Future Michigan Wolverine Rob Zofchak captured two individual state titles, and also anchored the second-place 400 free relay to clinch the Michigan High School Swimming and Diving Division II state championship for Dexter High School. The team victory was just the third state title in school history for Dexter, and the first since 2012.
After a fourth-place finish in the 200 medley relay, Dexter jumped out to an early lead with a 1-2 finish in the 200 freestyle, where Zofchak touched first in 1:38.23, with senior teammate Matt Bergdolt took second place in 1:41.33. While Zofchak was the lone winner on the day, Dexter had plenty of other podium finishes, including a second place efforts in the 100 fly from freshman Lance Freiman (52.21) and the 500 freestyle from junior Alex Janosi (4:40.15). Later in the session, Zofchak repeated as individual champion in the 100 backstroke, first resetting his own Division II record in prelims in 48.89 before dominating in finals with a final time of 49.26, more than two seconds ahead of the field.
The swimmer of the meet, however, was senior Jacob Montague–another future Michigan Wolverine–of Grosse Pointe South High School. Montague smashed a pair of his own Division II state records in the 200 IM (1:47.40, including a 29.64 breaststroke leg) and 100 breaststroke (53.93), and also contributed a 24.53 breaststroke split on Grosse Pointe’s 200 medley relay, by far the fastest in the field. He’ll be a key addition next season for a Michigan team still looking to solidify their breaststroke group after last year’s graduation of Bruno Ortiz and Richard Funk.
Nehemiah Mork of Midland Dow High School, who captured titles in the 50 and 100 free for the second consecutive season, was the only other double-winner on the day. The Michigan State-bound senior touched out Birmingham Seaholm’s Liam Little by the narrowest of margins (20.83 to 20.84) in the 50, and registered a more comfortable win in the 100 over Birmingham Seaholm’s Ryan Lawrence (45.43 to 45.98).
Looking at the team race, Dexter’s biggest challenger was De La Salle Collegiate, a school with a modest-at-best swimming history; according to their website (which was already updated to reflect their success this weekend), their one and only swimming All-American recipient graduated back in 1990. On Saturday, though, De La Salle defied the expectations of many to set six team records and register an event title for the first time since 1970 (per the MHSAA website).
Senior PJ Desmet was the top scorer for runner-up De La Salle, winning the 100 fly in 51.21 and leading a 2-3 finish in the 100 back with a 51.45 (Zach Milke was third in 52.04). Desmet and Milke joined Jack Kucharczyk and Mitch Livingston to win the 200 medley relay in 1:33.83, the first relay state title in school history.
Birmingham Seaholm High School, winners of the last two team titles, wound up third on the weekend behind superb efforts from their sprint group and 1-meter diving champion Sebastian Fey. The quartet of Liam Little, Ryan Lawrence, Michael Arpasi, and Len Ciemniecki blew away the field in both freestyle relays to win in 1:24.29 and 3:05.48, just missing their own Division II state records in each. Those victories marked the third straight season Seaholm has won both freestyle relays.
Sophomore Graham Miotke of Rochester Adams, winner of the 500 freestyle in 4:35.64, was the final champion.
Scores (top 5 teams)
- Dexter High School – 284 points
- De La Salle Collegiate – 266
- Birmingham Seaholm High School – 211
- Battle Creek Lakeview – 205
- Birmingham Groves High School – 187