Marquette Girls End Title Wait with Big Win

By John Vrancic
Special for

February 16, 2019

MARQUETTE — It was a dominating performance by the Marquette girls to say the least as they ran away with the Upper Peninsula swimming & diving title with 352 points Saturday.

The Redettes, who won for the first time in four years, were followed by Kingsford with 217 points and Houghton at 185.

“We’ve been kind of waiting for this,” said junior Mollie Kilpela, who helped the Redettes win the 200-yard medley relay in a school-record 1 minute, 57.2 seconds. “That got us hyped up and excited for the rest of the meet.

“This is a nice way for our team to end the season. We have only one senior on the team. Next year we’re going to be better, I think.”

Joining Kilpela in the day’s first race were sophomores Lexi LaCombe and Erin Vanderschaaf and freshman Kelsey Glover.

Vanderschaaf also helped Marquette set the U.P. Finals and school record in the 400 freestyle relay at 3:48.56, with LaCombe and Kilpela helping the Redettes take second in the 200 freestyle event in a school-record 1:44.65.

“I knew this was going to be pretty special for sure,” said eighth-year Marquette coach Nathan McFerrin. “Overall, this is the best team I’ve had as coach. We were very balanced. In many events we had three place among the top six.

“My coaching technique is it’s difficult to be successful if you don’t trust yourself, teammates and coaches. This was a big culmination of our season, and today it all came together.”

Marquette sophomore Kali McDonough won Friday’s diving competition with 163.9 points.

Vanderschaaf won Saturday’s 500 freestyle (5:14.14), and junior teammate Taryn Aho took the 200 freestyle (2:02.01).

Kingsford senior Peyton Johnson set a U.P. Finals record in the 100 backstroke in 59.51 seconds, shattering the old mark (1:03.32) by Ashley Oliver of Painesdale Jeffers-Ironwood from 2005.

Johnson also helped the Flivvers establish a record in the 200 freestyle relay (1:43.51) and was runner-up to Robertson in the 200 IM (2:17.7).

Joining Johnson on the winning relay were seniors Emily Bruns and Ailie Schoenborn and freshman Sydney Scott.

Sault Ste. Marie sophomore Aliah Robertson set the U.P. Finals record in the 200 individual medley at 2:10.02, topping the previous best by Marquette’s Jenny Laughna (2:12.43) swam in 1994, and retained her 100 butterfly title at 59.4 seconds.

“I always take one or two of my teammates to help me at the starting line,” said Robertson, who was also crowned champion in the 100 breaststroke a year ago. “They encourage me and give me pointers. They help keep my mind off things so I don’t get too nervous. I was really excited when I found out I set the record in the 200 IM. This is a bit of a confidence boost.”

Sault freshman Joanne Arbic was also a double winner, taking the 50 freestyle (25.87) and 100 freestyle (56.21).

Reigning team champion Gladstone had an individual winner in senior Sydney Herioux, who took the 100 breaststroke (1:08.95).

“It was really awesome,” said Herioux, who will attend Saginaw Valley State University this fall and play softball for the Cardinals. “This is the last race I’ll ever swim. It feels great to go out like that.”

Click for full results.

PHOTOS: A Marquette swimmer powers off the block during a relay at Saturday's Upper Peninsula Finals. (Middle) Gladstone's Sydney Herioux powers to the win in the breaststroke. (Click for more from Jarvinen Photos.)

Performance of the Week: Dexter's Lily Witte

November 22, 2022

Lily WitteLily Witte ♦ Dexter
Senior ♦ Swimming & Diving

The Dreadnaughts’ phenom capped her high school career with her fourth MHSAA Lower Peninsula Division 2 Finals championship, in the process obliterating the all-Finals record with a score of 554.65, more than 45 points higher than the previous mark. Witte had entered her final MHSAA meet having scored the second-highest score on the all-Finals list, 503.55, last year.

Witte won a junior national championship in 1-meter diving during the summer and has represented Team USA in multiple international competitions – and will be doing so this weekend in junior world championship competition in Montreal. In something of a rarity for elite divers, Witte also swam on two relays for Dexter at Saturday’s Finals, helping her team to a 10th-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay and 13th place in the 200 medley. She has signed to continue diving at Indiana University and intends to study computer science.

@mhsaasports 💯POW: Lily Witte #performanceoftheweek #diving #diver#statechamp #champion #congrats #dexter #MHSAA #highschoolsports #tiktalk #interview #TikTok#mistudentaid #fyp ♬ Beat Automotivo Tan Tan Tan Viral - WZ Beat

Follow the MHSAA on TikTok.

MI Student Aid's "Performance of the Week" features are powered by MI Student Aid, a part of the Office of Postsecondary Financial Planning located within the Michigan Department of Treasury. MI Student Aid encourages students to pursue postsecondary education by providing access to student financial resources and information. MI Student Aid administers the state’s 529 college savings programs (MET/MESP), as well as scholarship and grant programs that help make college Accessible, Affordable and Attainable for you. Connect with MI Student Aid at and find more information on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.

2022-23 Honorees

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

(Top photo by High School Sports Scene.)