The SEC Red champion Saline girls swim and dive were one of the top performers at the MHSAA Division state championship preliminary round, held at Eastern Michigan University Friday. But things didn’t go quite as hoped for the Hornets, who need to make up too much ground to catch Brighton, Harrison and Skyline – the frontrunners after Friday’s competition.
Still, there were many highlights for a young Hornets team.
Senior Maddy Luther goes into the championship round as the first seed in the 200-yard freestyle. Luther swam the event in 1:48.92 – beating her season-best time by more than half a second. Luther, who will swim at Louisville next season, is the defending state champ in the event. Luther took sixth in the 500-yard freestyle and helped the 400-yard freestyle relay to a second place finish.
Junior Johanna Jorgenson also had a great day for the Hornets. She was second in the 100-yard freestyle – behind Farmington Harrison’s Ashley Turak – who set a Division 1 record at 49.18. Jorgenson swam the race in 50.23 seconds. She was third in the 50-yard freestyle in 23.33 seconds, where Turak set another Division 1 record (22.29). Jorgenson was also on the second-place 400-relay.
Freshman Amelia Hayes debuted at the state meet with an eye-opening third-place finish in the 100-yard backstroke. Hayes swam the race in 55.42 seconds.
The Hornets opened the meet by taking fourth in the 200-yard medley relay. Hayes, junior Emma Loveland, sophomore Anna Bosinger and senior Emily Laing swam the race in 1:46.32.
In the second event, Luther swam the 200-freestyle in 1:48.92, nearly a full second faster than the second place swimmer.
Sophomore Kiersten Russell qualified for Saturday’s action by taking 13th in the 200-yard IM in 2:07.22. Hayes placed 18th (2:08.52) and is an alternate Saturday. Loveland placed 32nd in 2:13.36.
Jorgenson took third in the 50-yard freestyle (23.33) to advance to the championship heat. Bosinger (23rd, 24.91), Laing (24th, 24.98) and Annika Olsen (26th, 25:02) also swam.
Paige Gidley and Megan Mulligan competed in five-meter diving Gidley was 24th (357.05) and Mulligan was 33rd (3:41.35) and did not qualify for the semifinals.
In the 100-yard butterfly, senior Paige Wilson was 21st in 58.90. Bosinger (25th, 59.36) and freshman Samantha Graden (28th, 1:00.13) also swam.
Jorgenson took second in the 100-yard freestyle. She finished in 50:23. Emily Laing (24th, 53.73) also swam.
In the 500, Maddie Luther finished sixth in 4:58:83. Freshman Allison Ploutz-Snyder (29th, 5:17), senior Kelsey Robinson (35th, 5:11.91), and freshman Johanna Ehrman (42nd, 5:21.25) also swam.
One of the most costly races for Saline was the 200-yard freestyle relay, where the team finished 11th. Luther, Laing, Bosinger and Jorgenson finished in 1:37.93. The Hornets came in as the three seed.
Hayes provided good news in the 100-yard backstroke, finishing in 55.42 – beating her best time by more than half a second. Russell also made the championship heat by taking seventh in 57.15 – 1.25 seconds faster than her seed time. Senior Riley Jones (22nd, 59.89) also swam.
In the breaststroke, Emma Loveland (1:06.11) finished 16th to qualify for action Saturday. Junior Madison Miller (21st, 1:06.72) and senior Lauryn Kruse (35th, 1:08.28).
Saline went out strong, taking second in the 400-yard freestyle relay. Luther, Hayes, Russell and Jorgenson swam in 3:29.38.
The action continues at noon Saturday.