Mercy Catholic Secures Third-Straight Michigan DI State Championship Title By A Half Point

farmington hills mercy catholic michigan state meet
Photo Courtesy: Mercy High School MI Twitter (@MercyHighMI)

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The 2019 Michigan Girls DI Swimming & Diving State Championships took place on Nov. 23 at the Holland Aquatic Center in Holland, Mich. Hudsonville’s Claire Tuttle highlighted the meet by dropping a 1:00.79 in the 100 breast.

In a tight team race that boiled down to the final relay, Mercy Catholic came out victorious for the third-straight year with a final score of 298, only a half-point ahead of runner-up Ann Arbor Pioneer. The Marlins are no stranger to close finishes, as they won the championship crown last year by only two points.

Click HERE for full results and team scores.

Top 5 Team Scores:

1. Mercy Catholic – 298
2. Ann Arbor Pioneer – 297.5
3. Saline – 197.5
4. Rockford – 179.5
5. Novi – 132.5

Rockford’s Sara Kraus (26.44), Masy Folcik (28.27), Rachel Gamm (25.06), and Ashley Lund (22.63) opened the meet with a bang by winning the 4×50 medley relay in 1:42.40, nearly two seconds ahead of Ann Arbor Pioneer (1:44.27) and Saline (1:44.49). Their winning time broke the DI record of 1:43.10 set back in 2016.

Skyline’s Allison Haak led the charge in the 200 free, stopping the clock in 1:50.65 while shaving over a second off of her prelims swim. Ann Arbor Pioneer’s Vivian VanRenterghem raced to second in 1:51.14 while Northville’s Emily Roden took third in 1:51.68.

Grand Haven’s Kathryn Ackerman put on quite a show in the 200 IM to win the event for the third-straight year. The future Michigan Wolverine  won in 1:57.61, just off of her own state record of 1:57.25 she set last year. Mercy Catholic’s Greta Gidley took second in 2:01.53 while third went to Ann Arbor Pioneer’s Lily Cramer in 2:04.17.

Tuttle, who is also committed to Michigan, sprinted to the top spot in the 50 free in a quick 22.80 as the only swimmer in the field to crack the 23-second marker. Ann Arbor Pioneer’s Lucy Mehraban raced to second in 23.08 as Novi’s Kotoko Blair and Lund tied for third in 23.67

After placing second on the 1-meter board last season, Ann Arbor Huran’s Annie Costello dove to first this year with a final score of 425.40. Mercy Catholic’s Ciara McCliment was second with 403.75 points and Novi’s Anna Shinohara took third with a total score of 385.25.

Not too long after earning bronze in the 200 free, Roden flew to the top of the podium in the 100 fly with a winning time of 55.43. Another freshman, Rhian Russell of Rochester Adams, secured the runner-up spot in 56.02 and Plymouth’s Brady Kendall was third in 56.48.

Gidley, who has verbally committed to Alabama, won the 100 free after sprinting to the wall in 50.53, just off the 49.58 she posted during prelims. 50 free runner-up Mehraban earned another silver medal after finishing in 50.86 and Lund grabbed bronze in 51.28.

Northwestern commit Lola Mull won the 500 free for the third-straight year in 4:55.02. 200 free champion Haak also got under the five-minute marker in 4:59.49 for second while Mercy Catholic’s Katherine Hutter rounded out the top three in 5:00.54. Mull still owns the state record in 4:44.47 set in 2017.

Ann Arbor Pioneer’s Cramer (23.98), Autumn Bullinger (23.71), Amelia Weyhing (23.91), and Mehraban (23.15) combined to win the 4×50 free relay in 1:34.75. Rockford (1:35.51) and Mercy Catholic (1:35.92) finished second and third, respectively.

Ackerman’s second individual win of the day came in the 100 back when she powered home in 54.70 for the victory. Second place went to Ann Arbor Pioneer’s Quoia Sam in 55.54 while Saline’s Kiersten Russell clinched the third-place spot in 55.83.

Tuttle defended her title in the 100 breast, stopping the clock in a blazing 1:00.79 to lower her own pool record of 1:01.50 she set during prelims. Folcik, a Purdue commit, took second in 1:02.42 while Brighton’s Drue Thielking finished third in 1:03.80.

Ann Arbor Pioneer’s Mehraban (50.71), VanRenterghem (51.93), Holly Pringle (52.31), and Cramer (50.36) concluded the meet by winning the 4×100 free relay in 3:25.31, over two seconds ahead of Grand Haven who took second in 3:27.92. Mercy Catholic clinched the overall team title by placing third in 3:28.33.