More than just a dip: Participants motivated to support diabetes efforts at 17th annual Swim Teal Lake

Participants in the Swim Teal Lake Benefit for Diabetes Short-n-Sweet event swim away from the beach in Negaunee toward a buoy about a third of a mile from shore, then turn around and head back to the beach on Saturday. (Journal photo by Renee Prusi)

NEGAUNEE — Julie Innerebner was about 12 when she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

For the second year, Julie — who’s going to be a sophomore this fall — came all the way from Sault Ste. Marie to take part in the Swim Teal Lake benefit for diabetes Saturday.

“We came last night and stayed in a hotel,” Julie said about her preparations for the 17th annual event. “Last year, the swim was long, but it was fun. I do it to support others like me who have diabetes.”

Julie, a member of the Sault High School swim team, said she’s been training in a small lake in her hometown.

“My events are the butterfly and the 200 free(style),” she said. “This event is good training, too.”

Sisters Irene, left, and Annabella Neumeier of Escanaba smile after finishing the Swim Teal Lake Benefit for Diabetes's Short-n-Sweet event held in Negaunee on Saturday. Annabella took first place while Irene finished second. (Journal photo by Renee Prusi)

The first event of the day — the Short-n-Sweet swim — was the only one that started on the Negaunee side of Teal Lake. Because of the wind, the other longer races reversed their courses and started on the Ishpeming side of the lake, swimming east with the wind back to Negaunee.

Among the 10 participants in the Short-n-Sweet race were sisters Annabella Neumeier, 15, and Irene Neumeier, 12, of Escanaba. Both are members of the Northern Lights Y swim team in their hometown.

“We wanted to take part because this event helps people of all ages,” said the girls’ mother, Susan Neumeier. “This supports a healthy lifestyle and that’s awesome.”

Susan cheered from the lake shore as her daughters dove into the water, setting off to reach a bright yellow buoy a third of a mile into the lake, then racing back to shore.

Annabella finished first, with her sister coming in a close second.

“All I wanted to do was beat Renie,” Annabella said with a smile.

Irene added: “There was a ton of seaweed in the lake so that got me going.”

Being active in swimming all year, will they try an even longer Teal Lake race during next year’s event?

“Maybe,” said Annabella.

“No,” answered Irene emphatically.

Renee Prusi can be reached at 228-2500, ext. 240. Her email address is rprusi@miningjournal.net.


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