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Local swim teams shine at state meet

Trenton, Riverview finish with four All State swimmers each

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Local swim teams have been making big waves in the waters all season and Saturday’s state finals were no exception.

Trenton, Riverview and Cabrini had so many state swimmers

The area was well-represented at the D3 state finals in Holland and came home with the hardware to show it.

Trenton and Riverview each finished the day with four all-state swimmers.

The Trojans finished the meet tied for ninth place with Grand Rapids Christian with 74 points.

A year ago, Trenton also finished with four all-state swimmers, but this year had both relay and individual swimmers.

The 200 free relay team of Thomas Wolsek, Adam Mulka, Johnny Diehl and David O’Donnell finished eighth with a swim of 1:29.56 to earn the honors.

Individually, O’Donnell was all-state with a fifth place finish in the 200 free. His swim of 1:45.61 set a new varsity record previously held by Danny Kish who went on to have a strong swimming career at Eastern Michigan.

O’Donnell swam a 1:47.04 in the prelims and knocked a second and a half off his time in the finals to break the record.

He was also 13th in the 100 free (48.54).

“As a coach, I’m pleased,” Lawrence said. “David O’Donnell’s performance is as good as anything I’ve ever had; boys or girls.

“That boy had four personal-bests in the finals. His 200, 100, his split in the sprint relay and his split in the 400 (relay). It doesn’t get any better than that.”

Mulka was also an individual all-stater with his own fifth place finish in the 100 breast with a swim of 1:01.15. He prelim swim of 1:00.72 was a personal-best.

Trenton Coach Jim Lawrence said his team was looking at O’Donnell, Mulka and the sprint relay as the best opportunities to make it into the championship finals and said the team had many other noteworthy accomplishments.

The medley relay was just five one-hundredths of a second from being in the final.

Vincenzo Guglielmetti had his best swim in the 200 free, Dane Roberts had a personal best in the 100 fly and O’Donnell was a personal-best in the 100 free.

Nick Roberts and Tyler Stawiwczyk both swam personal-bests in the 500 free.

“All in all, the prelims were a very good day,” Lawrence said. “Then when you get to the finals, it’s time to have fun.

“You’ve done all your work. You just go out and swim and that’s pretty much what we did. It was a really good weekend.”

Lawrence said it was a wonderful thing to see the area so well-represented.

“It’s very gratifying,” he said. “I know Sean Kelly at Riverview very well and he does an excellent job and it’s just nice to go up there and see them do well.

“It’s nice to see the Cabrini divers and swimmers do well. All in all it’s very pleasing.”

Riverview finished the meet tied for 14th with Marshall with 49 points.

It was the school’s highest state finish since the 1976-1977 school year.

All three relays advanced to Saturday’s finals and made history by breaking long time school records.

The 200 medley relay team of Alex Guthrie, Dakota Roehler, Nicolas Guthrie and Morgen Gardocki earned all-state honors with their seventh-place finish.

The team finished in 1:40.60, breaking a school record from the 1970’s.

The same relay team finished 12th in both the 200 free relay (1:30.30) and the 400 free relay (3:22.07). They broke a record from the 1970’s in the 400 free and the 200 free record was broken for the third consecutive year.

Nicolas Guthrie was the only individual swimmer to advance to the finals and finished 12th in the 100 fly with a time of 54.87.

In Friday’s prelims, the Bucs were well-represented.

In the 100 fly, Nicolas Guthrie was 12th (54.87) and Keith Stokely was 34th (58.39).

Nolan Rochon was 20th in the 200 IM (2:08.75), Alex Guthrie finished 34th in the 100 free (51.12) and Roehler was 22nd in the 100 breast (1:05.62).

In the diving well, Noah Ellington was 24th with 134.40 points; just nine points away from a semifinal spot.

Riverview was a dominating swim team in the 1960’s and Coach Sean Kelly said teams from all across the state were complimenting the team at Saturday’s finals.

“It’s motivating for us just to get back to a level where people know who we are and the guys kind of did that,” he said. “It was neat to get that respect. The guys swam out of their minds.”

Kelly said he expected to get at least two relays into the finals based on how the rankings went out heading into the meet.

“All those guys swam last year at the state meet and swam in the consolation finals, so the goal coming into the season was to get to the championship finals,” he said. “In swimming, you always want to try to hit your peak at the end and during the league meet and state meet we just swam so well. That’s what you hope for; you wanna leave the meet with a good feeling and I think every kid felt that way.”

Kelly said it was a great experience to be able to swim with so many local teams.

“Our schedule was more vigorous this year so to be swimming in heats at the state finals with Trenton and Detroit Catholic Central … it was neat to be able to swim against people that we know so well and I think that helped to make them not so nervous,” he said. “It says a lot about the swimmers and the coaches in the area. We all did so well as a group.”

Riverview will graduate eight of the 28 guys on the team this spring but Kelly says they have a strong eighth grade class coming up.

“We have a really, really good eighth grade class with swimming in our middle school program that did well in the middle school state meet,” he said. “A lot of those kids are going to be able to come in right away and make a difference.”

The Cabrini swim team ran into some unexpected troubles but it was yet another great day to be a Monarch.

The 200 medley relay team of Joe Trohimczyk, Kirk Nicola, Robert Day and Jonah Globke jumped on one of the starts, but swam within a couple tenth of a second of their best time ever.

They finished in 1:26.23.

Ford Pariseau set the school record in the 100 breast by nearly a full second with an unofficial time of 1:04.83 for 20th place.

The Monarchs’ day was highlighted with star diver Erik LaCroix’s 12th place finish.

LaCroix was the only male athlete in Cabrini’s history to qualifying and place in the state finals all four years.

The senior diver sustained a last minute injury, but still does what he does best and shined on the board with a final score of 342.25. LaCroix moved up from 13th to 12th after his injury and was just points away from 11th place.

“I am so very proud of all my athletes and proud to be a Monarch,” Coach Paul LaCroix said.

Cabrini capped an extremely successful season over the weekend that included the team’s first individual state swimmer and the first gold medal at the SMISL finals.

“We had a great team this year,” LaCroix said. “Some of our juniors and seniors that have been swimming for a couple of years now just swam incredibly well through the end of the season.

“They didn’t let anyone down. They had a big performance at News Heralds, an ever bigger performance at the county meet and another one at SMISL and followed it up with a great one at the state championship. I couldn’t be happier.”

Roosevelt and Woodhaven were represented at the D2 state meet at Eastern Michigan University the same day.

The Bears finished 26th with seven points on the dya.

Star swimmer Collin Olson was 10th in the 50 free with a swim of 21.89. He also finished 33rd in the 100 back in 58.57.

Michael Pugh got to the diving semifinals where he finished 20th. He scored 147.75 in the prelims and 213.30 in the semis.

Garrid Blair scored 137.80 in the prelims to finish 25th and Jamie Williams was 28th with a score of 136.15.

Woodhaven was represented by Damien Straub who was 34th in the 100 back with a swim of 58.75.

Last Updated: 3/11/2014 7:25:54 PM EST