Alysa Wager, Justine Murdock Break Records; East Grand Rapids Repeat at Michigan Girls DIII States

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Photo Courtesy: MHSAA Twitter (@mhsaa)

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The 2019 Michigan Girls DIII Swimming & Diving State Championships took place on Nov. 23 at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich.

In only their second year back in DIII, East Grand Rapids secured their second-straight team title with 317 points behind a record-setting performance in the 4×50 medley relay. Cranbrook Kingswood took a close second with a score of 306 while Bloomfield Hills Marian finished third with 245 points.

A total of two individual DIII records were broken during this meet: Battle Creek Harper Creek’s Alysa Wager in the 100 fly (54.88) and Cranbrook Kingswood’s Justine Murdock in the 100 back (54.53).

Click HERE for full results and team scores.

Top 5 Team Scores:

1. East Grand Rapids – 317
2. Cranbrook Kingswood – 306
3. Bloomfield Hills Marian – 245
4. Chelsea – 134
5. Hamilton – 131

East Grand Rapids began their winning ways as Sophie Williams (26.34), Claire Witting (30.07), Emma Israels (24.88), and Barbara Bart (23.75) opened the meet with a win in the 4×50 medley relay in 1:45.04. Their time of 1:44.72 set during prelims broke the previous Michigan DIII record set

After taking second in the 200 free a year ago, Cranbrook Kingswood’s Gwenyth Woodbury found herself with the gold medal this year as the only swimmer in the field under the 1:50-barrier, doing so in 1:49.07. Plainwell’s Riley Nugent took second in 1:52.05 and Bloomfield Hills Marian’s Paiton VanDyke took third in 1:54.60.

Murdock’s first gold of the day came when she took the top spot in the 200 IM, clocking in at 2:05.62 to drop two seconds from her morning swim. After helping her medley relay team earn gold, Israels was back in the water to take second in 2:07.10 as third went to Bloomfield Hills Marian’s Mary Snyder in 2:08.60.

Hamilton’s Hannah Fathman, who took third in the 50 free in 2018, sprinted her way to victory in 23.95 as the only athlete to crack the 24-second marker. Cranbrook Kingswood’s Charlotte Trunsky (24.04) and last year’s champion Ellie Frost (24.08) of South Haven finished second and third, respectively.

Adrian’s Anabelle Rosen-Hurley dove to first on the 1-meter board, posting a final score of 459.15 for a 31-point victory. Hamilton’s Rayah Blood took second with a score of 428.90 and Ostego’s Abie Sullivan finished third with 421.95 points.

Battle Creek Harper Creek’s Alysa Wager flew to the top of the podium in the 100 fly after finishing second a year ago, getting her hands to the wall in 54.88 for a new DIII record. Woodbury (55.63) and Israels (56.20) rounded out the top three.

East Grand Rapids sophomore Greta Milnes earned her first individual state title of her career after winning the 100 free in a quick 51.87. The runner-up spot went to Hamilton’s Nella Pashak in 52.27 while Tecumseh’s Linda Hensley finished a close third in 52.31.

Not too long after taking second in the 200 free, Nugent posted a five-second victory in the 500 free, besting the field with a final time of 5:01.39 for the second-straight season. Milan’s Lizzy McKenna raced to second place in 5:06.42 while Grosse Ile’s Erika Peitras was right behind her in 5:06.88 for third.

Cranbrook Kingswood’s Jordan Murrell (25.02), Trunsky (23.83), Hale Oal (24.54), and Woodbury (22.81) combined to win the 4×50 free relay in 1:36.20, about a half-second behind runner-up East Grand Rapids (1:36.77). Chelsea and Bay City John Glenn tied for third in 1:38.48.

Murdock let the way in the 100 back, powering home in a fast 54.53 to win by two seconds while taking down the old DIII record. Williamston’s Gwen Eisenbeis took second in 56.81 and Bloomfield Hills Marian took third in 57.23.

Shortly after winning the 100 fly, Wager collected her second individual gold of the meet by winning the 100 breast in 1:04.50. Winning medley relay anchor Bart touched the wall in 1:05.34 for the runner-up spot and Snyder took a close third in 1:05.80.

Cranbrook Kingswood’s Murrell (53.58), Trunsky (52.75), Murdock (51.36), and Woodbury (50.24) concluded the meet by winning the 4×100 free relay in 3:27.93, just shy of Bloomfield Hills Marian’s DIII record of 3:27.85 set back in 2016. East Grand Rapids was second in 3:30.02 and Bloomfield Hills Marian raced to third in 3:35.13.