Seniors Lead Again as Marquette Boys Claim 4th-Straight UP Finals Title

By John Vrancic
Special for

February 19, 2023

MARQUETTE — The Marquette boys captured their fourth consecutive Upper Peninsula swimming & diving title in convincing fashion here Saturday with 376 points.

They were followed by Houghton with 216, and Kingsford edged Sault Ste. Marie 133-132 for third place.

A diver begins his lift-off Friday.Marquette senior Andrew King collected three firsts, taking the 100-yard backstroke in a personal-best 57.73 seconds and swimming a personal-best one minute, 57.9 seconds while taking runner-up honors in the 200 freestyle. He also helped the winning 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays.

“This was really a great day,” said King, who swam all four years of high school. “This is the first time I got under a minute in the 100 backstroke and under two minutes in 200 freestyle. I’ve been shooting for those all season. It feels great to swim those times and finish strong and who knows, there’s always a chance I might swim in college. I’m very happy for both of our teams.”

Classmate Liam McFarren added a first in the 200 individual medley (2:08.18) and helped the 200 medley and freestyle relays.

Senior Maverick Baldwin won the 50 freestyle (22.67) and took second in the 100 butterfly (58.22), and helped the medley and 400 freestyle relays. Sophomore teammate Evan Balko earned top honors in diving Friday with 215.35 points.

“I’ve been working with our seniors since they’ve been 9-10 years old,” said Marquette coach Nate McFarren. “It’s a pleasure to see them become fine young men right before my eyes. You see them do all the training for all the big events, and all of a sudden it’s over. It’s kind of bittersweet. It’s kind of a letdown after the season ends.”

Houghton senior Johannes Myhre, an exchange student from Norway, earned top honors in the 100 butterfly (56.21) and 100 freestyle (50.07) and helped the Gremlins place second in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays.

An Ishpeming/Negaunee athlete races in the butterfly.“I’ve always lived on the water and since I’ve been a little kid I loved being on the water,” he said. “I started competitive swimming four years ago. I think I had a pretty good backstroke today, and having Liam McFarren on my side really helps. He’s definitely a good swimmer. We’ve gone back and forth all year. I think it was decided after 75 yards. I used all my reserves.”

Kingsford sophomore Joey Lundmark claimed the 200 freestyle (1:56.85) and 500 (5:27.07), and senior teammate Zane Cahee added a first in the 100 breaststroke (1:08.47). They also helped the Flivvers place third in the 200 medley relay, and Cahee was fourth in the 200 IM (2:26.91).

Manistique senior Grant Mason set a school record while placing third in the 100 backstroke (1:02.43).

“I definitely ate a little better today and yesterday and managed my diet, which gave me a little more energy,” he said. “I also stayed in a hotel in Marquette and was able to sleep in a little. I beat my previous best time by about two seconds, and our medley relay placed second. We swam real strong and beat our best time by about seven seconds.”

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(PHOTOS by Randy Ritari – Click to see more.)

State Champs! Network: 2023 LP Boys Swim & Dive Finals Highlights

March 29, 2023

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