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.)

MHSAA Winter Sports Start with Extended Basketball Schedules, New Wrestling Weights

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

December 13, 2022

The addition of two games to basketball regular-season schedules and a new series of wrestling weight classes are likely the most noticeable Winter 2022-23 changes as an estimated 65,000 athletes statewide take part in 13 sports for which the Michigan High School Athletic Association sponsors postseason tournaments.

Girls gymnastics and boys ice hockey teams were able to begin practice Oct. 31, with the rest of those sports beginning in November – including also girls and boys basketball, girls and boys bowling, girls competitive cheer, girls and boys skiing, Upper Peninsula girls and boys and Lower Peninsula boys swimming & diving, and girls and boys wrestling.

A variety of changes are in effect for winter sports this season, including a several that will be noteworthy and noticeable to teams and spectators alike.

Basketball remains the most-participated winter sport for MHSAA member schools with 33,000 athletes taking part last season, and for the first time, basketball teams may play up to 22 regular-season games. This increase from the previous 20-game schedule allows more games for teams at every high school level – varsity, junior varsity and freshman.

Another significant change has been made in wrestling, as the majority of boys wrestling weight classes have been adjusted for this season in anticipation of a national change coming in 2023-24. The updated boys weight classes are 106, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 144, 150, 157, 165, 175, 190, 215 and 285 pounds. Only 215 and 285 remain from the previous lineup. There is also one change to girls weight classes, with the 255 class replaced by 235 to also align with national high school standards.

A series of notable changes will affect how competition takes place at the MHSAA Tournament levels. In hockey, in addition to a new classification process that spread cooperative and single-school programs evenly throughout the three playoff divisions, the MHSAA Tournament will employ two changes. The Michigan Power Ratings (MPR) will be used to seed the entire Regional round, not just the top two teams, and prior to the start of Semifinals, a seeding committee will reseed the remaining four teams in each division with the top seed in each then facing the No. 4 seed, and the No. 2 seed facing No. 3.

Bowling also will see an MHSAA Tournament change, as the Team Regional format will mirror the long-standing Team Final with teams playing eight Baker games and two regular games at both levels.  And as also applied during the fall girls season, there is a new qualification process for divers seeking to advance to Lower Peninsula Boys Swimming & Diving Finals. In each of the three divisions, each Regional will be guaranteed 10 qualifiers for the Finals, with six more “floating” qualifier entries to be distributed to the Regionals that have one of the previous year’s top six returning Finals divers in their fields. If a team changes division from the previous season, any floating top-six spots are added to the six already allowed in the school’s new division.

A gymnastics rules change provides an opportunity for additional scoring during the floor exercise. A dance passage requirement was added in place of the former dance series requirement to encourage creativity and a more artistic use of dance. The dance passage requires gymnasts to include two Group 1 elements – one a leap with legs in cross or side split position, the other a superior element.

In competitive cheer, the penalty for going over the time limit in each round was adjusted to one penalty point for every second over the time limit, not to exceed 15 points. The new time limit rule is more lenient than the past penalty, which subtracted points based on ranges of time over the limit.

The 2022-23 Winter campaign culminates with postseason tournaments, as the championship schedule begins with the Upper Peninsula Girls & Boys Swimming & Diving Finals on Feb. 18 and wraps up with the Boys Basketball Finals on March 25. Here is a complete list of winter tournament dates:

Boys Basketball
Districts – March 6, 8, 10
Regionals – March 13, 15
Quarterfinals – March 21
Semifinals – March 23-24
Finals – March 25

Girls Basketball
Districts – Feb. 27, March 1, 3
Regionals – March 7, 9
Quarterfinals – March 14
Semifinals – March 16-17
Finals – March 18

Regionals – Feb. 24-25
Finals – March 3-4

Competitive Cheer
District – Feb. 17-18
Regionals – Feb. 25
Finals – March 2-3

Regionals – March 4
Finals – March 10-11

Ice Hockey
Regionals – Feb. 20-March 1
Quarterfinals – March 4
Semifinals – March 9-10
Finals – March 11

Regionals – Feb. 13-17
Finals – Feb. 27

Swimming & Diving
Upper Peninsula Girls/Boys Finals – Feb. 18
Lower Peninsula Boys Diving Regionals – March 2
Lower Peninsula Boys Finals – March 10-11

Wrestling – Team
Districts – Feb. 8-9
Regionals – Feb. 15
Finals – Feb. 24-25

Wrestling – Individual
Districts – Feb. 11
Regionals – Feb. 18
Finals – March 3-4

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.3 million spectators each year.