MARQUETTE — The Marquette girls put together a solid performance in Saturday’s MHSAA Upper Peninsula Swimming and Diving Finals, retaining their title with 315 points.
The Redettes repeated as champions and claimed their 13th title over the last 14 seasons.
They were followed by Gladstone with 269 points and Houghton with 223 in their home pool.
Marquette senior Janelle Carroll won the 500-yard freestyle race in five minutes, 48.18 seconds, and helped the Redettes capture the 200 and 400 freestyle relays in 1:49.45 and 3:57.27, respectively, She was also runner-up to senior teammate Logan Vear in 200 freestyle.
“Janelle had been sick for two weeks and was injured during the season, but she really burned it up today,” said Marquette coach Nathan McFarren. “We’re going to miss our seniors. They’re going to be tough to replace.”
Vear was clocked in 2:06.66 in the 200 freestyle, with Carroll at 2:07.58.
Also winning for Marquette were sophomores Lyndsey Welch in the 200 individual medley (2:24.54) and Lauren Rotundo in 100 breaststroke (1:13.85).
Gladstone sophomore Katie Stephenson won the 100 backstroke in 1:04.15 and was runner-up in the 50 freestyle (25.87).
“I’ve been working a lot on starts,” said Stephenson, who led off the winning 200 medley relay. “I finally got beat after two years in the 50 freestyle, which just motivated me more for the 100. I just pushed myself harder in backstroke.”
Junior Jesse Flath, who anchored Gladstone’s winning relay, added second places in the 100 freestyle (57.82) and 200 IM (2:32.41).
Gladstone coach Tom Desy said he was pleased with the team’s performance.
“This was a very nice performance by both of our teams,” he added. “We knew it’d be tough to beat Marquette. Our kids did very well.”
Rudyard sophomore Trista MacDowell was a double winner, taking the 50 freestyle (25.67) and the 100 (57.43).
Houghton senior Lauren Jackson retained her diving title Friday with 169.65 points, more then 11 points better than the remainder of the field.
“I just tried to keep calm,” said Jackson, who plans to attend Northwest Michigan College in Traverse City this fall. “I went in thinking it’d be OK. Then, I watched some of the other kids dive (in warm-ups) and thought maybe my position wasn’t as solid as I thought. My first dive was one of my more iffy dives. But when I went up on my second dive, I thought it was there. My confidence came back.”
Saturday’s performance was the best this season for Houghton, according to coach Erik Johnson.
“The girls put forth their best effort and scored more points than I thought they would,” he said. “Several of our girls did well in IM and (100) butterfly. We have a lot of developing talent on both teams. We’re looking forward to next year. We had a very good day overall.”
Manistique had a champion in junior Allison Halpin, who took the 100 butterfly in 1:04 and placed third in the 100 freestyle in a school-record 58.1 seconds.
“I dropped seven seconds in 100 fly,” she said. “I’m surprised I was able to do that. The atmosphere up here pumps you up and it definitely helps when you know what to expect. The competition in 100 free was tougher this year and having Gladstone here makes the competition that much better. The races were back-to-back, and I was a little tired in freestyle. But I’m still happy with what I did.”
PHOTOS: (Top) Racers leave the blocks during Saturday's MHSAA Upper Peninsula Finals at Marquette High School. (Middle) A competitor swims toward the finish. (Click to see more from Jarvinen Photos.)
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.)