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December 4, 2013

South takes sixth at finals

Underclassmen spark Blue Devils to successful meet

By Thomas Franz
C & G Sports Writer

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South’s Grace Perri swims in the 100-yard breaststroke event during the MAC Red championship earlier this season. Perri placed 12th at the state finals with a time of 1 minute, 7.99 seconds.

Grosse Pointe South continued its run of success at the state championship swim meet, earning a sixth-place finish after scoring 135 points at the MHSAA Division 2 finals held at Eastern Michigan University on Nov. 22. 

The top finish for South came from its 200-yard medley relay team, which finished second place with a time of 1 minute, 47.28 seconds. Sophomore Claire Young, freshman Alex Hughes, senior Anne Crowley and junior Amy Krausmann made up the second-place quartet.

In the 200 IM, Young took third place in 2:06.73, while Hughes finished in seventh with a time of 2:10.66.

The pair of underclassmen highlighted South’s efforts at the state meet.

“We had a lot of strong swims from our underclassmen. Our girls who were making top eights in individual events were freshmen and sophomores, and that’s good for the future and I’m proud of them,” South coach Eric Gunderson said.

Young took third in the 100 backstroke in a time of 55.9 seconds. In the 100 breaststroke, Hughes took ninth in 1:07.33, and junior Grace Perri finished 12th in 1:07.99.

“Alex (Hughes) works hard and she’s swam a lot of big meets age-group-wise over the years, so the high school state meet itself was a new experience for her, but she’s had a lot of swimming background, so she swam comfortably and swam well, and had a lot of fun,” Gunderson said. “For her to place top eight in the IM that was big. You didn’t see a whole lot of freshmen in there.”

South took two places again in the 100 butterfly, as Crowley finished in 11th place in 59.20 seconds and freshman Abbey Schuetze finished one place behind her with a time of 59.36 seconds.

Crowley, Krausmann and Schuetze joined senior Cassandra Morse on the 13th-place 200 freestyle relay team that finished in 1:40.63. South capped off its state meet performance with a seventh-place finish in the 400 freestyle relay. Morse, Schuetze, Hughes and Young made up the team that swam in 3:38.17.

South has finished in the top 10 at the state finals each year since Gunderson became coach in 2009. The Blue Devils also went 10-3-1 in dual meets this season while winning the MAC Red conference meet for the 13th consecutive season.

“We have talented kids, and they’ll continue to place well, but we want to continue to improve our times so that we can continue to place higher,” Gunderson said. “I think we have some strong seasons ahead of us, and certainly, there’s some expectation on our part to perform at a certain level, and there’s some ambition to continue to improve where we’re at.”

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