Saline Swim and Dive Finishes Third at D1 State Finals

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A small but mighty Saline girls’ swim and dive team pulled off the surprise of the weekend by finishing third at the Division 1 state finals at Oakland University Saturday.

The Hornets qualified nine with six swimmers and three divers participating and by D1 standards that is a small team.

Even though the six swimmers qualified in multiple events, coach Todd Brunty had each of his swimmers swim in one event so they all could compete in the three relays. Swimmers can compete in up to 4 events at the finals.

The move paid off for Brunty and the Hornets as the Saline swimmers all came away with strong individual finishes and the relay teams excelled at the Finals.

Saline was outside the top 10 in the final rankings, but the strong showing moved the Hornets all the way to the third-place finish with 174 points. SEC rival Ann Arbor Pioneer won its fourth straight D1 state title with 322 points.

The Saline divers had a huge day led by Alice English who won the diving state title with a score of 419.90. The state title comes one year after English was runner-up at the D1 state finals.

The Hornets also had two more all-state divers with Lindi Jenkins finishing fifth and Ava Turner sixth to give Saline 47 points in the event.

Five of the six swimmers qualified for Saturday’s finals after a strong day in the preliminaries Friday. Of the five three earned individual all-state honors and two of the three relays were all-state.

Nani Sanna led the way with a third-place finish in the 500 free by dropping 1.17 off her qualifying time and finishing in 4:58.99.

Megan Socha cut .15 off her qualifying time to finish 4th
in 1:06.65 in the 100 breast. Ellerie Brunty dropped 1:35 off her time and finished 9th in the 100 breast for the Hornets.

The 200 free relay team of Sam Bullard, Socha, Joann Oyemba, and Sanna placed fourth to earn all-state honors.

Bullard was 5th in the 100 fly and part of the 400 free relay that finished 7th along with Sanna, Oyemba, and Socha.

Sanna, Brunty, Bullard, and Socha opened the meet with a 9th-place finish in the 200 medley relay and Ana Sirbu was 16th in the 500 free for Saline. Oyemba would finish 26th in the 50 free for the Hornets.

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