Eisenhower Wins Fourth Straight County Swimming & Diving Championship

Abigail Desmet wrapped her arms around Emma Bliss and gave the LAnse Creuse North swimmer a warm hug.

This wasnt a special rivals moment at the Macomb County Swimming & Diving Championships. It was a champions embrace.

Bliss took home the top individual honor and Desmet was part of the championship-winning team at LAnse Creuse North on Saturday.

Desmet, a senior, won two individual events and was part of a first-place relay team to help Eisenhower win a fourth consecutive girls championship.

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Meanwhile, Bliss won two events and swam on two first-place relays, including one that broke a meet record, and then was named Most Outstanding Senior of the annual event.

I think every person here could be swimmer of the meet, Bliss said after leading LC North to a program-best second-place finish.

She was happy to have had the post-meet moment with Desmet.

Shes made me who I am, Bliss said of the Eisenhower star who holds meet records in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events. Shes pushed me to go faster, harder, and I practice each day harder because of her. Im more than grateful for her to be there for me.

Click here for meet results.

Eisenhowers one-two punch of Desmet and Bianca Licari gave the Eagles first-place finishes in four individual events, and the Eagles showed their depth while winning another championship.

This is always a team effort, Eisenhower coach Lisa Doherty said after the Eagles rolled up 402 points. We work on this from the time we leave today until the time we come back next year.

It takes the kids at the top, yes, but I had phenomenal swims from kids that werent supposed to place. Before the meet I told them, Its going to take you guys to step up for us to win.

The good girls are always going to be good; where are the rest going to go? Thats what it comes down to. (The Eagles) were out there on fire ready to go. They wanted a fourth county championship.

Eisenhower finished third in the 200 medley relay, higher than Doherty expected, and the 200 freestyle followed seeding with Bliss winning in a school-record 1:53.75 before Licari and Desmet got Eisenhower into the championship column with respective first-place finishes in the 200 individual medley and 50 freestyle.

And the Eagle duo wasnt finished.

Licari, who finished in 58.08, won a close battle with Chippewa Valleys Madie Willson and Dakotas Makayla Happell in the 100 butterfly.

In the next event, Desmet made it two-for-two in sprints with a victory in the 100 free in 53.88.

Desmet was unable to break the meet sprint records she set in 2016, but the Eagles team success brightened her day.

Were doing very well, she said. Everyone is dropping time.

Licari said the competition from Willson and Happell made her swim faster.

Going into it, I was nervous, she said. Im glad I had them pushing me.

Maddie got her first state cut. Im happy for her and Im glad she was there.

Click here for a photo gallery from the meet.

LAnse Creuse North won the first two events, the medley relay and the 200 freestyle.

Bliss was a member of the medley relay team. The foursome that included Emma Dutkiewicz, Hannah Gurecki and Mallory Allard swam a school-record time and qualified for the state Division 1 finals.

Bliss made a bid for the meet record in the 200 free, but her four-lap swim in 1:53.75 was .63 of a second off the mark.

It was kind of upsetting, said Bliss, who had a stern look on her face when she climbed from the pool after the near-record swim. But those races make you push harder and go faster. In the end, its OK.

I think every race has its ups and downs. It can go either way. Im just grateful I have my team here, my teammates pushing me to go faster. I couldnt be here without them.

Elizabeth Palmer, who was in second place after preliminaries, emerged as the diving champion with 330.95 points.

The sophomore was one of two champions from Anchor Bay. Tar junior Kelsie Thomas won the backstroke in 1:01.46.

Eisenhowers Mikaela Senkus, fourth after preliminaries, finished third in diving to help boost the Eagles point total.

Desmet, Licari, Addisyn Tokarz and Kendra Pollick won the 400 freestyle, the final event of the meet, in 3:42.73.

Its very unexpected, Doherty said of the four straight championships. By the grace of God weve been good every year, and we swim larger than life at this meet.

Bliss won the 500 freestyle in a school-record 5:07.57.

LAnse Creuse Norths Gurecki won the breaststroke in 1:09.34, one of the many performances that pleased coach Mike Owensby.

They had the heart and desire, Owensby said of the Crusaders. We had season-best times from every single swimmer today across the board.

LAnse Creuse North finished third last year.

We wanted to show our improvement, Owensby said.

Allard, Gurecki and Lauren Paris joined Bliss on the record-setting relay that finished in 1:40.13 and broke the pool standard.

Licari won the IM in 2:11.22; Desmet the 50 in 24.46.

Dakota finished third with 305.5 points. Anchor Bay was fourth with 231 and Chippewa Valley fifth with 201.

Source : http://www.macombdaily.com/article/MD/20171007/SPORTS/171009674

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