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November 13, 2013

MAC Red rundown

GP South swimming takes conference title; Chippewa Valley and Ike take second and third

By Thomas Franz
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Eisenhower’s Ashlen Michalski swims in the 100-yard backstroke at the MAC Red Division championship meet. Michalski took third in the event with a time of 1 minute, 2.73 seconds.

GROSSE POINTE — Grosse Pointe South got off to a record-breaking start in the MAC Red league championship on Nov. 9 and never looked back.

The quartet of Claire Young, Alex Hughes, Anne Crowley and Amy Krausmann set a new conference meet record in the meet’s first event, the 200-yard medley relay, with a time of 1 minute, 48.24 seconds.

South went on to win the next three events to set the tone for the rest of the championship meet. South finished the day with 429 points, while Chippewa Valley took second with 285 and Utica Eisenhower took third with 208 points.

Grosse Pointe North finished fourth with 158 points, and Macomb Dakota took fifth with 129.

“We had a ton of people in the top six. And not only did we have some good swims from our seniors, but the big highlight was having all of these underclassmen with just phenomenal times; they were the ones making huge contributions and will continue to do so over the next few seasons,” South coach Eric Gunderson said.

Two underclassmen for South took the top two places in the 200 IM, as the sophomore Young won it with a time of 2:08.09, and Hughes, a freshman, took second in 2:12.69. Eisenhower’s Kate Svisco also met a state meet qualifying time in 2:13.11.

In the 50 freestyle, South swept the top three places. Freshman Abbey Schuetze won in 25.35 seconds; Krausmann, a junior, took second in 25.3; and sophomore Olivia Frederickson took third in 25.76.

South senior Cassandra Morse beat out Chippewa Valley’s Leah Galloway to win the 200 freestyle in 1:59.07.

Chippewa Valley made some noise in the middle events by winning the diving competition, 100 butterfly and sweeping the top three places in the 500 freestyle.

In diving, Chippewa’s Sydney Ronald held off a valiant effort from Eisenhower freshman Andrea Bugariu to win with a new pool record score of 426.05 points.

“She came on really strong today and had some really nice dives to seal it. She’s always doing the best she can out there,” Chippewa coach Tony Grice said.

Chippewa’s Skyler Muzichuk came from behind to win the 100 butterfly with a time of 59.17. South’s Anne Crowley was second in a state-meet qualifying time of 1:00.02, and Schuetze took third in 1:00.74, also good for a state meet spot.

“She’s (Muzichuk) a really tough girl. She swims hard, and she just pulled through at the end and she really raced her heart out,” Grice said.

Apparently, there was still more than enough heart left for Muzichuk to come back one race later and win the 500 freestyle in 5:14.91. Chippewa also had Erika Wilson and Leah Galloway take second and third, respectively, in the 500.

“We had some really strong 500 swimmers. We were hoping to maybe get a couple more qualified for states, but they had really good swims,” Grice said. “I think it really helped having Skylar (Muzichuk) in there to help pace them. It’s really amazing to get all top three in the Red division in an event.”

South won the remaining events of the day, including a conference record by Young in the 100 backstroke with a time of 57.21. Eisenhower’s Amanda Hudson swam the event in a state-qualifying time of 1:00.21, good for second place.

Young came back to anchor the winning 400 freestyle relay for South that won in 3:39.59. Young’s performance led her to be named Swimmer of the Meet.

“She’s only a sophomore, and we’re expecting great swims from her at the state meet in two weeks. One point behind Claire (Young) was our freshman, Alex Hughes, so the top two  were our freshman and sophomore,” Gunderson said.

Hughes beat out Eisenhower’s Kate Svisco in the 100 breaststroke in 1:08.13. Morse added a victory for South in the 100 freestyle, and she also swam a leg on South’s 200 freestyle relay team that won in 1:42.17.

North qualified its 200 and 400 freestyle relays for the state meet.

Gunderson said that South is rounding into form nicely for the state meet the weekend of Nov. 23.

“As excited as we are about this, we are looking two weeks forward to the state meet. We have a good group of girls going for that, and we still have to figure out where everyone falls into place with that,” Gunderson said. “We picked up a few new cuts this weekend, and obviously we’re kind of wrapping things into shape. It’s exciting to drop time and swim well, and when we can win the conference meet on top of that, it’s a good feeling.”

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Thomas Franz at tfranz@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1040.