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Pioneer Swim Team Wins States

The Pioneer swim team has been the state champion for four consecutive years.
Photo Courtesy of Ava Griffith

The Ann Arbor Pioneer Swim and Dive team ended their season with a victory at states this year. The MHSAA state meet started on Nov. 17 with finals the following day.

Ava Griffith is a member of the Pioneer swim team and a sophomore at Community. She recently got to swim against some of the fastest girls in the country at Eastern Michigan University.

“It was incredible,” Griffith said.

This was her first year making states and she found it to be a valuable experience.

To make the MHSAA state meet athletes have to get a “cut”. This means that they must swim a certain time or faster in a particular event to be invited to the state meet. Pioneer Swim and Dive are in Division 1, which makes these times even more competitive.

“Some of the best girls in the country swim in Michigan,” Griffith said.

Once an athlete gets their state cut they swim prelims. Prelims are preliminary races that narrow down who the best swimmers are in each event. The top 16 swimmers get to race in the state finals. This year, the Pioneer women’s team sent seven girls to finals led by senior Stella Chapman who competed in 100-yard backstroke, 200-yard medley relay, 200-yard IM, and 400-yard freestyle relay finals

Photo Courtesy of Ava Griffith

“We have a really good reputation,” Griffith said. “Our swim coach [Stef Kerska] coached at the Olympic level, and she coached at U of M.”

The team upheld its impressive reputation at states by breaking state records in the 200-im and the 100-fly, also winning the 100-yard backstroke As a younger team this year, Griffith wasn’t sure they would make it to states, but the team ended up winning convincingly scoring 301 points in comparison to second place Grand Haven’s 237.5 points.

Junior diver Arianna Pagel also contributed to the win finishing in 10th place in the 1 meter diving.

“At the end, we got the trophy. We stood on the podium, we got a bunch of photos and then all jumped in the water and got our coaches completely soaked,” Griffith said.

After the meet, they all went out to dinner. She feels very happy for the three seniors who made finals in addition to the two freshman sensations, Harper Feyen and Jayla Kuzak.

The Pioneer Women’s Swim and Dive team has now won the state meet for four years in a row. As a well-established, top-notch program, they are looking forward to many more incredible seasons.

“It was a really nice competition for all of us. And yeah, it was fun,” Griffith said.

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About the Contributors
Ivy Miller
Ivy Miller, Journalist
Ivy is a sophomore at CHS who is excited to be joining The Communicator. In her free time, she runs cross country and track for Skyline. Ivy loves walking her cat and her dog and spending time outdoors. She is passionate about wildlife conservation and growing as a writer.
Kyrie Garwood
Kyrie Garwood, Journalist
Kyrie is a junior at Community and is in her first semester on staff. When she's not at CHS you can probably find her at Pioneer where she dives, plays basketball, and plays softball. On the rare occasion, she's not at Pioneer she enjoys going to the movies with friends, playing Euchre, and working as a lifeguard at Vet's Pool. Kyrie is eager to write and share important stories about those in our community.

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