Houghton Boys Rise With Last-Event Win

February 17, 2018

By Ryan Stieg
Special for Second Half

MARQUETTE – For the past two years, the Houghton boys swimming & diving team has watched Marquette come out ahead of the Gremlins for the Upper Peninsula Finals championship.

On Saturday, the Gremlins finally finished on top, but it came down to the wire.

Trailing the Redmen by two points heading into the final event, the 400-yard freestyle relay, Houghton needed a strong performance if it wanted to end Marquette’s four-year title reign.

They got it as Houghton’s relay took first place, and as a team edged the Redmen 242-232. That was the only event the Gremlins won all day, and they picked the perfect time to do it.

“We were down two points, and I told the boys just give it everything you’ve got and they came through,” Houghton coach Erik Johnson said. “This feels pretty darn good. These kids worked really hard, and we only did it with nine guys. I’m really happy for our seniors to be able to send them out this way. It’s been a goal of theirs for a long time, and they were able to get it done.”

It was a tough outcome for the Redmen, who had won four events on the day – including the other two relays – and did so despite having a small roster. Matt Brauer (200 freestyle) and Ryan Glover (100 backstroke) were Marquette’s two individual winners.

“Quite honestly, if you told me at the beginning of the year that our boys would get second, I would’ve said you’re crazy,” Marquette coach Nathan McFarren said. “We lost some amazing swimmers that I had for four solid years. The boys team gave it everything we had. We just didn’t have the depth when it came down to it. We won a lot. We swam hard. We worked hard and we had a great taper, but it wasn’t in the cards this year.”

Kingsford finished third in the eight-team meet with 192 points, with Caleb Plumley winning the 200 individual medley and the 100 backstroke. Sault Ste. Marie took fourth at 182 and Gladstone fifth at 176. The Blue Devils took first in four events with Leevi Olson (50 free and 100 free) and Andrew Innerebner (500 free, 100 butterfly) both winning twice.

“All our kids had top times, and even our role kids stepped up,” Sault Ste. Marie coach Steve Habusta said. “If you would’ve told me where we’d be at, I wouldn’t have believed you. With Leevi, I don’t know if there’s another swimmer that’s gone four-for-four four years in a row in the same event (50 free). I’ve been here for a while and I’ve never seen that, so that’s special. Also, Andrew had a U.P. (Finals) record in the 500 free (4:55.13), so that’s awesome for him.”

Click for full results.

PHOTOS: (Top) Swimmers launch during Saturday’s Upper Peninsula Finals at Marquette High school. (Middle) Sault Ste. Marie’s Andrew Innerebner completes his meet record 500 freestyle. (Photos by Daryl Jarvinen/Jarvinen Photos.)

Marquette Adds to Championship List As Newest Standouts Take Their Turns

By Jason Juno
Special for MHSAA.com

February 17, 2024

MARQUETTE – Marquette has won so many Upper Peninsula Boys Swimming & Diving Finals team championships, it’s running out of wall space to celebrate them as the boys list already runs from the high ceiling to just about pool level.

They added one more Saturday, their fifth straight title and 31st in school history, and did so in dominating fashion finishing ahead of runner-up Houghton 319-214. The day saw a Marquette sweep as the girls team also breezed to a U.P. championship with its list of championships running just about as far down the same wall.

“Last year, we graduated some real studs,” Marquette coach Nathan McFarren said. “If you would have told me that both teams would be here winning it today last year at this time, I would have said you’re crazy. But our boys that were B and C swimmers were ready to shine. They wanted their moment, and they got it today.”

Swimmers launch at the start of the 50 championship race. Marquette junior Trevor Crandell won the 50-yard freestyle, finished runner-up in the 100 butterfly and helped Marquette to wins in the 200 medley relay and 400 free relay.

“It’s so rewarding,” Crandell said. “When you’re first starting the year, it’s so demotivating, you’re not swimming any meets, you’re not doing any good times. But when you get to the U.P. Finals, you’re on that taper, you’re on that block, you’re just ready to go, it’s something special.”

“Super-quiet kid, but this year found the eye of the tiger and really went after it,” McFarren said of Crandell. “So exciting to watch. He wanted it so bad this year, proud of him.”

Junior Isaiah Youngren picked up Marquette’s other individual race win, in the 100 breaststroke. Junior Chase Thomsen was the top diver with a score of 198.15.

Manistique’s Nathan Schoenow won the 100 and 200 freestyle races.

The senior had been sick in his other U.P. Finals appearances.

“It feels good; a lot of hard work in the pool and out of the pool came into this,” he said. 

He looked to sprint through both races, including the 200.

Kingsford’s Joey Lundholm swims to a win in the 200 individual medley.“Earlier this season, I didn’t have a whole lot of endurance,” Schoenow said. “I tried to pace myself, maybe hold back a little. But for this meet, since it’s my last time ever doing the 200, I just decided to sprint the whole thing and see how that would work. It hurt a lot, I was really tired after, but it worked – I got my best time by 3.5 seconds.

“The other one (100), same thing, I tried to sprint as hard as I could and the second I felt tired, I would just try to will myself to go faster.”

Other individual winners included Kingsford’s Joey Lundholm in the 200 individual medley and 100 fly, Rudyard’s Keith McDowell in the 500 free and Houghton’s Beau Haataja in the 100 backstroke.  

Gladstone was third in the team standings with Kingsford fourth, Ishpeming/Negaunee fifth, Sault Ste. Marie sixth, Rudyard seventh, Manistique eighth and Ishpeming Westwood ninth.

McFarren made it a combined 17 Finals championships as coach for boys and girls for Marquette, tying Marquette’s Matt Williams for the meet record. 

Click for full results.

PHOTOS (Top) Marquette’s Trevor Crandell celebrates his victory in the 50-yard freestyle Saturday. (Middle) Swimmers launch at the start of the 50 championship race. (Below) Kingsford’s Joey Lundholm swims to a win in the 200 individual medley. (Click for more from Jarvinen Photos.)