Dow's Roberson, Krzciok earn All-State; Chargers 10th as a team

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Dow High’s Ella Roberson earned All-State accolades in three different events at Saturday’s Division 2 girls’ swimming and diving finals hosted by Oakland University.

Roberson, a junior freestyle specialist, finished third in the 500-yard freestyle final with a time of 5:02.69, while Angelina Baker of Portage Northern won the event at 4:54.97. Roberson took fourth in the 200 freestyle final with a time of 1:52.37, while Portage Northern’s Hannah Williams won the event at 1:50.28. Roberson teamed with Chloe Stafford, Lauren Burgard, and Emmy Sower to place sixth in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:49.31, while Birmingham Seaholm won the event at 1:45.33.

“I think the highlight race for Ella was the 200 free. It was awesome, because she didn’t have much rest between the 200 medley relay and the 200 free, and that can be tough,” noted Dow coach Chilly Smith. “But she actually swam her lifetime best (in the 200 final), so that made that race very special. Plus, she moved up a spot to fourth. She finished the season really strong.”

Collectively, the Chargers finished 10th out of 32 teams with 87 points. Seaholm won the team championship with 314.5 points, while Grosse Pointe South was second (241) and Grand Rapids Northview third (191).

Also earning All-State honors by finishing in the top eight was Dow junior Emily Krzciok, who placed eighth in 1-meter diving with a final score of 332.50, while Dexter’s Lily Witte won the event at 503.55.

“Emily was 12th after the first cut and then 10th after (the semifinals), and then her last three dives (in Saturday’s final) were very, very good dives, and that got her up to eighth for All-State, so she was very happy,” said Smith. “Diving is sort of like gymnastics in that it comes down to just moving on to the next dive, and the person who stays even-keeled is going to do well.

“Once you do your dive, you forget about that dive and move on to the next one. She had to work her way up, and her goal was to get All-State, and she accomplished that,” he added. “I’m very proud of her.”

Dow’s 400 freestyle relay team of Sower, Stafford, Emily Thackery, and Roberson narrowly missed earning All-State honors but took first in the consolation heat to finish ninth overall with a time of 3:39.03, while Seaholm won the event at 3:29.43.

Also competing in a consolation heat for the Chargers on Saturday, Stafford finished 16th overall in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:00.81, while Ann Arbor Skyline’s Lily Cleason won the event at 55.77.

“Chloe did fine. She was a couple of tenths lower than in the prelims, but she was still right around her best time. She did extremely well,” said Smith. “It takes a lot out of you, being there for two straight days, and you get there at 9 a.m. and then finally swim your backstroke about six hours later. To be close to a lifetime best after almost seven hours at the pool takes a lot of mental toughness and being in great shape.”

Smith added that watching his 400 free relay win the consolation heat was “a heck of a way to end our season.”

“It was just awesome to finish the meet off with our season-best time (in the 400 free relay),” he noted. “By winning that (heat), that got us to 10th place overall, which was one of our goals. I’m very, very pleased. Today was really just about a perfect day.”