Houghton Repeats to End Perfect Season

By John Vrancic
Special for MHSAA.com

February 17, 2019

MARQUETTE — The Houghton boys completed a perfect swimming & diving season Saturday while retaining their Upper Peninsula title with 313 points.

The Gremlins earned their second straight U.P. Finals title after finishing runners-up in both 2016 and 2017.

“They all came together today,” Houghton coach Erik Johnson said shortly after taking a dip in the Marquette High School pool. “My favorite bath is something special.

“Our depth is what helped us today. We were pretty senior-oriented this year, and we’ll let them soak it in and enjoy it. Kevin Beagham had a great day. Being a senior and team captain, this is special for him. As for the perfect season, it’s something I really don’t keep track of. Our kids are pretty loud about getting their friends fired up. The seniors left their mark on this program.”

Beagham won the 100-yard breaststroke in 61.18 seconds, 200 individual medley (2:15.67) and helped the Gremlins take the 200 medley relay (1:52.61) with classmates Cameron Jackson and Colton Haataja and freshman Davin Evans also part of that relay.

“This feels amazing,” said Beagham, who plans to attend Iowa State University this fall. "We’ve been working for this all year. There was a lot of pressure this year. We definitely had a target on our back.

“The 100 breaststroke was a little rough, but I think all the other events went pretty well. I’ll remember this forever. I’m real proud of all our guys and girls. I couldn’t have done any of this without them.”

Marquette and Gladstone shared runner-up honors at 203 points apiece.

Senior Josh Nykanen led Marquette with victories in the 50 freestyle in 23.08 seconds and 100 breaststroke (1:07.79), and as part of the 400 freestyle relay (3:46.41).

“That relay is a challenging race, especially with it being at the end of the meet,” said Johnson, whose future plans include serving an electrical apprenticeship in Minneapolis. “You’re using all your muscles and you get a little sore, but it’s all worth it. All my friends are on the 400 freestyle relay, and this gave us one last chance to swim together. I’m just happy the meet went the way it did. We’re pleased to come out as runners-up.”

Also part of the winning relay were senior Robert Bell, junior Wyatt Clement and freshman Bob Caron.

Marquette coach Nathan McFerrin said he was pleased with the team’s effort.

“At the beginning of the year, if you told me we’d tie for second, I wouldn’t have believed you,” he added. “Our boys numbers were a little down this year, but we have 10 incoming freshmen and four of the eighth-graders could have won the 200 medley and freestyle relays. We have a lot to be excited about.”

Gladstone took a relay title for the first time, covering the 200 medley event in 1:41.48.

“It’s awesome to tie for runner-up as a team and be the first team from Gladstone to win a relay,” said senior Tyler Barteld. “I’m proud of all our guys. Having low numbers makes it feel more like a family than a team.”

Also helping the Braves win that relay were junior Nick LeClaire and sophomores Peter Noblet and Isaac Berthaume.

Sault Ste. Marie junior Andrew Innerebner set U.P. Finals records in 100 freestyle (48.27) and 200 freestyle (1:44.02).

Marquette’s Sam Williams is now the former 100 record holder with a 48.39 from three years ago, and Innerebner topped his previous best in the 200 (1:46.36) from 2017.

It’s fun to compete against the best in the U.P.,” said Innerebner. “I basically took into account that I was in the first (individual) race. I wanted to set the pace and get everybody excited.

“I remember Coach Steve (Hubuata) telling us we’re here to shock the world. We did great today. We had a lot of personal bests.”

Click for full results.

PHOTOS: (Top) A Houghton swimmer helps his team toward the championship in the butterfly Saturday. (Middle) Swimmers launch during one of the day’s early races at the Upper Peninsula Finals. (Click for more from 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.)