Dexter didn’t make many trips to the top rung of the awards stand during Saturday’s Division 2 swimming and diving finals at Eastern Michigan in Ypsilanti.
The Dreadnaughts only won one race all afternoon — the meet-opening 200 medley relay — but still amassed enough points to take home their second straight championship.
Dexter scored 284 points, holding back Ann Arbor Huron (256 1/2 ), Birmingham Seaholm (195 1/2 ) and Birmingham Groves (189) to win its first back-to-back titles in school history.
“It was very surprising,” said Dexter senior Alex Janosi. “We had some really good top swimmers, but the way our victory came as a team was really big for us.”
Seaholm won four events and Huron two, but Dexter’s magic number was 11: the Dreadnaughts earned points in all 11 races, each of their 11 state qualifiers scored, and their total was enhanced with 11 consolation-heat swims.
“Huron’s top swimmers outscored our top swimmers, but we had the depth that we needed to be able to get all those points. A lot of people turned up big, and it’s really emotional for me, because this is how I’m going out and it’s great being a champion again,” said Janosi, who has signed with California Institute of Technology for both swimming and water polo.
Alx Shehab, Sam Krahn, Niklas Eberly and Janosi won the medley relay (1:34.42) to grab the lead early for Dexter, and then the Dreadnaughts piled up the points in the distance races. Eberly was runner-up in the 200 freestyle (1:41.40). Teammates Casey Dolen, Will Blodgett and Andrew Golin added ninth-, 10- and 11th-place finishes.
Division 1 at Oakland University: Birmingham Brother Rice won its fourth consecutive title in a close meet that saw the Warriors score 238 points, holding off Ann Arbor Skyline (212), Saline (202), Novi (196), Holland West Ottawa (190) and Zeeland (177).
Rice won two relays. Mason Wilczewski, Andrew Biskup, Alex Margherio and Jack Grady won the medley relay in 1:31.72. The Warriors also won the 400 freestyle relay with Patrick Olmstead subbing for Biskup. Margherio was Rice’s only individual champion, winning the backstroke in 48.46.
Three swimmers were double winners: Novi’s Camden Murphy in the individual medley (1:48.99) and the butterfly (an all-class record 46.63); West Ottawa’s Spencer Carl in the 200 free (1:37.08) and 500 (4:26.89); and Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central sophomore Henry Schutte in the 50 free (20.38) and 100 free (45.27).
Division 3 at Holland Aquatic Center: Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood had second-place finishes in five events, but they gave the Cranes plenty of points toward their fourth state title in a row. Cranbrook had 268 points, finishing ahead of East Grand Rapids (255), Holland Christian (241 1/2 ) and Chelsea (227).
Sophomore Oliver Cafferty was Cranbrook’s lone individual winner (50.72/backstroke), but the Cranes were second in the medley relay and 400 free relay. Kevin Hao (individual medley), Lucas Misra (100 free) and Matthew Yang (breaststroke) posted individual runner-up finishes.
East Grand Rapids junior Christian Bart set two D3 records in winning the 50 free (20.64) and breaststroke (55.82). Pontiac Notre Dame Prep’s Rudy Aguilar won the 200 free (a Division 3 record 1:37.37) and the 100 free (46.62). Chelsea won the medley relay (1:34.71) and the 200 free relay (1:25.21).