MARQUETTE – Marquette claimed the Upper Peninsula Girls Swimming & Diving Finals championship Saturday by 13 points ahead of 2021 champion Sault Ste. Marie.
Marquette won with 323 points, and Sault Ste. Marie totaled 310. Rounding out the top five were Kingsford (202), Houghton (118.5) and Ishpeming Westwood (112). The championship was Marquette's third in four seasons.
The Redettes came away with four victories out of 12 events, and senior Delaney Marchiol was part of three of them. Marchiol had individual victories in the 200-yard freestyle and 100 butterfly and was part of the winning 200 medley relay team with seniors Ella Whalen and Kelsey Glover, and sophomore Grace Sobczak. Marquette’s other victory came from Sobczak in the 500 free.
“I was so nervous coming into today, but I’m so proud of everything that I did today,” Marchiol said. “I managed to pull off two wins that I am beyond proud of myself; I’m proud of my team all around.”
Sault Ste. Marie senior Joanne Arbic capped her career with an impressive day to keep the Blue Devils in team title contention with three first-place finishes and one runner-up. Arbic took home the 100 free and was part of winning 400 and 200 free relay titles, and finished in second in the 50 free.
The 400 free relay team consisted of Arbic, seniors Alyvia Lori and Anna Hildebrand and junior Julie Innerebner. Arbic, along with Hildebrand, Innerebner and sophomore Mia Woolever were the 200 free relay victors. Innerebner also picked up an individual win in the 100 backstroke, and the Blue Devils also received a first place from Olivia Martin in diving.
“It was a rollercoaster for sure, but I’m glad that we all were able to pull together,” Arbic said. The whole team stepped it up a ton, it was so fantastic and I have so much fun out here with the girls. I just had fun, and that’s what it’s all about. I did what I knew that I could and what I needed to do for my team, and that’s what matters.”
Arbic came into the meet with the U.P. Finals record in the 50 free from 2020, and finished second in that event this time to Kingsford sophomore Adelaide McRoberts. With a time of 24.22 seconds, McRoberts broke the record, and Arbic finished just after at 24.53.
McRoberts’ great performance continued with a 24.21 split in the 50 to start the 200 free relay (with the Flivvers finishing second in that event), and she went on to also win the 200 individual medley. She also swam on the runner-up 200 medley relay.
The pushing from coaches and teammates helped her achieve the fastest 50 free mark, McRoberts said.
“I was very proud of myself, but more importantly, I was happy with how much my coaches and my team pushed me to get here today,” McRoberts said. “It was kind of crazy considering that I’m not even a freestyler. It was definitely a shock, but I was very happy with it.”
The only event on the day not won by a Redette, Blue Devil or Flivver was the 100 breaststroke claimed by Houghton senior Leah Komarzee.
Marquette was the expected team winner of the meet, but coach Nate McFarren was left with a sweat to see the final results.
“You always question yourself when it comes to your taper, but after the first event, I really felt like we were ready to go,” McFarren said. “I did not expect only winning by 13, but (Sault Ste. Marie) showed and was ready to go. It was awesome.”
PHOTOS Marquette’s Grace Sobczak launches into her leg of the 400 freestyle relay Saturday. (Middle) Kingsford’s Adelaide McRoberts swims the individual medley, one of two individual races she won at the U.P. Finals. (Photos by Daryl Jarvinen. For more, email [email protected].)
Kaylee Draper ♦ Sturgis
Junior ♦ Swimming
Draper joined teammates Kenzy Triezenberg, Ainsley Gump and Emma Garbine to swim the 200-yard medley relay in 1:55.53 on Sept. 7 against Hastings, breaking a school record from 1997. Draper also won the 50 freestyle with a Finals cut time of 25.47 seconds as Sturgis won the dual 92-69. Two days later, she swam on the winning 200 medley again and the 200 freestyle relay and was second in the 50 butterfly as the Trojans won the Mason Sprint Invitational.
She helped Sturgis finish 28th at last season’s Lower Peninsula Division 3 Finals, placing eighth in the 100 backstroke and 14th in the 50 freestyle and swimming on the 15th-place 200 freestyle relay. She also runs cross country during the fall and is a pole vaulter and thrower on the track & field team.
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Past 2023-24 Honorees
(PHOTOS courtesy of the Sturgis Journal.)