Birmingham Seaholm’s Katherine Stanley competes in the 200-yard individual medley at the Division 2 state final  Nov. 22 at Oakland University. The Maples captured the D-2 crown, beating second-place finisher Grosse Pointe South by 82 points.

Birmingham Seaholm’s Katherine Stanley competes in the 200-yard individual medley at the Division 2 state final Nov. 22 at Oakland University. The Maples captured the D-2 crown, beating second-place finisher Grosse Pointe South by 82 points.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Seaholm swim and dive captures D-2 state crown

By: Jacob Herbert | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published December 2, 2019

BIRMINGHAM — Prior to the Division 2 swim and dive state final, the Birmingham Seaholm team participated in the Oakland Activities Association Red Division league meet at Birmingham Groves.

The Maples finished in second place, 14 points behind defending state champion and OAA Red champion Rochester Adams. It was then and there that coach Karl Hodgson had a feeling his team had a legitimate shot to win a state title.

Fast forward two weeks, and that inkling became reality as the Maples took home the D-2 state title Nov. 23 at Oakland University.

The Maples were far and away the best team at the meet, finishing 82 points ahead of runner-up Grosse Pointe South and 106 points ahead of third-place Groves.

“It feels great,” Hodgson said. “It’s what we shoot for every year; our goal is always to be in the hunt. We’ve had a nice little run lately, and we’re very happy with how things have gone.”

This is the second state title in four years for the Maples, who last won it in 2016. They took fourth place in 2017 while finishing as the runner-up one year ago.

Seaholm was able to flex its depth on its way to capturing the state crown. Hodgson said that was the main reason the Maples were able to get it done. Of the 13 events swam at the meet, the Maples placed in the top five in nine.

Hodgson’s team didn’t have any individual state champions, but it did capture the top prize in the 200-yard medley relay and the 200 freestyle relay. The medley team consisted of Isabella Vaughan, Lauren Louwers, Katherine Stanley and Eliza Dixon.

Dixon headed the freestyle relay team along with Samantha Clifford, Megan Clifford and Chloe Blake.

“They were thrilled to death,” Hodgson said. “This was something they had been working for. That was their goal from last year. To accomplish it was a huge load off their shoulders.”

There was a lot for Hodgson to be impressed with from the Maples’ performance at the final. Their talent and work ethic were among those at the top of the list.

But the thing that really stood out to him was the team’s ability to put together a solid showing on both days of the state final. Hodgson estimated that the team led by 60-70 points after the first day.

To be able to come back on the second day and swim just as well is what will stick with him about this year’s run.

 “These girls train all year just for the state meet,” the coach said. “Most of them achieved their goals after the first day, and the emotion factor of getting up to do it another day is extremely difficult. It’s probably the hardest thing to do at the state meet.”

After the meet was over, the coach huddled with his team and delivered a message. Hodgson, who has been involved with the Maples swim and dive program in some capacity since 1991, kept it simple.

“Basically, let’s get ready and win another one,” he said.