Michael MacGillivray summed it up best during the week as the Skyline swimming and diving team prepared for the Division 1 state championships. “We only have one place to go,” said the senior, referring to the Eagles finishing fourth two years ago and second last year.
On Saturday at Eastern Michigan University, the Eagles took that one step (and giant leap) up and landed in the only place they had left to go, a place reserved for champions. The 2017-18 swimming and diving team will forever be the first swim team at Skyline High School to win a state championship. And, folks, this wasn’t even close.
Before the first splash on Saturday, following a strong showing at Friday’s prelims, Coach Maureen Isaac felt her team had a chance. They took that chance and ran away with it, finishing with 274 points, well ahead of second-place Holland West Ottawa (207). In swimming, 67 points is a blowout and the Eagles left nothing for chance on Saturday in Ypsilanti.
Pioneer also had a very impressive showing, taking sixth place with 131 points, just 10 behind Northville and within a few laps of Forest Hills Central (153) and Brother Rice (154). Saline finished eighth with 116 points as three teams from the SEC Red Division placed in the top eight. Huron grabbed 21st place with 43 points.
Isaac was named Coach of the Year. “It was a vote of my peers so that means a lot,” she said.
Skyline’s medley relay team of Sam Konigsberg, MacGillivray, Kyle Tschannen and Ben Keith finished fifth in 1:34.31 to get things off and running. Pioneer’s team of Tyler Sakalys-Moore, Dylan Bao, Bolin Li and Trent Hitchins placed 10th in 1:35.80.
Pioneer’s Adam Orringer-Hau was the state champion in the 200-yard freestyle. The senior went 1:38.66 to take first overall and he did it in dominating fashion. Canton’s Daniel Mullen was second in 1:40.08.
Skyline picked up huge points (33 to be exact) in the 200 free. Tschannen touched third in 1:40.66 and teammate Samuel Jyawook was fourth in 1:41.74. Skyline junior Keith Kozma was 15th in 1:45.21.
Speaking of huge points, Skyline pulled off a rarity in a state finals in the 200 individual medley. Skyline senior David Cleason went 1:49.81 to win the IM. Right behind him was MacGillivray in second with a time of 1:50.27 as the Eagles grabbed 37 points by going one-two in the event.
Pioneer freshman Matthew Segal placed 14th in 1:56.35 in his first ever state finals.
Konigsberg was 16th for the Eagles in 1:57.92.
Huron senior Adam Moskus placed seventh in the 50 free with a time of 21.68 in a very close race – Forest Hills Central’s Henry Schutte won the race in 20.04.
It’s important to call Skyline swimming AND diving state champions because diving played a huge role in the team’s success this year, especially on Saturday. Junior Henry Schirmer defended his state title by taking first place with a final score of 503.85 points. Schirmer improved on last year’s score of 470.15 and if he improves that much again next year could break the all-time state record of 528.45 set in 2015.
Schirmer, who was named Diver of the Year, won comfortably this year, beating out Brighton’s Cade Hammond who was second with 448.45 points.
Pioneer’s Cole Tremewan made a statement at his first state finals. The freshman finished with 399.95 points to land in fifth place. Huron junior Kyle Huehn was seventh with 386.20 to complete a strong showing for Ann Arbor schools.
Tschannen finished third in the butterfly for the Eagles with a time of 50.23 and teammate Keith finished eighth at 52.08. Huron freshman AJ Stewart made an impressive showing in his first state finals, taking 11th overall in 51.59.
Orringer-Hau touched second for the Pioneers in the 100 free in 45.65. Moskus was sixth for the River Rats in 46.54. Segal finished in 16th place for the Pioneers with a time of 47.39.
The 500 freestyle was another event where the Eagles dominated and ran up plenty of points on the scoreboard. Cleason, who came in seeded second, won his second individual event of the day by taking first place in 4:30.55. Jyawook finished third in 4:33.94 and Kozma was eighth in 4:42.81. The three places in the top eight gave Skyline 47 points in just one event.
Pioneer’s 200 free relay team of Segal, Orringer-Hau, Hitchins and Shashank Chandru came in seeded seventh and landed fifth overall in 1:25.37. Skyline (Kozma, Kareem El-Tawil, Jyawook and Cleason) placed 12th in 1:27.93.
Konigsberg finished eighth in the backstroke with a time of 52.76.
MacGillivray finished first in the breaststroke in a very close finish. The senior touched in 55.01, just beating out Troy’s Maxwell Chen who took second in 55.11. Pioneer’s Dylan Bao was eighth (57.38).
The Eagles put a bow on their title by winning the final event of the day as three seniors went out as winners in their final high school race. The 400 free relay team of Cleason, MacGillivray, Tschannen and Jyawook took first in 3:04.99.
Pioneer’s team of Segal, Chandru, Orringer-Hau and Henry Cramer placed seventh in 3:10.13.
Dexter, another SEC team, was the D-2 state champions for the third year in a row.