Depth Leads East Grand Rapids Girls To Sixth Straight MHSAA Title At Division II Champs

2022 GIRLS MHSAA DIVISION II CHAMPIONSHIPS

  • November 18-19, 2022
  • Venema Aquatic Center, Grand Rapids, Mich.
  • SCY (25 yards)
  • Defending champions: Birmingham Seaholm (3x)
  • Full Results (PDF)

East Grand Rapids High School continued its tear atop the girls’ swimming & diving scene in the MHSAA, winning the Division II state crown on Saturday for their 24th title in program history.

The East Grand Rapids girls have now won six consecutive MHSAA titles in which they’ve competed. They won the Division III title in 2016, 2018, 2019 and 2021, and also won the D2 title in 2017. In 2020, the team missed the championship meet that was delayed due to the pandemic.

They won this year’s title behind the strength of the team’s depth, coming out on top by 61 points despite only winning one event on the program.

East Grand Rapids had their lone event victory come in the 200 free relay, as senior Caroline Flermoen (25.08), junior Alyssa Hein (24.23), freshman Ellery Chandler (23.91) and sophomore Kate Simon (23.22) combined for a time of 1:36.44, narrowly edging out Midland Dow (1:36.51).

Simon was the top scorer for the winning team, placing third in both the 100 free (50.79) and 200 free (1:49.96) for 32 individual points.

Finishing in the runner-up position was Jenison, who was led by a pair of sister duos: Sophia and Layla Umstead, and Grace and Emma Albrecht.

The four swimmers came together to lead Jenison to victory in both the 200 medley relay (1:43.59) and 400 free relay (3:27.18), and they also had a number of top finishes individually, including Sophia Umstead claiming a pair.

A sophomore, Umstead first won the 200 IM in a time of 2:00.33, having set a new best time of 1:59.01 at the OK RED Conference Championships in November. She came incredibly close to breaking an 11-year-old Division II meet record, which stands at 2:00.06 from Courtney Bartholomew back in 2011.

Towards the end of the meet in the 100 breast, Umstead did set a new best time and a D2 meet record, touching first in a time of 1:01.11 to down Olympic medalist Annie Lazor‘s previous mark of 1:02.10 set in 2010. Umstead set her previous best time at November’s conference meet in 1:01.96.

Grace Albrecht, a junior, and Emma Albrecht, a freshman, went 1-2 in the 50 free, clocking respective times of 23.41 and 23.82, with Emma having set a new PB of 23.79 in the prelims. You can read more on the Umstead and Albrecht sisters here.

In the 100 back, Skyline senior Lily Cleason, a Michigan commit, won in a time of 53.95, with Grace Albrecht the runner-up in 54.50. Cleason put up a lifetime best and Skyline school record of 53.00 earlier this year.

Midland Dow senior Ella Roberson was a sprinting force throughout the meet, winning the 100 free in a time of 50.13 after clocking a PB of 49.67 in the prelims. Roberson also led off Midland Dow’s runner-up 200 free relay in 23.27 after a lifetime best of 23.00 in the heats, and she added another quick split swimming the second leg of their 400 free relay in 49.81.

In the 200 free, Roberson finished second to Birmingham Seaholm senior Samantha Clifford, who moved up from second place last year for the victory in a best time of 1:48.64. A Navy commit, Clifford also swam a PB to place second to Roberson in the 100 free (50.25).

Roberson swam a best of 1:49.54 in the 200 free prelims before taking second in the final in 1:49.65.

Seaholm had a second victory come from junior Kelley Hassett, who set a new lifetime best of 4:58.63 in the 500 free to lead the field by five seconds. Jenison’s Layla Umstead led the prelims in 5:00.39 but fell to third in the final in 5:03.86.

Adams High School senior Rhian Russell won the 100 fly in 54.30, just shy of the 54.24 PB she set in the prelims, while the other winner was Dexter senior Lily Witte, who won the 1-meter diving event for the fourth straight time.

FINAL TEAM SCORES – TOP 5

  1. East Grand Rapids, 280
  2. Jenison, 219
  3. Seaholm High School, 183
  4. Northview, 181
  5. Grosse Pointe South H.S., 171

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Demarrit Steenbergen
2 months ago

And Cleason went 53.00 at a dual meet earlier in the year

Last edited 2 months ago by Demarrit Steenbergen

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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