UNIVERSITY Center, Michigan, March 9. AFTER finishing in the runner-up position, the Brother Rice Warriors claimed their first Division 1 title since 2007 at the Michigan High School Boys Division 1 Swimming and Diving Championships. The meet was held in short course yards at the Saginaw Valley State University in University Center.
Brother Rice scored 345 points with Stevenson second (202), West Ottawa third (191), Pioneer fourth (185) and Bloomfield Hills fifth (136).
Brother Rice’s 400 free relay of junior Gust Kouvaris, sophomore Bobby Powrie, junior Mark Blinstrub and senior Joe Krause ended the meet with a state record-setting 3:02.06. They lowered the record the Warriors set last year (3:03.78) with Kouvaris, Blinstrub and Krause plus then-senior Patrick Nodland.
Brother Rice also won the 200 medley relay with the quartet of Blinstrub, sophomore Drew Grady, Kouvaris and senior Bradford Jones (1:32.77). They completed the relay sweep with their 1:25.10 triumph with the team of Krause, Powrie, junior Jack Kennedy and Jones (1:25.10). Just 11-hundredths back in the 200 free relay was the Pioneer squad of senior Thad Stalnick, juniors Kai Williams and Jiaming Shen, and senior Daniel Wie (1:25.21). Krause took charge of the 50 free with his 20.63.
Nick Arakelian, a Stevenson senior, earned a state record with his 1:47.47 in the 200 IM, taking down Josh Ehrman’s 1:47.86 mark from last year. Arakelian, who has committed to Queens-North Carolina, bettered his division mark from last year (4:27.75) with this year’s 4:24.84.
West Ottawa junior Tabahn Afrik set a division standard twice during the 100 free event. In prelims, he became the first sub-44 second swimmer in D1 history with his 43.94, and came back in finals with a 43.90. Both times erased Sam Hoekstra’s prelim time of 44.28 from 2009. Afrik also scored first-place points with his 1:38.18 in the 200 free.
John Schihl, a senior at Bloomfield Hills who is headed to Oakland University in the fall, missed a state record by just 8-hundredths with his 55.39 in the 100 breast. Catholic Central junior Jack Walsh held off Monroe sophomore Cameron Craig in the 100 back, 49.08 to 49.12. Craig posted a victory in the 100 fly (48.95).
Jake Herremans, a sophomore at Rockford, earned the diving title with 458.00 points.