Junior Grace Back swims for the combined team of Madison Heights Lamphere and Clawson High. The Rams are hoping to contend for a MAC Gold title.

Junior Grace Back swims for the combined team of Madison Heights Lamphere and Clawson High. The Rams are hoping to contend for a MAC Gold title.

Photo by Sarah Purlee


Lamphere/Clawson High girls swim looking to top MAC Gold

By: Mark Vest | Madison - Park News | Published September 20, 2019

 Senior Emily Schmidt swims for Lamphere/Clawson. Coach Diane Sage described this year’s team as strong.

Senior Emily Schmidt swims for Lamphere/Clawson. Coach Diane Sage described this year’s team as strong.

Photo by Sarah Purlee

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MADISON HEIGHTS — In her first two seasons as the coach of the Madison Heights Lamphere girls swim team, which co-ops with Clawson High, Diane Sage helped lead the program to the top of the standings.

The squad won two consecutive Macomb Area Conference Silver Division dual and division meet championships from 2014 to 2015.

After that success, the Rams moved up to the MAC Gold.

Although the program hasn’t won another title since making the move, Sage described the team she has to work with this season as strong.

“I think we’ll be one of the top (teams) in our division this year,” Sage said. “We didn’t hardly graduate anybody last year. … This is a very strong team. I’m excited.”

A MAC Gold championship would suit Lamphere sophomore Aissia Larman just fine.

“It would be really special,” Larman said. “It would mean a lot to the team.”

Winning a title would be a first for Lamphere junior Madeline Brown since joining the program.

“I think we kind (of) have a chance this year to (be) dual meet champions,” Brown said. “Having the chance this year to (be) dual meet champions is huge for me.”

At press time, the team was 0-1 in the MAC Gold.

The Rams have had a feeder program with John Page Middle School in Madison Heights and Clawson Middle School for more than three years now, and having one in place is something Sage said is helping.

“Now we’re not getting them as freshmen that don’t know how to swim,” she said. “It makes this developmental program a lot better now. You don’t spend the first six weeks of practice trying to teach somebody how to swim freestyle, because they already swam for you the year before as an eighth grader, as a seventh grader. So, constructing strokes and actually being able to swim is more advanced than it was when I first came here. … We’re starting to see great things come out of it.”

While Sage has observed a lot of distance strength this year, there is something else she would like to see developed before the season is complete.

“Trying to invent stroke swimmers,” Sage said. “We did some shaking up at a meet. We swam against Lakeview and had kids swim different events, trying to see what people might have strengths in that they don’t really know that they had, and we did find some surprises. So that’s good to know.”

According to Sage, five of the 19 girls on the team attend Clawson High.

She described the current state of the Rams’ program as “great.”

“We have great school support,” she said. “I like the people I work for; I like the people I work with. I love the kids here. I love our pool, even though we don’t have blocks. … We could do bigger things if we had starting blocks, but we don’t. But I still love it here.”

Up next, the Rams swim at 6 p.m. Oct. 1 at Warren Mott.

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