In a classic battle of speed vs. depth, East Grand Rapids High School won 8 of 12 events, but Cranbrook-Kingswood High School rallied to win the Michigan High School Swimming and Diving Division III state championship this past weekend. Cranbrook-Kingswood placed at least two swimmers in every individual swimming event to secure their third straight team title, including a whopping four swimmers in the top 8 of the 100 breaststroke.
That 100 breaststroke also gave the winning team their only event victory on the day; senior Giorgio DelGrosso repeated as champion with a crucial win over Christian Bart of East Grand Rapids. The future Florida State Seminole clocked a 55.92, under his own 56.17 Division III state record set in prelims. DelGrosso also was the most valuable swimmer on two second-place relays, dropping the fastest breaststroke leg in the field (25.64) in the 200 medley relay and leading off the 200 free relay for Cranbrook in 21.38.
Runner-up East Grand Rapids had a pair of individual double-winners (and nearly registered a third), won diving, and ran away with both freestyle relays, but a costly disqualification in prelims of the 200 medley relay proved to be the difference. Seniors Andy MacGregor and Nathan Hein were the linchpins; MacGregor captured the 200 free (1:39.79) and 100 free (45.70), while Hein was victorious in the 50 free (20.81) and 100 fly (49.18). Later in the session, they teamed up with Cade Vruggink and Christian Bart to clock a 1:23.02 to obliterate the Division III record and record the second-fastest time in Michigan high school history. Bart, who earlier won the 200 IM in 1:50.61, clocked a blistering 20.18 on the third leg for the fastest split in the field.
Chelsea High School, the third-place team overall, won the opening 200 medley relay thanks to a 20.09 anchor leg from junior Joey Mangner, closing a 1.4-second deficit from the leader to get the win in 1:34.56.
Two more Division III state records were set by Holland Christian sophomore Skyler Cook-Weeks and Grand Rapids Catholic Central senior Joey Puglessi. Cook-Weeks returned the 500 freestyle title to his family (his brother won it in 2014) in 4:31.48, while Puglessi captured the 100 backstroke title for the third time in his career, cracking the 50-second barrier in prelims for a new DIII record (49.89) before settling for a 50.07 title win in finals.
Scores (top 5 teams)
- Cranbrook-Kingswood High School – 352 points
- East Grand Rapids High School – 315
- Chelsea High School – 195
- Holland Christian High School – 188
- Hamilton High School – 127