The end of the Shawnee Indians’ reign atop the Western Buckeye League may come to end Saturday, and the Wapakoneta Redskins would be happy to take their place.
Shawnee has won 13 consecutive WBL girls swimming titles.
“We had pretty much everybody coming back,” Wapakoneta coach Mark Law said. “With what we have back and seeing what other teams lost, we feel the girls had a good shot at winning it this year. Shawnee lost quite a bit.
“I think it will come down between us and Ottawa-Glandorf.”
The Redskins lost 49-45 to the O-G Titans in a meet on Dec. 12.
Based on the seeding, however, Law feels his girls team is set up for success Saturday.
“Our top swimmers have great seeds,” he said.
The Redskins will look to score some major points in all of the relays, especially in the 200 medley and the 200 freestyle relay.
“Those are two relays we have a chance of winning,” Law said. “The medley relay definitely has a shot.”
Taylor Law, a senior, is the only No. 1 seed in any event for Wapak. She is first in the 100 butterfly.
In both the 50 and 100 free races, Wapak junior Josie Miller is seeded second behind Shawnee senior Emily Murphy.
“Josie Miller is behind only her nemesis (Murphy), who we’ve been dealing with for the past 10 years,” Law said.
Other second seeds for the Redskins include freshman Jordyn Law in the 100 backstroke, freshman Mya Hager in the 100 breaststroke and sophomore Sierra Sammons in the 200 individual medley.
Hager set a school record in the breaststroke in a home meet Jan. 16.
Hager’s sister, Taylor, is someone Law feels can contribute Saturday. She is entered into the breaststroke and butterfly races.
“Taylor Hager could score a lot of points for us,” he said.
All things considered, Law feels his team is where it needs to be.
“It’s just a matter of what girls step up,” the coach said. “There will be some really good races on Saturday. It could come down to that last race.”
Charlie Sutton is peaking for the Redskins entering the boys WBL Championships on Saturday.
The Wapakoneta sophomore broke one school record in each of the team’s past two meets.
Law said if not for the limit of two individual races per swimmer, Sutton could have won five events Saturday. That said, Sutton should win the individual races in which he is entered -- the 100 free and the 200 free.
“Charlie will do really well,” Law said.
Sutton is the top seed in the 200 and second in the 100.
The Redskins were the WBL runner-up last season.
A big loss due to graduation means they might not have the depth to match or exceed last season’s result.
“Last year the boys we thought had a chance to give (champion) Shawnee a run,” Law said. “We lost eight seniors but our top five or six guys are good and really competitive. I’m pretty excited about our top swimmers. Our depth just isn’t there.
“I think we can fight for those top three spots though.”
Wapak sophomore Wesley Ruedebusch is the fourth seed in the 200 free.
Ruedebusch and junior Hayden Metzger are seeded back to back in the breaststroke.
Metzger is the third seed in the 500 free.
“Wesley and Hayden are seeded well,” Law said.
Wapak freshman Ryan Schneider is fifth in the butterfly and sixth in the backstroke, while sophomore
Michael Zwez is seeded seventh in both of those events.
“Michael and Ryan both can finish in the top six in their events if they swim well,” Law said.
Law believes a couple first-year seniors — Sam Harrod and Kaleb Miller — will be helpful Saturday. They will be competing in the 50 and 100 free races.
“Sam has come on the last couple weeks,” Law said. “Kaleb has a chance in the 50 free and 100 free,” the coach said.
The WBL Championships will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Defiance Area YMCA.
Doors will open at 8:30 a.m. for spectators. Warm-ups will begin at 9 a.m.
Tickets will cost $6 for adults and $4 for students.