Milan Swim and Dive finishes seventh in Division 2 finals, Dexter 16th
The Milan High School girls swimming and diving team ended its season with a seventh place finish in the Division 2 state championships at the Holland Aquatics Center on Saturday. after scoring 119 points at the 2011 Division 2 state finals
Head coach Dan Heikka couldn’t have been happier with the Big Reds' 119 point effort.
“We’ve been very fortunate. We swam great today and as a season we swam great,” Heikka said. “For us to do that in Division 2 is impressive. There were a lot of people that, quite frankly said we were going to get our butts kicked and the girls took exception to that.”
Milan finished third in Division 3 last year.
More coverage at MLive.com: Division 2 results
“I couldn’t be more proud of their mindset and how they stepped into a situation that they didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “The girls took it as a challenge. They took it in stride and stepped up.”
Senior Heather Kiger led the Big Reds by finishing second in the 100 butterfly with a time of 56.38 seconds, and third in the 50 freestyle with a time of 23.76. Those times were school records according to Heikka.
“It’s special to have her. Easily one of the hardest workers I’ve ever coached. Mentally tough,” Heikka said. “Heather never backed down, she went full bore and worked her tail off.”
Milan Big Reds finished eighth in the 400 free relay and sixth in the 200 free relay.
In diving, sophomore Haley Feeman took fourth and junior Paige Stefan finished 16th to help the team’s overall score.
“To be able to contribute to that is big. Individual is cool, but helping the team is cool,” Milan diving coach Robin Love said. “This is a team and we stress team in Milan. We owe it to the ones that came before us to conduct ourselves with dignity. It’s not a self thing, you’re on a team.”
Love was shocked at Feeman’s performance, in large part because of the strength of the competition.
“If somebody would have told me three weeks she would have been in the top four, I would have called you an idiot. But she worked so hard," Love said.
“Any time the seniors finish their last meet it’s pretty emotional,” Heikka said, adding that he would miss seniors like Kiger, not because of what she added to the swimming side, but because she is a great person.
The Dexter Dreadnaughts finished 16th in the division with a team score of 36. Senior diver Katie Callaghan finished 13th overall with a score of 313.25. Diving coach Alex Gauvin said he was very happy with how she performed over the weekend.
“She did what every diver wants to do, she didn’t miss any of her dives. Consistency means everything I couldn’t be prouder,” Gauvin said.
With only one entry in the second day of competition, the Chelsea High School girls swimming and diving team finished in 31st place in the Division 3 state finals held at Oakland University. The 400 freestyle relay team of Talia Dyerly, River Jensen, Katie Eisley, and Jillian Dixon finished in 13th place to score the only eight points for the Bulldogs.
More coverage: Division 3 results at MLive.com