KLAA Conference Swim and Dive meet calls for broken records and personal bests

Brighton High School hosts the third annual KLAA Conference meet where pool records are broken, swimmers get their best times, and state cuts are made


Natalie Stafford

After the first event of the meet, Gabby Mainhardt (10), Abbey Burchfield (10) and Jillian Cox (10) stand behind the blocks before the 200 freestyle. The sophomores pump each other up and get excited for their first race of the meet.

Natalie Stafford, Co-Editor in Chief

The KLAA Girls Swim and Dive Conference meet started with the East and West Divisions having separate prelims meets held on Thursday, Nov. 7. The West division was held at Novi High School and the East at Belleville High School. Each of the 16 teams got 40 entries, and from these, only the top 24 swimmers made it back to the finals on Saturday, Nov. 9. 

From the Thursday preliminary meet, 17 swimmers were eligible to compete on Saturday at their home pool. 

The KLAA Conference Meet is the most important meet for the majority of the BHS girls swim and dive team. And for most senior captains on the team, their last races were swam on either Thursday and Saturday. 

Natalie Stafford
Behind the starting block of lane two fixing her cap as she gets ready for her first race of the day, the 200 individual medley while the first heat is swimming.

“I am going to give it my all because it’s my last race ever,” Senior Jillian Gray said after warming up with the team. “I’ve been swimming for 10 years, and I’m excited to move on, but I will miss swimming.” Gray competed in the 200 individual medley, where she swam a 2.20.00 and came in 14th place. She also competed in the 500 freestyle where she swam her personal best of 5.22.19 and came in 11th place. 

In both of her individual events, sophomore Drue Thielking broke two pool records along with earning first place in each of them. Thielking broke the 200 individual medley record with a time of 2:06.02. The sophomore also broke the record for the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:04.40.

Sophomore Ania Bodyl competed in four events, two individual and two relays. The sophomore qualified for the state meet in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1.00.47, and came in fourth place in the KLAA conference. “This meet is going to be very beneficial because we’re competing against some of the best teams in the state, and they are going to be who we race against at state meet,” Bodyl said. 

Natalie Stafford
Reaching an open turn in the 200 individual medley, Jillian Gray (12) swims breaststroke while her teammates, friends, and coach cheer her on. Gray swam in heat two out of three and came in 14th place in the conference with a time of 2.20.00.

Diving took place on Friday Nov. 8 at 5:00 p.m., again at the Brighton High School Natatorium. The diving requirements were 11 perfected dives. After completing their nine first dives, the top 16 divers would move on to compete their other three dives on Saturday. Junior Sydney Haubenstricker and sophomore Libby Stafford were the Brighton divers at this meet. 

Brighton placed third in the conference with 594.5 points, following Novi with 851 points with Northville in first point with a total of 932 points. “It didn’t matter how we placed, as long as we worked together as a team and had fun,” said sophomore Gabby Mainhardt.