some kids, it takes a while to find a niche. Some kids are solid no matter where you put them and Sara is one of those."

Rachel Root dominated the competition in the 13-14 division, winning the 50 freestyle (:32.03) and the 50 butterfly (:35.11). Monroe's Jalen Capesius finished runner up to Root in both the 50 freestyle and butterfly.

The 13-14 girls' 200 medley relay team of Jenni Sefcik, Capesius, Root and Shelby Coffey took the top spot in 3:05.64, smashing Milton by almost 42 seconds.

Sefcik also won the 50 backstroke in :44.75.

Marissa Berg led the 11-12 division, capturing two individual first place finishes including the 50 freestyle (:32.14) and 50 butterfly (:36.82).

The 200 medley relay team of Haley Kaiser, Angie Beaver, Berg and Zoey Benish took first (3:24.53), by nearly 20 seconds.

Beaver added a first-place finish in the 100 freestyle in 1:19.24.

Leanna Schwartzlow had a big meet for MAST, winning the open 200 freestyle (2:34.23) open 50 butterfly (:35.51) and swimming on the open 200 medley relay, which finished first. The winning open medley relay team of Taylor Bryant, Schwartzlow, Cassie Coffey and Katie Coplien finished in 2:50.76.

The 9-10 division received first-place finishes from Brooke Rowe, 50 freestyle (:42.51); Kaylee Ruyle, 50 backstroke (:48.0) and Anna Meritt, 50 butterfly (:49.64).

In the girls 8 and under division, Grace Keith finished first in the 25 freestyle (:20.91), where she tied Milton's Erin Donagan and in the 25 butterfly (:29.28). Ally Einbeck won the 8 and under breaststroke (:35.49), by nearly seven seconds.

In the boys competition, Mitch Keith won three individual events in the 9-10 division including the 50 freestyle (:37.86), 100 freestyle (1:31.46) and 50 butterfly (:49.79).

Jim Curran led the boys 11-12 division, winning three events including the 50 freestyle (:31.91), 100 freestyle (1:15.40) and he teamed with Conner White, Grant Keith and Matthew Coplien in 3:23.13.

Collin Morgan won the open 200 IM (2:40.81) and took first in the 13-14 division butterfly (:30.41).

Paul Fenner won the 50 freestyle (:31.97) and Will Fenner took first in the 100 freestyle (1:08.33).

The boys won the open 200 medley relay with a team of Dylon Wilde, Will Fenner, Morgan and Tyler Moser finishing in 2:25.63.

"I think they are just really excited," Brianna Moser said of swimmers. "They see their times dropping."

The team's last meet is Saturday at Jefferson, followed by swimming and the club's awards banquet on Sunday.