Pool sharks: Northville girls aim higher

Pool sharks: Northville girls aim higher


Pool sharks: Northville girls aim higher


Hoping to piggyback on last year’s success, the Northville girls swim team appears to envision even higher expectations in 2014.

The Mustangs did plenty of good things in 2013 going undefeated in dual meets (9-0), while winning the KLAA Central Division before finishing runner-up to South Lyon Unified in the Kensington Conference meet.

Northville also boasted a Division 1 state champion in freshman Laura Westphal in the 500-yard freestyle en route to a 13th-place team finish (with 77 point)s.

Westphal, who also placed 10th in the 200 individual medley (2:07.14) at the state meet, will be joined by several key holdovers including junior Alissa Moore, 11th, 500 freestyle (5:06.43) and 15th, 200 freestyle (1:55.9); sophomore Kelsey Macaddino, 13th, 100 butterfly (58.49); and sophomore Nikki Pumper, 16th, 100 backstroke (59.11).

Others returning with state meet experience include senior Jessica Yan (500 freestyle) and sophomore Gillian Zayan (200 freestyle relay).

“A lot of individuals on the team have some pretty lofty goals, but as a team we all have the same,” Northville eighth-year coach Brian McNeff said. “We want to continue our dual-meet win streak, win the division meet, win the conference meet. Those have been our goals for the last few years and unfortunately we have always come up short.”

The Mustangs’ 400 freestyle relay team of Pumper, Macaddino, Moore and Westphal all return after finishing 14th (3:36.71), while three-quarters of the 11th-place 200 medley (1:48.74) and 200 freestyle (1:040.8) relay teams also are back.

“Hopefully this is the year that we can break through and finally get that first conference championship,” said McNeff, whose team opens the season Thursday at the Ann Arbor Huron Invitational. “It won’t be easy though, We face some of the best teams in the state every week, so we will definitely be challenged. I’m really excited to see how these girls step up to that challenge.”

Novi outlook

The Wildcats look to improve upon last year’s fifth-place KLAA Central Division and sixth-place Kensington Conference finishes.

“We have some tough conference duals meets headed our way,” said Novi coach Annette VanderMey, whose team opens the season Saturday Sept. 6 at home against Canton and Okemos. “Our conference and division is an extremely competitive one.”

Sophomore Emily Mayoras was a state qualifier in both the 50 freestyle (25.06) and 100 backstroke (1:00.75).

Juniors Alexandra Cortez and Dana Kilponen were members of Novi’s state qualifying 200 medley (1:53.16) and 200 freestyle (1:42.03) relay teams. Junior Ava Bianchi was also on 200 freestyle relay team.

Diver Jaymie Ziegler, who was 14th at the state meet (319.60 points), was lost to graduation.

“We will have to swim our best and rise to the challenge,” VanderMey said. “We have some new teams on the schedule this year outside of our conference that we are excited about and should give us an opportunity to allow the girls to swim some other events rather than their specialties for those varsity points. With a roster of 47 we have many girls that have opportunities to step into key roles. We always look forward to seeing who will decide to take those steps.”



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