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December 4, 2013

Alli Shereda wins first individual state title for Fraser swimming

Shereda wins diving competition at Division 2 state finals

By Thomas Franz
C & G Sports Writer

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Alli Shereda stands with her gold medal and Fraser dive coach Tom Papp (left), Dave Nowinski and Patrice Shornak, Alli’s mother.

Going into her last two dives at the MHSAA Division 2 state championship meet, Alli Shereda needed a perfect pair of dives to make up a 17-point deficit against Farmington Hills Harrison senior Molly Miller.

Shereda went all out in her last two attempts, pulling off two dives with degrees of difficulty much higher than that of Miller’s.

On the 10th dive, Shereda scored 50.5 points by executing an inward double that had a 2.8 degree of difficulty. Shereda made up significant ground with that dive to bring her to within two points of Miller.

For the final dive, Shereda again followed Miller, who had scored 36 points to force Shereda into scoring 38 points to win. Shereda executed a front 2 1/2 that had a 2.4 degree of difficulty to score 42 points and win the competition.

“I knew I had to hit my last dive, and it was interesting because my last dive is normally my most inconsistent dive. It’s either on or it’s off. There’s never an in-between, and I knew I had to hit it, so I just reached up and threw it like I knew I could. I nailed it and pulled ahead of her,” Shereda said.

Shereda’s performance ended with 412.10 points. It was the highest point total that she has ever amassed in competition during her career at Fraser. 

“It was exhilarating and a sense of relief all wrapped into one because she has worked so hard trying to achieve and get the most out of this year,” Fraser coach David Nowinski said. “She achieved All-American consideration status, and for her to get her highest total ever at the state meet was very challenging because the judging is that much more critical there.”

Shereda will be leaving Fraser as the swim program’s first-ever state champion in an individual event and one of the school’s most decorated competitors in swimming and diving.

“It’s unbelievable to even think about being anywhere near one of the best divers who have walked in Fraser,” Shereda said. “Getting the state title is unbelievable — to show how hard I worked the last four years and being able to say that I’m one of the top divers, and top athletes, at Fraser is an unbelievable feeling. To know that if you do work hard enough, you can achieve your dreams and goals.”

As a sophomore, Shereda broke the school’s freshman/sophomore record that had stood for 28 years while also qualifying for the state finals. As a junior, she finished 10th in the state in Division 1, and this year, she broke the varsity record that had stood for 31 years. 

“It opens a door that had never been opened before, and it makes it possible,” Nowinski said. “Someone has to fight the battles to make it through that door, and Alli (Shereda) had the mentality, inner strength and determination to achieve that. It’s really important for someone always to break through because then that makes it possible for others.”

Shereda hopes to dive collegiately. Although she has not made a decision yet on a school, she is considering Eastern Michigan University, Wayne State, University of Nevada Las Vegas and Grand Valley State, among others.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Thomas Franz at tfranz@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1040.