Michigan High School Division 1 State Championships- Birmingham Brother Rice Repeats as Overall Champions

by Kylie Fortier 2

March 17th, 2015 High School, News

The Division 1 Michigan High School State swim meet saw last year’s champion, Birmingham Brother Rice, repeat and claim the 2015 title. This marked the 9th title for the school as they scored 111 more than runner-up Holland West Ottawa. Birmingham Brother Rice only won two events during the meet, and depth proved to be the difference in their decisive overall victory. In a thrilling night for individual competition the crowd would see six Michigan High School Division 1 State Meet Records broken. Two of these were fast enough to reset the overall Michigan High School State records.

Birmingham Brother Rice would claim the first relay of the night with their 1:31.68 200 medley relay. The team of Mark Blinstrub (23.38), Drew Grady (25.47), Gust Kouvaris (21.47), and Jack Kennedy (21.09) touched ahead of Holland West Ottaws. Holland West senior and University of Notre Dame commit Tabahn Afrik tried to make up some ground with his 19.90 anchor leg, but in the end it wasn’t enough. Afrik’s split was the fastest in the field by a long shot as no other school saw their anchor break 21 seconds.

The first individual overall State Meet Record of the Night would be reset by Jack Walsh of Detroit Catholic Central when he touched in at 1:47.26 for the 200 IM. The Stanford University commit had the fastest middle 100 of the field, and that pushed him to finish almost a second ahead of Birmingham Brother Rice’s Mark Blinstrub (1:48.24). Walsh would double up later in the meet when he claimed his second win and D1 State Meet record in the 100 back (48.48) over Birmingham Brother Rice’s Gust Kouvaris (48.79).

After an explosive opening relay split, Tabahn Afrik was ready to make a statement in his individual 50 free. Afrik stopped the clock at 20.26 to claim the win and set a new state record. Will Brenner (Ann Arbor Huron) finished second with his 20.52. Afrik was able to close out his individual high school career with a win in the 100 free (44.06). Afrik came close to his D1 State Meet Record of 43.90 that he set during last year’s meet. Mark Blinstrub would record his second runner-up finish of the meet when he finished at 44.90.

Ann Arbor Pioneer would claim the only D1 State Meet relay record of the night when Noah Frassrand, Jiaming Shen, Andrew Heise, and Kai Williams combined to swim a 1:24.06 in the 200 free relay. This sprint showcase would see Ann Harbor Huron finish second (1:25.39) and Birmingham Brother Rice round out the top three (1:25.40).

Devon Nowicki (Lake Orion) would claim the second overall Michigan High School State record of the night with his 53.59 100 breaststroke. The Oakland University commit was well ahead of the field and dropped 1.75 seconds from his prelims time. Drew Grady (Birmingham Brother Rice-56.15) fought off Jiaming Shen (Ann Arbor Pioneer-56.26) in a tight race for second.

Other D1 State Title Winners

  • 400 free relay- Gust Kouvaris, Rudy Aguilar, Bobby Powrie, and Mark Blinstrub (Birmingham Brother Rice, 3:02.58)
  • 1 Meter Diving-Jake Herremans (Rockford,528.48- New D1 State Meet Record)
  • 100 fly- Devon Nowicki (Lake Orion, 48.92)
  • 200 free- Kai Williams (Ann Arbor Pioneer, 1:38.10)
  • 500 free- Trayton Saladin (Bridgman Co-op, 4:30.99)

Top Five Teams

  1. Birmingham Brother Rice 358
  2. Holland West Ottawa 247
  3. Ann Arbor Pioneer 178.5
  4. Saline 158
  5. Zeeland 151

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5 years ago

of note is the diving record which was the oldest on the books (34 years) set by Bruce Kimball who was an Olympic diver.

5 years ago

Kimball’s record remains unbroken. His score of 584.75 is the all-class Record. The D1 record was broken by Herremans