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Posted on Fri, Nov 16, 2012 : 5:45 a.m.

Saline, Skyline and several local swimmers and divers top contenders at state championships

By Kyle Austin

Last year, when Farmington Hills Mercy won the Division 1 girls swimming state title, it broke an 11-year streak of either Pioneer or Saline winning a title in the state’s largest division.


Saline's Maddy Frost, above, is seeded in the top eight in two events.

Joseph Tobianski |

Saline had won for two straight years in 2009 and 2010 before falling to Mercy by 14.5 points last year.

And this year, the Hornets stand the best chance of bringing the title back to Washtenaw County.

Saline is one of three area teams heading to this weekend’s state meet, Friday and Saturday at the Holland Aquatic Center. They do so coming off their fourth straight year going undefeated in the regular season and winning the SEC Red title.

Eleven Hornets swimmers qualified for the state finals in individual events. They include Maddy Frost, seeded sixth in the 50 freestyle and seventh in the 100 backstroke and freshman Amelia Armstrong-Grant, seeded eighth in the 100 free and 12th in the 200 free.

Saline also has all three of its relays seeded in the top eight.

Pioneer will send four individual swimming qualifiers and returning All-State diver, Christina Lu, who was seventh last year. In the pool, the Pioneers are led by sophomore Karen Zhang, seeded eighth in the 100 breastroke and 12th in the 100 butterfly.

The River Rats will send a pair of divers to the meet, including regional champion Molly Gelb who was sixth last year, along with four individual state qualifiers.

Location: Oakland University.
Area Teams: Dexter, Lincoln, Milan, Skyline.
Outlook: Skyline moves down from Division 1 to Division 2 this year, and can expect to move up in the final standings as a result.

The Eagles finished sixth at last year’s state finals, and could finish as high as second this year (Holland is expected to win the title). Skyline's Ashley Shanley, who won the 100 breaststroke at last year's Division 1 meet, will look to add to her state title collection as the No. 2 seed in the 100 breast and top seed in the 200 individual medley. Other state title contenders include Rebecca Dickey, who is the second seed in the 100 butterfly, and freshman Katie Portz, who is in the top five in the 100 and 200 freestyle.

Milan will send three divers to the meet, and Lincoln will send one. Dexter will also send a team, which includes All-State contender Bridget Morgan in the 500 freestyle.

Location: Eastern Michigan University
Area Teams: Chelsea.
Outlook: The Bulldogs could place top-eight in the 200 medley relay, and Talia Dyerly could be All-State in the 100 freestyle.



Fri, Nov 16, 2012 : 2:14 p.m.

Pioneer will be D2 for Boys swimming. The MHSAA sets the divisions as follows. They rank each school offering swimming by the enrollment. If a school is a co-op program of more than 1 school, the enrollment is combined. Once the list of school enrollment is determined, the schools are spit as into 3rds. The biggest 1/3 of schools with swimming are D1, the middle 1/3 D2 and the smallest 1/3 are D3. Why would a school be D1 in girls, but D2 in boys? There are certain schools that offer a girls team, but not a corisponding boys team, or that offer boys / combined boys and girls team, but not a girls team. Thi year for girls swimming there are 76 schools in D1, and 75 for both D2 and D3. The girls cutoff is 1649 between D1 and D2. For Boys swimming and diving there are 71 schools in both D1 and D2, and 72 schools in D3. The D1-D2 cutoff is 1681 students. This means that the following schools are D2 for boys, but are D1 for girls. Harrison Township L'Anse Creuse, Davison, Fraser, Pioneer and Belleville. One of the schools that inpacts the numbers is SEC Member Bedford. Bedford offeres both boys and giels swimming and diving to students, but they only are listed as having a girls team by the MHSAA. You may see Pioneer, Huron and Skyline swimming Bedford's boys team, but they are actually swimming the Bedford Club Swimming team. That team is not recognized by the athletic department at Beford as an official team, therefore they are not eligible to compete as a high school team at the boys swimming MHSAA meet. The SEC's rules allow them to compete as a member of the conference, but the MHSAA requires that all teams be registered members of their schools athletic departments. Another example of the difference between boys and girls programs is Forest Hills. For te girls season Forest Hills Northern and Eastern are a comined team, while Central has their own team. During the boys season, the team is made up of all 3 schools combined.


Sat, Nov 17, 2012 : 12:06 a.m.

yes, thanks Chap. I had looked up the divisions on the MHSAA website and could not figure out why Pioneer would be D! for girls but D@ for boys.

Pete Cunningham

Fri, Nov 16, 2012 : 3:44 p.m.

Probably the most informative comment in the history of Thank you, chapmaja.


Fri, Nov 16, 2012 : 12:23 p.m.

I had heard that Pioneer was bumping down to division 2 like Skyline. Pioneer is staying D1?