Winn-ing Ways Key Redettes Repeat

February 15, 2020

By Ryan Stieg
Special for Second Half

MARQUETTE – It’s not easy to repeat as Upper Peninsula champions, and that was proven again Saturday afternoon as the Marquette girls swimming & diving team navigated a tough battle with Sault Ste. Marie.

However, the Redettes prevailed, earning 377 points to the Blue Devils’ 300 to claim the U.P. Girls Finals title for the second-straight season.

Houghton was a distant third with 157 points, while Kingsford was fourth (141) and Ishpeming Westwood fifth (120). Either Marquette or the Sault won every event.

“It’s a treat,” Redettes head coach Nathan McFarren said about the win. “The Sault is so talented. It’s just that it comes down to how you win it as a team, and I think everybody knows that’s how it works. Everybody’s got to show up though. Everybody’s got to be there, where they’re supposed to be and when they’re supposed to be there.”

Marquette took first in five events, including the 400-yard freestyle relay for the second year in a row. Jayme Winn earned victories for the Redettes in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke and anchored the first-place relay, while Paige Whaley won the 200 free and Delaney Marchiol took first in the 500 free.

McFarren praised Winn, who definitely lived up both to her name and her reputation in the pool.

“She had a great day,” he said. “She’s probably one of the most intimidating and most able to self-motivate and be in the moment and just tear it up. She’s unlike so many competitors where you need that confidence, and she just shows up.”

Coming up just short of a U.P. title may be painful, but Blue Devils head coach Steve Habuska was happy with how his team performed.

“Today is probably one of the best days in Sault High swimming history,” he said. “When you look at our times and the way our kids performed, to take seven first places on the girls side is phenomenal, including two U.P records. Individuals two U.P. records, and two relays for four U.P. records. That’s a heck of a day across the board. From top to bottom, our lineup swam like crazy.”

The Sault won the other two relays, the 200 medley and 200 free, and five individual titles. Aliah Robertson took home two championships by winning the 200 individual medley for the second straight year and 100 breaststroke, while teammate Joanne Arbic repeated as champion in both the 50 free and 100 free. The other individual victory came Friday night when Brianna Jones took first in the 1-meter dive with 174.95 points.

Despite finishing a distant third, Houghton head coach Erik Johnson was feeling positive, especially with both of his teams bringing a small roster that afternoon.

“For how few kids we had here, they (boys and girls) swam out of their minds,” he said. “That’s the fastest they’ve swam all season in every single event. Everywhere you looked, best time, best time, best time. I’d say it went as well as it could’ve. They really raced their hearts out today, so I’m really proud of them.”

Click for full results.

PHOTOS: (Top) Marquette's Jayme Winn swims to the championship in the 100 backstroke, one of her two individual titles Saturday. (Middle) Sault Ste. Marie's Aliah Robertson leads the 100 breaststroke on the way to one of her two meet championships. (Photos by 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.