Claire Newman Shines as Seaholm Clinches Michigan Girls DII State Championship Title

claire newman
Photo Courtesy: Katy Kildee/ via Midland Daily News

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

After earning the runner-up spot last year, Seaholm won two relays and used impressive depth to clinch the team title with 304 points ahead of Grosse Pointe South (222) and Birmingham Groves (198). For the second-straight year, Midland Dow’s Claire Newman was named the Michigan DII Swimmer of the Year.

Click HERE for full results and team scores.

Top 5 Team Scores:

1. Seaholm – 304
2. Grosse Pointe South – 222
3. Birmingham Groves – 198
4. Dexter – 178
5. Midland Dow – 151

Seaholm began their winning ways as Isabella Vaughan (27.36), Lauren Louwers (29.41), Katherine Stanley (25.58), and Eliza Dixon (23.48) won the opening 4×50 medley relay in 1:45.83, well ahead of Grosse Point South (1:47.02) and GR Forest Hills Central (1:48.55).

Fenton sophomore Gracie Olsen cruised to first in the 200 free, stopping the clock in 1:48.98 as the only swimmer in the field to crack the 1:50-barrier. Grosse Pointe South’s Olivia Yoo took second in 1:51.13 and third went to Portage Northern’s Hannah Williams in 1:51.94.

Farmington’s Madeline Greaves dominated the 200 IM, winning the event by two seconds in a final time of 2:04.35. Elly Belmore of Saint Clair Shores Lakeview finished second in 2:06.27 while Birmingham Groves’ Karen Austin raced to third in 2:07.40.

For the second-straight season, Newman sprinted her way to the top of the podium in the 50 free, splashing and dashing her way to the wall in 22.95. A pair of freshmen finished second and third, respectively: Temperance – Bedford’s Lindy Schultz (24.10) and Seaholm’s Samantha Clifford (24.16).

Lily Witte, a freshman from Dexter, dove to first in the 1-meter diving event with a final score of 468.40. Okemos’ Caroline Li, also a freshman, took second with 426.30 points and DeWitt’s Elise Snyder finished third with a total score of 423.65.

Olsen claimed her second individual gold medal of the meet after she flew to the top of the podium in the 100 fly, getting her hands to the wall the quickest in 54.62. Yoo again earned the runner-up spot in 55.57 while Holland’s Sage Gettings, who also took third in 2018, touched in 56.24.

Newman, who will become a Michigan Wolverine next fall, raced to another gold in the 100 free to successfully defend her state title after stopping the clock in a swift 50.23. Silver went to Williams in 51.69 and Schultz grabbed bronze in 51.69.

Not long after winning the 200 IM, Greaves was back in the pool to post a narrow one-second victory in the 500 free with a time fo 5:00.13. Right behind her was Byron Center’s Paige Edwards in 5:01.13 for second while Portage Northern’s Angelina Baker wound up third in 5:03.11.

Dixon (24.36), Samantha Clifford (23.99), Chloe Blake (24.23), and Megan Clifford (23.76) combined in 1:36.34 to give Seaholm another relay victory in the 4×50 free relay. Midland Dow raced to second in 1:37.00 and Dexter took third in 1:37.95.

Dexter’s Charlotte Schultz powered home in 56.42 to win in the 100 back, dropping over a second off her prelims time. Grosse Pointe South teammates and freshmen Lezotte (56.74) and Sienna Clark (58.46) finished second and third, respectively, in the event.

200 IM runner-up Belmore found herself on top of the podium in the 100 breast, winning by over a full second in 1:04.32. Louwers took second in 1:05.40 and her teammate Stanley took a close third in 1:05.62.

Midland Dow’s Ella Roberson (54.53), Sasha Konovalenko (53.46), Anna Jensen (54.68), and Newman (49.32) concluded the meet by winning the 4×100 free relay in 3:31.99, nearly two seconds ahead of Seaholm (3:33.74) and Fenton (3:34.55) thanks to Newman’s incredible anchor leg. Their time also broke a 31-year-old school record.

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