Experienced Seaholm Takes Back Top Spot

November 23, 2019

By Keith Dunlap
Special for Second Half

ROCHESTER – Who says you can’t do any gardening in November?

It certainly worked for the Birmingham Seaholm girls swimming & diving team. 

Last season with a relatively young group, Seaholm finished runner-up at the Lower Peninsula Division 2 Finals, a result that stunned head coach Karl Hodgson in a good way and planted something special for 2019.

“That’s all we talked about from that point on,” Hodgson said. “Last year, we thought it was going to be a rebuilding year and it was kind of surprising we came in second. Right there, the seed was planted and they didn’t lose sight of that.”

That seed planted a year earlier turned into a championship trophy.

Seaholm captured its first Finals title since 2016, easily outdistancing the field with 304 points. 

Grosse Pointe South was the closest pursuer, finishing runner-up with 222 points. Birmingham Groves was third with 198. 

Seaholm entered the meet ranked No. 1, and lived up to that billing. 

The Maples started the meet with a win, taking first in the 200-yard medley relay in a time of 1:45.83 with the team of sophomores Isabella Vaughan, Lauren Louwers, Katherine Stanley and Eliza Dixon.

Seaholm also won the 200 freestyle relay in a time of 1:36.34 behind Dixon, sophomore Samantha Clifford and juniors Chloe Blake and Megan Clifford. 

Seaholm didn’t win any individual events, but showcased its depth by still accumulating plenty of points with high finishes. 

“We’re a heavy sophomore team, and I think that one year as freshmen (at the state meet) to develop, that’s a big deal,” Hodgson said. “At this meet, some can be overwhelmed, so you tend to do better in the sophomore and junior years.”

With Seaholm reliant on so many sophomores, as Hodgson pointed out, it seems like the “D” word might be on the horizon for the Maples.

But Hodgson wanted to pump the brakes temporarily on any talk of a dynasty. 

“These high school kids, you never know what they are going to do and what direction they are headed,” Hodgson said. “But I will tell you, the future does look good.”

There were three individual standouts who each won three events at the meet. 

Midland Dow senior Claire Newman once again dominated the sprints, repeating in the 50 (22.95) and 100 freestyles (50.23).

Newman, who will swim at University of Michigan, said it wasn’t hard to maintain her drive and hunger despite winning those events last year because of how much passion the Finals generates. 

“There have been a lot of ups and downs,” Newman said. “This is just a perfect way to end my last one. I’m really thankful, more so than anything. Of course, there’s joy. But more so I’m thankful.”

Farmington junior Madeline Greaves won the 200 individual medley (2:04.35) and 500 freestyle (5:00.13), while Fenton sophomore Gracie Olsen won the 200 freestyle (1:48.98) and 100 butterfly (54.62). 

The other individual winners were Dexter freshman Lily Witte in diving with 468.40 points, Dexter junior Charlotte Schultz in the 100 backstroke with a time of 56.42, and St. Clair Shores Lakeview sophomore Elly Belmore in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:04.32.

Click for full results.

PHOTOS: (Top) Lauren Louwers powers through one of her swims in helping Seaholm to the team title Saturday at Oakland University. (Click for more from HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)

Performance of the Week: Marquette's Grace Sobczak

February 24, 2023

Grace SobczakGrace Sobczak ♦ Marquette
Junior ♦ Swimming

Marquette’s girls swimming & diving team won its second straight and fourth Upper Peninsula Finals championship in five seasons Saturday, and Sobczak led the charge with championships in the 200-yard individual medley (23.42 seconds) and 500 freestyle (5:35.02) and as part of the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays.

The individual championships were the third and fourth Finals titles of Sobczak’s career – she won the 500 for the third time in three tries – and the pair of relay wins raised her Finals count to four total in those races as well. The championship capped an undefeated season for the team. While swimming always has been her primary sport, Sobczak played a variety growing up and runs cross country in the fall.

@mhsaasports 🏊‍♀️POW: Grace Sobczak #performanceoftheweek #swimming #swimmer #statechamp #champions #marquette #congrats #uppower #MHSAA #highschoolsports #tiktalk #interview #TikTok#mistudentaid #fyp ♬ Beat Automotivo Tan Tan Tan Viral - WZ Beat

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2022-23 Honorees

Feb. 16: Kaitlynn Demers, Gibraltar Carlson competitive cheer - Report
Feb. 9:
Indya Davis, West Bloomfield basketball - Report
Feb. 2:
Braydon Sorenson, Onekama skiing - Report
Jan. 26:
Shayne Hruska, Iron Mountain wrestling - Report
Jan. 19:
Kayla Tafanelli, Warren Woods-Tower bowling - Report
Dec. 20:
Brenden Paden, Riverview Gabriel Richard hockey - Report
Dec. 16:
Tuff Scott, Holton bowling - Report
Dec. 9:
Macey Fegan, Standish-Sterling basketball - Report
Dec. 2:
Treyton Siegert, Gladwin football - Report
Nov. 24:
Lily Witte, Dexter diving - Report
Nov. 17:
Navea Gauthier, Shelby volleyball - Report
Nov. 10:
Derek Huisman, Holland Christian soccer - Report
Nov. 3:
Thomas Westphal, New Baltimore Anchor Bay cross country - Report
Oct. 27:
Justin Wickey, Colon football - Report
Oct. 20:
Owen DeMuth, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood tennis - Report
Oct. 13:
Mia Melendez, Ann Arbor Greenhills golf - Report
Oct. 6:
Shawn Foster, Grand Ledge football - Report
Sept. 30:
Hannah Smith, Temperance Bedford swimming - Report
Sept. 22:
Helen Sachs, Holland West Ottawa cross country - Report
Sept. 15:
Nina Horning, Lake Orion volleyball - Report
Sept 8:
Arturo Romero, Muskegon Oakridge soccer - Report
Sept. 1:
Austin King, Midland Dow tennis - Report
Aug. 25:
Olivia Hemmila, Troy Athens golf - Report

(Photos by Jonathan Young/Marquette High School.)