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].)
We take a look at all of the action from the 2023 MHSAA Boys Swimming State Finals
Congratulations to our State Champions
Division 1 - Ann Arbor Pioneer
Division 2 - Birmingham Groves
Division 3 - Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood