ANNA -- The Marion Marlins won the Southern Illinois Swim League Championship for the first time in eight years Saturday at the Anna City Park pool.
Marion tallied 564 points to wrestle the SISL title away from runner-up Du Quoin, which racked up 542 points at the seven-team event. Du Quoin, the defending champ, had won seven of the last eight championships.
Salem came in third (445), followed by Herrin (404.5), host Anna (184.5), Carbondale (92) and Mt. Vernon (76).
Breaking down the genders, Du Quoin's girls tallied 311 points and Marion's ladies scored 290.5 points, while on the boys side Marion had the top total at 273.5 followed by Herrin (248.5) and Du Quoin (231).
The meet began with 10 medley relay events. Marion won five of those and Du Quoin won three.
Butterfly races followed. Winners for Du Quoin were Josiah Montgomery and Anniston Thompson, both in the 7-8 age division and Kallie Oestreicher (11-12).
Marion got wins from Shelby Puffer (13-14) and Steven Thompson (15-18), but also racked up points from four second-place finishes by Lacey Edwards, Gabby Shrum, Ray Faith and Marisa Miller.
Next up were the first round of freestyle races. Marion's Max Motsinger (7-8), Brian King (9-10), Alexa McCuan (11-12) were winners, while Eli Springvloed (11-12), Ray Faith and Camden Dodds (15-18) nabbed runner-up points.
Du Quoin got freestyle wins from Reagan Lewis (7-8), Paxton Higgerson and Makoa Montgomery (15-18).
In the individual medleys, Du Quoin won six of seven straight races with victories from Kelby Funk, Maddax Thompson, Mikah Montgomery, Meesha Montgomery, Higgerson and Makoa Montgomery.
But the Marlins stayed in the team hunt by placing second in six of the eight IM events.
The backstroke was next and Du Quoin picked up wins from Gannyn Funk and Anniston Thompson (7-8), Haylee Crow (9-10), Kallie Oestreicher (11-12) and Meesha Montgomery (13-14).
Marion didn't win any backstroke races but got seconds from Riley Faith, McCuan, Isaac Donaldson and Katie Cully.
In the second wave of freestyle events, Marion gained first-place points from Carson Patton (9-10) and Ray Faith, while Du Quoin's winners were Mikah Montgomery, Lauren Heape (13-14), Payton Wood (15-18) and Makoa Montgomery.
With the end approaching, the meet switched to breaststroke and Marion's winners were Tori Rees (7-8) and Ava Anderson (11-12), with runner-up points from Motsinger and Lacey Edwards.
Du Quoin got breaststroke wins from Josiah Montgomery, Steven Hirte (13-14) and Higgerson, while Maddax Thompson, Mikah Montgomery and Meesha Montgomery all came in second by less than a second.
Freestyle relays finished the meet.
In the first, Herrin was the winner followed by Marion and then Du Quoin. In the second, Salem won followed by Marion and Du Quoin. In the girls 9-10 division, Marion's foursome edged Du Quoin for the win, then Marion won the boys 11-12 and Du Quoin won the girls 11-12 to keep things close.
Marion won the 79th event ahead of Du Quoin and although the Swimming Indians finished ahead of the Marlins in the final three races, the winning margin had been eclipsed.
Senior swimmers leaving the SISL for Marion were Cully and Thompson. Du Quoin's seniors included Rachel Gomes, Rylan Ragar, Nathan Manning and Higgerson.
Marion also won the sportsmanship award for the third straight year.