Felicity Buchmaier Among Winners At Michigan Girls High School State Championships

Photo Courtesy: Swimming World

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November 21st the MHSAA high school girls Division 2 state meet took place at Oakland University. Dexter High School won the meet with 256 points, East Grand Rapids High School came in second with 251 points and Forest Hills Central High School finished third with 247 points. Sophomore Annette Shultz from Dexter won swimmer of the meet while junior Erin Neely from Forest Hills Central won diver of the meet.

The meet started out with the 200 medley relay. The team of Shultz, Lizzy Merriman, Kate Masaros, and Gretchen Shultz won with the time of 1:44.25. Shultz then turned around to win the 200 free in 1:47.89, coming .01 off of breaking the Division 2 record set in 2014 by Mollie Pulte, 1:47.88.

“I was shocked with my time,” Shultz said smiling. “Yesterday I was thrilled just to break the 1:50 barrier. When I saw the 1:47, I was thinking ‘where did that come from?’”

Claire Young, a senior out of Grosse Pointe South high school, won the 200 IM in 2:04.78.

Junior Sophie Schott from Bloomfield Hills Marian won the 50 free by breaking the 23 second barrier mark and touching at 22.99.

Forest Hills Central divers accomplished something that has never been done before at any state meet in the history of Michigan: placing five athletes in the top eight. The divers from Forest Hills finished one, two, three, four and seven; all but one will be returning next season. Junior Neely won and broke her own Division 2 meet record by 30 points with a score of 485.2, just four points shy of the all division record. Sophomore Colleen Kramer finished second, junior Nicki Bailey third, Ally Fitzgerald fourth and Nicole Carlson seventh. These five girls scored over 35 percent of Forest Hills Central’s overall points.

“I am so incredibly proud of all of them,” Neely said. “We worked so hard this season and they all deserve it. I feel so proud to be part of such a successful team and represent this sport.”

Forest Hills Central had another champion in the 100 butterfly; sophomore Felicity Buchmaier touched first in 55.60.

“My thought process was to pretend that I was at a dual meet, not the state meet,” Buchmaier said. “I was so relieved and happy after the race. I was also super proud of my teammate, Alex Horman, who swam in the final heat with me.”

Shultz won her third event in the 100 free winning in 50.34. Senior Claire McGinnis from Rochester Adams high school broke the five minute barrier in both prelims and finals. McGinnis won the 500 in 4:59.18 as well as finishing second in the 200 free earlier with a time of 1:50.52.

East Grand Rapids broke the meet record in the 200 free relay. The team of Lexus VanHovenHanna SanfordEmily Converse and Gabby Higgins set the record at 1:34.48. Converse, other than being the only senior on the record setting relay, came right out of the 500 free where she finished second with 5:01.00.

East Grand Rapids has wavered between Division 2 and Division 3. However, according to head coach Butch Briggs, he is hoping to stay in Division 2.

“The times have pushed the girls to perform better and step up,” Briggs explained. “Our goal was to come in and collect a trophy, we did. Next year our goal is the same.”

Young came back to win the 100 backstroke in 55.20, while Buchmaier finished second in 56.53. Merriman won her second title in the 100 breaststroke at 1:03.68.

Then East Grand Rapids swam the same girls in the 400 free relay as their 200 freestyle relay; VanHoven, Sanford, Converse, and Higgins went two for two and won in 3:27.44.

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