State Champs—again! Pioneer Girls Swimming & Diving team wins fourth straight Division 1 title

The Pioneer girls’ swimming and diving team won the program’s fourth consecutive MHSAA Division 1 State Title on Saturday at Oakland University. And they did it once again in impressive fashion.

Pioneer took control of the meet from the opening splash, winning the medley relay to establish their undeniable greatness. They took first place in eight events and won two of the three relays in a dominating performance.

The Pioneers finished the championship meet with 322 points, 104 more than runner-up Northville. Saline finished third with 174 points, followed by Grand Haven (167) and Farmington Hills Mercy (167). Huron finished with 26 points and finished 19th.

Pioneer’s state title was the 19th in the program’s amazing history.

Pioneer head coach Stefanie Kerska was glad to see her team start strong and get a comfortable lead early on. “I like that a lot,” Kerska told after the meet. “People think close ones are great, but not for the coaches. We worked really hard to establish a lead, and these girls earned it.”

Despite losing a pool full of talented seniors off last year’s state title team, the Pioneers reloaded with a young team.

“I’m just so proud of this team in general,” Pioneer senior captain Sophia Guo told “We had some big shoes to fill coming into this meet, and I think we really stepped up to the plate. I know me along with the other seniors were so happy this was the way we got to end our high school careers. I’m just so proud of us.”

Stella Chapman won two individual races, including setting a meet record in the backstroke. Lucy Mehraban, who was on two winning relays, won the 50 freestyle and finished second to Guo in the 100 freestyle. And freshman Kate Van Ryn was on three relays.

The team of Chapman, Ursula Ott, Guo and Van Ryn won the medley relay in 1 minute, 43.19 seconds. Chapman and Guo both swam on last year’s winning medley relay, which won in 1:44.16.

In the 200 free, Guo took third in 1:49.95.

Chapman, a junior, repeated as state champ in the 200 IM. She went 2:01.91 to finish first. Last year as a sophomore, she touched first in 2:01.98. Sophomore Bridgette Kamara was 10th (2:10.27) and sophomore Reese Heidenreich was 15th (2:12.79) for the Pioneers.

Mehraban, a senior, won the 50 free with a time of 23.07. Huron junior Jasmine Xu was fifth in 23.99. Van Ryn was 10th (24.16) and Eva Woods was 36th (25.61).

In the butterfly, Huron’s Sawako Sakamoto was 16th in 59.98 and Woods was 18th in 1:00.97.

Pioneer pulled off an amazing feat in the 100 freestyle by going one-two! Guo touched first in 49.89, just beating out Mehraban who was second in 49.93. Incredible! They even took home more points in the race with Ott taking seventh in 52.20. Huron’s Xu was eighth in 52.37. Worth noting – Mehraban went 50.63 to just beat out Guo (50.81) in the prelims in another extremely close race to the wall among Pioneer teammates.

Pioneer junior Yan Yee Adler went 5:00.87 to finish fifth in the 500 free.
Pioneer’s 200 free relay team of Mehraban, Ott, Meg Pinkerton and Van Ryn took second in 1:34.81 in a photo finish. Grand Haven won the race in 1:34.57.

Chapman won the backstroke in 54.07. Kamara was ninth in 57.27.

The Pioneers went two-three in the breaststroke. Sophomore Reese Heidenreich was second in 1:04.92 and Ott was third in 1:05.35. Adler was eighth in 1:06.62.

The Pioneers finished the meet the same way they started it – with a win. The 400 free relay team of Mehraban, Chapman, Van Ryn and Guo touched first in 3:24.90.

The AAPS District News welcomes thoughtful comments, questions and feedback.

All comments will be screened and moderated.

In order for your comment to be approved:

  • You must use your full name
  • You must not use  profane or offensive language
  • Your comment must be on topic and relevant to the story

Please note: any comment that appears to be spam or attacks an individual will not be approved.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.