Macomb CountyOctober 19, 2011
Records fall at county swim and dive meet
By Jon Malavolti
C & G Sports Writer
It was a record-setting weekend at the Macomb County girls swimming and diving championships recently. The multi-day event, which ended with the swim finals on Oct. 8 at Macomb L’Anse Creuse North, saw five county records broken, and Chippewa Valley won the team title for the second straight year.
Macomb Dakota’s Marah Pugh led the way with three new records. The sophomore first broke the 17-year-old record in the 200-yard freestyle, set in 1994 by Rachel Komisarz of Warren Mott. Pugh swam a time of 1 minute, 53.12 seconds, breaking the former record of 1:54.58.
Pugh next swam a 4:59.16 in the 500 freestyle, smashing the former record of 5:07.97 set in 2001 by Dakota’s Rachael Curci.
For her last act, Pugh opened up Dakota’s 400 freestyle relay race with a split of 53.17 seconds. Because she was the lead swimmer, the time is eligible for record consideration. So she again replaced a record set by Komisarz, an Olympic swimmer, whose time of 53.22 in the 100 freestyle has stood since 1994.
“She had a very good day, swam pretty well,” Dakota coach Heather Villerot said. “For her to get her name up there with Rachel’s name really does mean a lot for her. Her ultimate goal is to swim in college and go for the Olympics, so to know that (Rachel) did is a big confidence booster for (Marah).”
Joining Pugh in the record books this year is L’Anse Creuse North’s Taylor Zablocki and Chippewa’s 400 freestyle relay team of Skyler Muzichuk, Leah Galloway, Erika Willson and Samantha Gray.
Zablocki, a junior, scored 485.80 points in the diving competition, breaking the 2009 record of 468.75 set by Stevenson’s Ashley Hardy.
The Big Reds’ relay squad turned in a time of 3:48.00, topping a mark set by Dakota just last year.
Chippewa’s Muzichuk, a sophomore member of the record-setting relay team, won the 100 freestyle. She also joined Gray, Willson and Emily Milke on the Big Reds’ first-place finishing 200 freestyle relay team. Gray is a junior, while Willson, Milke and Galloway — the fourth member of the record 400 team — are sophomores.
L’Anse Creuse senior Nicole Hranchook was honored as the Senior Swimmer of the Meet after winning the 200 IM and 100 breaststroke, while also helping the Lancers’ 200 medley and 200 freestyle relay teams to a second- and third-place finish, respectively.
Warren Regina senior Suzie Lessnau captured first place in the 50 freestyle; Ford sophomore Emily Frederick won the 100 butterfly; and Utica Stevenson sophomore Rachel Morrow took first in the 100 backstroke.
Dakota’s relay squad of Pugh, sophomore Katie Hennells, freshman Sierra Wilson and senior Nicole Kreager rounded out the title winners in the 200 medley relay.
Villerot, the Cougars’ coach, noted that the increase in year-round swimming and training throughout the county has made the annual meet and competitions throughout the season that much more competitive.
“Definitely, it’s just going to continue that way,” she said of the record-setting ways on display at this year’s meet. “That’s what we’re seeing now.”
The coach added that the improvements aren’t likely to be limited to competitions within the county.
“Now we’re able to walk into a state meet and make a name for Macomb County, which is nice, and the girls finally realize that.”
The MHSAA swimming and diving state finals are Nov. 18-19. The regional diving competition takes place Nov. 15.
Chippewa’s team ended up with a total of 299.5 points to take the title.
Dakota scored 276 points to place second, followed by L’Anse Creuse (240), L’Anse Creuse North (193.5), Utica Eisenhower (168), Utica Stevenson (158), Romeo High (156), St. Clair Shores Lakeview (144), Utica Ford II (132) and Fraser High (124).
Warren Regina finished in 11th place with 100 points, and rounding out the top 20 are Anchor Bay (90), Center Line High (89), Utica High (81), Warren Mott (37), (Sterling Heights High (23), St. Clair Shores Lake Shore (6), Warren Woods Tower (4), Warren Cousino (2) and St. Clair Shores South Lake (2).
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