East Grand Rapids Girls Defend Michigan HS D3 State Championship Title

2019 MHSAA Girls D3 State Championships

For the second year in a row, the girls of East Grand Rapids (EGR) swam to the MHSAA D3 state title. However, the title was not easy to win, as 2017 team champion Cranbrook Kingswood was attempting to topple the 2018 team champion.

Meet Highlights:

During the prelims of the 200 medley relay, the EGR squad of Sophie Williams (26.49), Claire Witting (30.04), Emma Israels (24.72), and Barbara Bart (23.47) broke the D3 record with a 1:44.72. Yet in the final, Cranbrook Kingswood was right behind EGR the whole relay. But EGR was able to defend their top spot from prelims with a 1:45.04, holding off Cranbrook Kingswood by 0.63 seconds (1:45.67).

In the 200 free, Gwenyth Woodbury topped the A-final by 3 seconds with her top time of 1:49.07. In prelims, she led with a 1:48.85, making Woodbury the lone swimmer to go sub-1:50.

Juniors Cranbrook Kingswood’s Justine Murdock and EGR’s Israels had quite an exciting race in the 200 IM. The duo were nearly tied during the first 150 of the race, until Murdock took out Israels with a 29.35 final 50 split. Murdock then won the race with a 2:05.62, Israels placed second at 2:07.10. Murdock would then successfully defend her 2018 state title in the 100 back with a new D3 record of 54.53.

Israels and Cranbrook 200 free champ Woodbury were in the top 3 prelims swimmers of the 100 fly, behind Battle Creek Harper Creek’s Alysa Wager. During the final, it was the senior Wager who held off the 200 IM top two with a new D3 record of 54.88. Woodbury would take second at 55.63 while Israels took third with a 56.20.

EGR sophomore Greta Milnes became the team’s first individual champion of the meet as she stormed the 100 free with a sub-52 swim of 51.87. No Cranbrook swimmers were in the A-final, so teammate Williams’ 4th-place finish gave EGR the 35-point swing over Cranbook.

Into the 200 free relay, EGR had a slight lead over Cranbook Kingswood until junior Woodbury entered the water. She would out-split EGR anchor Milnes by 1.06 seconds with a 22.81 to give Cranbrook the state title with a 1:36.20. EGR settled for second with a 1:36.77.

After winning the 100 fly, Battle Creek Harper Creek’s Wager fended off EGR’s Bart for the 100 breast state title. She won with a 1:04.50, taking out Bart (1:05.34) by nearly a second.

The final relay was yet another nail-biting race between EGR and Cranbrook Kingswood. EGR’s Israels and Milnes built a lead off of Cranbrook’s Jordan Murrell and 50 free runner-up (24.04) Charlotte Trunsky. Yet Cranbrook’s Murdock and Woodbury overtook EGR’s Allison Alguire and Williams with the two fastest splits of the event, 51.36 and 50.24.

In the end, Cranbrook ran away with their second relay title with a 3:27.93. Although finishing in second at 3:30.02, it was enough to earn the program’s second-straight D3 team title.

More D3 State Champions:

  • Girls 50 Free: Hannah Fathman (Hamilton)- 23.95
  • Girls 1-Meter Diving: Annabelle Rosen-Hurley (Adrian)- 459.15 pts
  • Girls 500 Free: Riley Nugent (Plainwell)- 5:01.39

Top Five Teams:

  1. East Grand Rapids — 317
  2. Cranbrook Kingswood — 306
  3. Bloomfield Hills Marian — 245
  4. Chelsea — 134
  5. Hamilton — 131

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About Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro has had a huge passion for swimming since his first dive in the pool, instantly becoming drawn to the sport. He was a breaststroker and IMer when competing, but still uses the sport as his go-to cardio. SwimSwam has become an outlet for him to continue showing his …

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