MHSAA Girls D3 Preview: Cranbrook and Marian In the Team Title Hunt

MHSAA Girls Swimming & Diving Division III Championships

After a difficult year for everyone, the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) is set for its girls swimming & diving state championships this weekend. Typically held in the November, the championships are being held in mid-January this season after a rollercoaster of a schedule. The boys swimming & diving season is slated to start after the conclusion of the meets this weekend.

Due to Michigan’s state Covid-19 protocols, which have changed regularly, the season was started and stopped on multiple occasions. Michigan was also one of the most strict states when it came to allowing pools to be open, which, of course, has a direct effect on swimmers’ ability to train. There are noticeably less swimmers in each event than we would typically see.

The 2-time defending champions, East Grand Rapids, who have won team titles in both Division III and II recently, are not competing this year. In their absence, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood and Bloomingfield Hills Marian, the 2nd and 3rd place teams last year respectively, appear poised to battle it out for the team title.

With no East Grand Rapids in the picture, defending 100 free champion Greta Milnes will not be present to defend her title. EGR also won the 200 medley relay last year, with a relay that had no seniors on it.

Gwen Woodbury, a Cranbrook senior, will look to claim the title in the 100 free, as well as defend her title in the 200 free. Last year, Woodbury came in 2nd in the 100 fly with a 55.63. The 100 fly champion, Alysa Wager, has graduated, leaving Woodbury as the fastest returner, however, Woodbury chose to try her hand at a different event this year. Woodbury won the 200 free last year with a 1:49.07, and enters this weekend’s meet with a 1:50.57 seed. She also enters the meet as the top seed in the 100 free.

Justine Murdock, a Northwestern recruit and Cranbrook senior, will look to defend her titles in the 200 IM and 100 back. Murdock enters the meet as the MHSAA DIII record-holder in the 100 back, which she set with her winning time of 54.53 last year. She is seeded 1st with a 56.76 this year. Murdock also picked up a win in the 200 IM last year, posting a 2:05.62. Murdock is also seeded 1st in the IM with a 2:08.19.

Plainwell HS junior Riley Nugent will look to 3-peat in the 500 free, entering with the top seed at 5:08.11. Nugent won the 500 last year with a 5:01.39, after taking the event as a freshman in 2018 with a 5:02.02. Nugent is seeded first by 5 seconds.

Ginger McMahon, a University Liggett junior, is back in action this year after not competing at the state meet last year. McMahon won the 100 breast in 2018 as a freshman, and is seeded first by 3 seconds this time around. McMahon is seeded with a 1:04.27, but swam a lifetime best 1:03.17 at club meet in December, just a month ago. The D3 record stands at 1:02.60.


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3 months ago

EGR Opted Out but they had been moved up to D2 this season and would not be defending the D3 title(s) either way