East Grand Rapids Clinches Michigan Girls DIII State Championship Title

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The 2018 Michigan Girls DIII Swimming and Diving Championships took place on Nov. 17 at the Holland Aquatic Center in Holland, Mich.

After returning to DIII from DII this season, East Grand Rapids secured the team victory with 330 points ahead of Cranbrook Kingswood (284) and Hamilton (191). A trio of new Michigan DIII records were set at this meet.

Click here for full results.

Top 5 Team Scores:

1. East Grand Rapids – 330
2. Cranbrook Kingswood – 284
3. Hamilton – 191
4. Bloomfield Hills Marian – 160
5. Chelsea – 152

The meet began with an exciting start: Bloomfield’s Lauren SielickiMary SnyderAnika Fassett and Julia Waechter, as well as East Grand Rapids’ Sydney HigginsClaire WittingEmma Israels and Laura Levine tied in the 4×50 relay, nothing teams touching the walling in 1:46.71. Cranbrook Kingswood took third in 1:47.36.

University Liggett’s Sophie Housey cruised to first in the 200 free, stopping the clock in 1:48.37 for the win. Cranbrook Kingswood’s Gwenyth Woodbury also got under the 1:50 barrier in 1:49.78 for second and Grand Rapids Christian’s Becca Burrows wound up third in 1:53.07.

Not too long after leading off East Grand Rapids’ victorious medley relay, Higgins was back in the water to win a close 200 IM: her time of 2:07.82 was just slightly ahead of runner-up Ginger McMahon of University Liggett’s times of 2:07.94. Third place went to Israels in 2:08.14.

South Haven’s Ellie Frost sprinted her way to a win in the 50 free, splashing and dashing her way to a quick 23.59. Also cracking the 24-second mark was Pontiac Notre Dame Prep’s Rhianna Hensler who took second in 23.68 and Hamilton’s Hannah Fathman finished third in 24.31.

Milan’s Mackenzie Crawford dove to first on the 1-meter diving, posting a final score of 494.80 for a dominant win to defend her title. Her score set a new DIII mark, breaking the old one of 484.35 set by Randi Brown in 2009. Hamilton’s Rayah Blood took second with a score of 388.30 and Chelsea’s Angelia Daman finished third with 374.35 points.

50 free runner-up Hensler found herself on top of the podium in the 100 fly, powering to the wall first in 55.67 to successfully defend her title. Her time tied her own DIII record she set last year. Harper Creek’s Alysa Wager was about one and a half seconds behind in 57.11 for second and Hamilton’s Jenna Kloosterman touched the wall third in 57.49.

House led the charge in the 100 free to add that title to her 200 free win from earlier; the junior sprinted her way to gold in 50.23. Her time broke the previous DIII record of 50.46 set by Mallory Comerford in 2011. Woodbury again grabbed the silver in 50.91 and Frost earned the bronze in 51.54.

Plainwell’s Riley Nugent posted a three-second victory in the 500 free, besting the field with a final time of 5:02.02. Milan’s Lizzy McKenna shaved off nearly five seconds from her morning time to take second in 5:05.05 and Pontiac Notre Dame Prep’s Lindsey Creek finished third in 5:07.63.

It was another close race, by Hamilton’s Fathman, Ayvah Johnson, Kloosterman and Nella Pashak were the lone victors in the 4×50 free relay, finishing in 1:36.30. Cranbrook Kingswood was only three-tenths behind them in 1:36.60 and East Grand Rapids was third in 1:37.43.

Cranbrook Kingswood’s Justine Murdock took the top spot in the 100 back, getting her hand to the wall in 56.34 for the title. Higgins wasn’t too far behind in 56.90 for second and Sielicki rounded out the top three with a time of 57.43.

200 IM runner-up McMahon got her own individual gold in the 100 breast, getting her hands to the wall first in 1:04.94. Holland Christian’s Zoe DeKievit swam to second place in 1:06.26 and Wager completed the top three in 1:06.46.

East Grand Rapids secured their team victory as the quartet of Greta MilnesSophie Williams, Higgins and Israels combined to conclude the meet as champions in the 4×100 free relay in 3:29.66. Hamilton (3:31.97) and Cranbrook Kingswood (3:32.08) finished second and third, respectively.