Behind a well-rounded team effort that included a pair of relay titles, Birmingham Brother Rice captured their third-straight Michigan High School Swimming & Diving Division I team title. Overall, the Warriors had at least one top ten finisher in each individual event, and scored at least two swimmers in six of eight individual swim events.
In the opening event of the meet, the Brother Rice quartet of Alex Margherio, Drew Grady, Jake Zalinski, and Jack Grady clocked a 1:31.55 to win the 200 medley relay, with Drew Grady providing the difference-making breaststroke leg of 25.43 to get the Warriors out in front. Grady, a senior, was the lone individual champion for Brother Rice, blasting a 55.18 in the final individual event of the meet to officially secure the team title.
Zalinski and Margherio teamed up with Mason Wilczewski and Patrick Olmsted to take the 400 free relay to close the competition in 3:05.94. Margherio clocked a 45.29 anchor leg to narrowly hold off Zeeland High School’s Gabriel Trevino (45.08 anchor to finish in 3:05.98).
Of note, Holland West Ottawa finished second in the 200 medley (1:32.18), with very quick backstroke (22.87) and butterfly (21.81) legs from star swimmers Kyle Maas and Spencer Carl. The pair had a big day, with Carl earning a pair of titles in the 200 free (1:37.15, just touching out Ann Arbor Skyline’s Ryan Vander Meulen) and 100 fly (48.12, a new Division I meet record). Maas, a future member of the Alabama Crimson Tide, earned a pair of respectable second place finishes in the 200 IM (1:49.05) and 100 back (48.99).
Individually, though, Monroe High School senior and Arizona State University commit Cameron Craig was the unquestioned star of the meet, smashing three Michigan all-class state records in the preliminary session (200 IM, 100 back, and 100 free), and later coming back to lower a pair of them again in finals (200 IM and 100 back).
During Saturday’s finals session, Craig leveraged a quick front-half (22.75-25.68) to clock a 1:45.42 200 IM, more than a full-second under his own record from prelims (1:46.62), and nearly two seconds than any other Michigan high-schooler has ever been.
Later, Craig nipped his own preliminary record in the 100 back of 47.38 with a 47.33. Both of those swims were a full second under the previous standard from eventual U.S. National Team member Chris DeJong (48.39). Craig finished things off in the final event of the meet with a quick 43.93 lead-off on Monroe’s 400 free relay, a few tenths off of his 43.55 record-setting leg from prelims.
Craig’s rapid improvement his senior year makes him a huge get for Bob Bowman and Arizona State this fall. Those lifetime bests from this weekend already position Craig as a mid-B-finalist in three events in the highly-competitive Pac-12 before he even arrives on campus next year. With another full calendar year of training, look for Craig to score big points for a quickly-improving Sun Devils squad next March.
The 2nd-5th place teams all grabbed an event title:
- Saline High School, the 2010-2013 team champions, got key points off the boards with a 1-3 diving finish from Dakota Hurbis and Alex Calder.
- Third-place Zeeland High School got a win from senior Micah DeJonge in the 500 freestyle (4:29.23)
- Ryan Vander Meulen avenged his narrow second-place finish in the 200 free with a 45.75 win in the 100 free for fourth-place Ann Arbor Skyline
- Ann Arbor Pioneer won the 200 free relay in 1:24.41
Senior Jackson O’Dowd of Livonia Stevenson was the final event winner on the day with a 20.70 in the 50 free. O’Dowd will compete next season for the University of Pennsylvania.
Scores (top 5 teams)
- Birmingham Brother Rice – 313 points
- Saline High School – 234
- Zeeland High School – 211
- Ann Arbor Skyline – 193
- Ann Arbor Pioneer – 182