MARQUETTE – The Marquette boys swimming & diving team’s dominant season continued into the Upper Peninsula Finals with another impressive victory to close out the season Saturday.
Marquette won all 11 swimming events and posted second, third and fourth-place finishes in diving, and finished the meet with 368 points to repeat as champion. Houghton was next at 265. Sault Ste. Marie placed in third with 114 points, edging out Rudyard’s 106, and Manistique finished fifth with 87 points.
Marquette’s depth showed all season, and coach Nate McFarren was pleased to see it transfer to the season’s concluding event.
“I think I said last year, but I’m going to say it again this year: We never had this much depth,” McFarren said. “Winning every event except for diving, and even in diving going two, three and four (places) behind a U.P. record holder – pretty solid performance by everybody.”
Marquette’s 200-yard freestyle relay team of senior Bobby Caron and juniors Liam McFarren, Colin Vanderschaaf and Maverick Baldwin broke the school, pool and U.P. Finals records, formerly set by Marquette in 2017, by a full second in 1:29.93. There was some doubt within the team that they could break the record, but their biggest performance on the biggest stage shattered it.
“It was incredible. We were three seconds away from the record and we broke it by a full second,” Liam McFarren said. “We never thought that we would be able to do this today. We were all hoping for it, but it honestly took us all by surprise. We all swam the best times in our entire lives.”
The 200 medley relay team of McFarren, Vanderschaaf, Baldwin and junior Andrew King were also close to snapping a record, missing out by two tenths of a second. McFarren also captured individual victories in the 100 butterfly and 100 free.
Vanderschaaf also had a stellar day with individual wins in the 200 free and 100 breaststroke. The work he put in helped him earn this moment.
“(I’ve been) working hard in and out of the pool and trying to recover and swim as fast as I can,” Vanderschaaf said.
Other individual Marquette victories came from freshman Sevi Voigt in the 200 individual medley and 500 free, King in the 100 backstroke and Baldwin in the 50 free. The 400 free relay team of Caron, King, Voigt and freshman Trevor Crandell also pulled through in the final event.
“It felt really good after all the practices, all the little mishaps throughout the season and everything between,” Liam McFarren said. “It just felt good to be able to get in the water and do more than what we thought we could actually do.”
Houghton’s Quinn Aho claimed the victory in diving. His 269.90 score bested the previous record, set in 2003, by 5.1 points. The Gremlins also posted seven runner-up finishes in the meet to claim second place as a team.
PHOTOS (Top) Liam McFarren cheers on a Marquette teammate during the 200 freestyle relay Saturday. (Middle) Teammate Colin Vanderschaaf swims the 100 breaststroke on the way to winning that race. (Photos by Daryl Jarvinen. For more, email [email protected].)
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.”
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.
“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.
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.)