East Grand Rapids Girls Reclaim MHSAA Division 3 State Championship Crown

2021 MHSAA D3 State Championships

After missing the pandemic-delayed championship meet in January, the East Grand Rapids High School girls reclaimed their rightful place atop the MHSAA Division 3 State Championship standings on Saturday, dominating the meet with 444 points.

This marks five straight titles for East Grand Rapids in meets in which they’ve competed, having also won in 2016, 2018 and 2019, while winning D2 in 2017. It’s also their 24th title in school history.

Last year’s winners, Cranbrook Kingswood, finished third with 165.5 points, with Bloomfield Hills Marian taking second with 193.

East Grand Rapids swept the relays en route to the championship, and added individual wins from senior Sophie Williams in the 100 backstroke and sophomore Ava Jendritz in 1-meter diving.

Williams won a razor-thin race in a time of 58.19, edging out Tecumseh’s Amelia Danley (58.23) as the top five finishers were all within less than six-tenths of one another.

In the diving event, Jendritz put up a final score of 449.80 to lead the field by more than 20 points.

At the beginning of the finals session, Williams led off EGR’s 200 medley relay in 27.08 as they won by almost two seconds in 1:47.25, with fellow senior Barbara Bart supplying a quick 23.94 anchor leg on freestyle.

In the 200 free relay, it was Bart (24.48), Greta Milnes (24.00), Norah Murphy (24.00) and freshman Katie Simon (23.94) rolling to the win in 1:36.20, while the 400 free relay team of Allison Alguire (53.53), Milnes (52.08), Williams (53.31) and Simon (52.22) led the field by over three seconds in 3:31.14.

Two swimmers managed to sweep their individual events, as Plainwell senior Riley Nugent and Bloomfield Hills Marian senior Julia Waechter combined to sweep the freestyle events.

Nugent topped the first individual event of the day in the 200 free, clocking 1:52.83 to lead EGR’s Milnes (1:53.66). Nugent, who is committed to swim for James Madison University next season, followed up by completing the “grand slam” if you will in the 500 free, winning the event for the fourth year in a row in a time of 5:04.35.

Waechter, a Miami (OH) commit, won the first two individual state titles of her career in the 50 free (23.74) and 100 free (51.06), with EGR’s first-year Simon notably picking up a runner-up finish in the 100 (51.94).

Grosse Point Liggett senior Ginger McMahon was another top performer, winning the 100 breast for the second straight year in a time of 1:04.85 while also placing second in the 100 fly. EGR’s Bart notably was the runner-up in the 100 breast in 1:05.41.

In the 100 fly, Flat Rock High School sophomore Lauren McNamara placed first in a time of 56.23, followed by McMahon (57.66).

Early on in the meet, Standish-Sterling Central freshman Scarlet Maison won a tight race in the 200 IM, clocking 2:08.36 to edge out Tecumseh senior Linda Hensley (2:08.43) and Bloomfield Hills Marian junior Rachel Bello (2:08.80).

TOP 5 TEAM SCORES

  1. East Grand Rapids, 444.0
  2. Bloomfield Hills Marian, 193.0
  3. Cranbrook Kingswood, 165.5
  4. Holland Christian, 144.0
  5. Allegan High School, 117.0

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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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