Local swimmers, divers excel at state finals

By: Jon Malavolti | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published March 19, 2012

 Lahser’s Cody Wolfrom finished second in the 200 freestyle and fifth in the 100 free at the D-3 state finals.

Lahser’s Cody Wolfrom finished second in the 200 freestyle and fifth in the 100 free at the D-3 state finals.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

The high school boys swimming and diving season came to an end March 10 at the MHSAA state finals.

Several local teams and individuals excelled. Here are the local Oakland County highlights from all three divisions. Visit www.mhsaa.com for complete results. Visit our website, www.candgnews.com, for results including Macomb County and the Grosse Pointes, as well as more photos and coverage from throughout the season.


Division 1
Saline won the D-1 title at Eastern Michigan University, scoring 326.5 points. Local coaches were impressed by the performances.

Birmingham Brother Rice coach Mike Venos said it might have been the fastest state meet he’s ever attended.

He listed off examples of how a time in a certain race in past seasons may have placed a swimmer in the top 10, but that same time would be hard-pressed to make the top 20 or so this year.

“As a coach, I love this kind of meet. It just makes our guys swim faster,” Venos added.

The Rice coach also noted that because of the talent in the metro Detroit area, local swimmers and divers are better prepared to succeed at the state finals.

“I have often said that this area is one of the fastest in the country,” Venos said. “I believe that we have a little advantage at the state meet because of this. First, we swim fast teams all season, so we are prepared to swim fast at the state championship. Second, when we get to the state meet, we are not as “out of our element” as some other teams.

“We look around at the same kids we have been competing against all season. We are a little more comfortable than most. We love to watch the local kids swim fast, and we take a certain pride in that.”

Local teams scoring points at the D-1 meet are Brother Rice (third place, 176 points), Troy High (seventh, 92.5), Lake Orion (12th, 66), Farmington Hills Harrison (18th, 45), Rochester High (28th, 18), Walled Lake Central (T-34th, 6) and West Bloomfield (T-38th, 1).

Rice got major points from all three of its relays, which all finished in the top four. Gust Kouvaris and Patrick Nodland swam on all three relays; Spencer Swies and Nikolaus Lehnertz joined them on the 200-yard medley squad, which finished fourth; Joe Morgan and Joe Krause joined them in the 200 freestyle for third place; and Morgan and Josh Murrell joined up for a second-place finish in the 400 freestyle.

Krause also finished in third place of the 100 freestyle and seventh place in the 200 free. Nodland placed fifth in the 50 free, while Kouvaris was seventh in the 100 free.

Top placers from Troy were Miles MacDonald, who took fifth in the 100 butterfly; Troy Chen, who finished sixth in the 100 butterfly and seventh in the 200 IM; Zachary Chen, who took ninth in the 200 IM; and Rohan Tangri, who took eighth in the 100 backstroke. The Colts’ foursome later teamed up to take seventh place in the 400 freestyle relay.

Lake Orion’s Jacob Lindquist took second in the 100 breaststroke, while teammate Zach Diener finished fifth in the 200 free. The duo also joined Devon Nowicki and Steven Abramczyk to take eighth in the 200 freestyle relay.

Harrison’s Eric Gensheimer finished fourth in the 50 free, and Grant Borregard took fifth in the 500 free.

Rochester High’s Jacob Carl placed third in the 500 free.

Division 2
Dexter High won the D-2 title, finishing first with 320 points. Close behind was Birmingham Groves in second place with 298.5 points and Birmingham Seaholm in third with 254.

Seaholm boys coach Tom Wylie said there was “very strong competition” at this year’s D-2 meet.

“In many events, to reach the top 16 and score points for your team this year took substantially faster times than in previous years,” he said. “Southeast Michigan is full of talented teams and swimmers, and it was great to see them save their best for last with great performances at this year’s state meet.”

Bloomfield Hills Andover coach David Zulkiewski called the D-2 meet “competitive and fast.”

“The relays were very fast this year, and a team’s ability to score all three relays was critical in overall team placement. We were lucky enough to score all three.”

One of the smallest schools in D-2, Andover, ended up in 10th place out of more than 30 teams. Joining Andover in the top 10 locally was North Farmington (seventh place, 110 points). Also scoring points locally were Auburn Hills Avondale (28th, 12), Walled Lake Northern (29th, 11) and Rochester Adams (33rd, 2).

Groves won a pair of relays and finished second in a third relay. Steven Curry, Noah Zamler, Tom Power and Scott Crosthwaite teamed up to take the title in the 400 freestyle relay. Zamler joined Clark Lindsay, Sam Cusimano and John Hamond to finish first in the 200 medley relay. Crosthwaite, Curry, Hammond and Power finished second in the 200 freestyle relay.

Crosthwaite added a pair of individual titles, finishing first in the 200 and 500 freestyles. Zamler placed second in the 200 IM and fourth in the 100 backstroke. Curry was third in the 200 free and fifth in the 100 free. Clark Lindsay finished second in the 100 breaststroke. John Hammond was sixth in the 100 butterfly. Tom Power placed fifth in the 100 backstroke and 10th in the 100 free. Donald DeSantis finished seventh in the 100 backstroke.

Seaholm’s three relay teams all finished in the top five. The 200 freestyle relay squad of Nathan Anderson, Addison Williams, Jack Howard and Mike Shaben took third. Connor Saeli, Matthew Wolkhammer, Jack Russell and Shaben finished fourth in the 200 medley. Anderson, Williams, Saeli and Howard joined up in the 400 freestyle and finished fourth.

Wolkhammer also took first in the 100 breaststroke and seventh in the 200 IM. Alec Girdler took fourth in the 500 free and eighth in the 200 free. Howard was sixth in the 100 breaststroke and eighth in the 200 IM. Russell placed fifth in the 100 breaststroke. Shaben finished tied for sixth in the 50 free. Anderson was eighth in the 50 free. Saeli placed 10th in the 100 backstroke.

North Farmington’s 200 and 400 freestyle relay squads finished fifth. Calvin Kopitz, Nick Leshok, Ethan Gell and Jake Wasko made up the 200 squad. Kopitz, Wasko, Brody Clarke and Leshok teamed up in the 400. Leshok also took third in the 200 IM and fourth in the 100 free. Kopitz placed ninth in the 50 free.

Andover’s 400 freestyle relay team of Vic Sun, Joe Abrash, Zack Prebay and Eliot VanValkenburg took sixth. The 200 freestyle relay squad of Sun, Abrash, VanValkenburg and Jeffrey Lin placed seventh. Abrash also tied for sixth in the 50 free, and Ivan Spizizen finished eighth in diving.

Avondale’s Thomas Nowinski finished seventh in the 100 breaststroke.

Division 3
St. Joseph won the D-3 title at Oakland University with 250 points. Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood was fifth with 169 points, Bloomfield Hills Lahser was sixth with 167 and Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day was seventh with 129 points.

Individual names for relay members were not available from Division 3.

Cranbrook’s 200 medley relay placed fourth, while the Cranes’ 400 freestyle relay finished tied for sixth. Alex Hogan took first in the 100 backstroke. Matthew Liu took second in both the 200 IM and 500 breaststroke. Ben Schneider placed seventh in the 500 free. Daniel Misra took ninth in the 500 free. Jon Withrow was 10th in the 100 breaststroke.

Lahser’s 400 freestyle relay took third, its 200 medley relay placed fifth and its 200 freestyle relay finished ninth. Cody Wolfrom was second in the 200 freestyle and fifth in the 100 free. William Tener was eighth in the 500 free. Joe Finn took ninth in the 200 IM. John Schihl was ninth in the 100 free.

Country Day’s 200 freestyle relay finished fourth, the 200 medley relay was sixth and the 400 freestyle relay placed eighth. Alexander Goggins took sixth in the 200 IM. Kelsey Kerbawry was seventh in the 100 butterfly.