Metro Detroit girls swimming: Three teams, three individuals to watch this season

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Here are three teams and three individuals to watch for this season in girls swimming:



Northville finished last season as one of top five teams in the state and looks to repeat that, if not do better, this year.

“We got fifth last year and hoping to improve on that,” Northville coach Brian McNeff said. “I think we’re definitely one of the top five teams again this year. That’s a great goal and I think we can do that.”

Northville comes into this season with some of the best team depth in the state and looks to roll into states with one of the biggest rosters.

“Our depth is definitely our strength. We have 10 returning state swimmers and am looking to add about five to that.” McNeff said. “We have some top end talent… but we also have a lot of girls who will score in the bottom heat too. They can match our top talent but they can’t match our depth.”

The top-end talent on the Northville team is led by Katherine White, Emily Roden, Aoife Harkin and Ava Jurkiewicz. They are all expected to or already have state cuts in their events and McNeff points how hard the girls worked this offseason.

Birmingham Seaholm

Seaholm has won three straight Division 2 state championships and this season has a fourth in its sights. But it won’t come without some work, as a pretty prominent senior class left the program this summer.

“We probably graduated over a 100 points with our senior class from last season.” Seaholm coach Karl Hodgson said. “So we obviously have some holes to fill.”

The swimmers for this year’s team are talented enough to make noise again, and expectations haven’t waivered.

“So far we have six kids already qualified for state,” Hodgson explained. “Our weakness is our depth. Our top end is good but our depth is the weakness.”

The talent at the top is undeniable with this squad and it’s led by Samantha Clifford and Kelley Hasset.

“Clifford is defending champion in 100(M) Free and she was second in 200(M) free last year,” Hodgson said. “Kelley Hasset can swim anything. She’s great at any event high school swimming has to offer. The top end (of the team) we’re good.”

Seaholm also has diver Kate Ballard who the program is excited about for regionals later in the fall.

More: Michigan high school girls swimming rankings


Last season. Brighton finished as one of the best teams in the state with a top senior class. This year they look to fill the void left by that class and put together another competitive season.

“We lost a great senior class last year … we can’t really replace them. But the other girls that were part of that state team have really stepped up their training in the offseason to be better this year.” Brighton coach Jason Black said. “The next level girls have really stepped up, too, and trained hard over the summer.”

Two of the biggest returners for Brighton are Victoria Schreiber and Annika Geyer.

“We’ve really hit our stride with our distance freestyle,” Black said. “Last year the girls (Victoria and Annika) won it ‘1-2’. Victoria is trying to repeat what she did last year and Annika is going after it this year and training really well.”

Another big goal for the team this year is finding training that works for each athlete and making sure everyone is put in a position to accomplish their individual goals.

“Looking back and making sure the girls responded to the type of training we’ve been doing and they’ve gotten the results we were hoping for when we put together the season plan.” Black said. “It doesn’t really mean where we end up at state meet. What really matters is individually for each of the girls … that’s a successful season.”


Emily Roden, Northville

Roden has been one of the best swimmers in the state for almost her entire high school career, and this year looks to end on a high note.

“She won the state meet her freshman year,” McNeff said. “One of the top swimmers throughout her career.”

Expectations for Roden from herself and McNeff are high, but they’re always high. She looks to continue her progression at butterfly, and hopefully be at the top of another event as well.

“She’s always been one of the top swimmers in the state. Her goal is to win two events at the state meet and I think she can do that.” McNeff said. “So nothing has changed out of our expectations for her and it’s what we expect every year.”

Roden has committed to the University of Missouri.

“I think she’s going to have a lot of success,” McNeff explained. “She’s one of the top recruits going into Missouri and I think she’s going to improve there like she did every year here. I’m really excited about what she can do.”

Elizabeth Eichbrecht, West Bloomfield

Eichbrecht is one of the more fascinating swimmers to keep an eye on this season as she’s already winning events and putting up great times as a freshman.

“It’s been great having her as part of the team,” West Bloomfield coach Ronson Webster said. “And it’s been fantastic coaching her.”

Webster has been a coach of Eichbrecht for a while now dating back to well before high school. He has been very impressed with her growth as a swimmer and her success so early on isn’t a surprise to him.

“Ironically she wasn’t the best swimmer or the tallest swimmer when she was younger,” Webster explained. “So she’s always known that technique is the most important part of her swimming to make her so fast.”

McKenzie Siroky, Livonia Stevenson

Siroky made headlines last winter as a girl playing on the boys hockey team for Stevenson. Not only was she on the team, she was a forward that is committed to playing Division 1 hockey at Minnesota-Duluth after high school.

Siroky is not just a multiple-sport athlete, she does both at an elite level. This was highlighted last season when she set the state record for 100M Breaststroke.

“I think most of her strides through the start of the swim season have been mentally,” Livonia Stevenson coach Greg Phil said. “She’s pretty locked in.”

Siroky obviously wants to repeat as state champ in the 100M breaststroke event but has other goals for herself and the team as well.

“She wants our medley relay going under 46 (seconds) and setting another school record,” Phil said. “I think she’d like to go low 23 (second) in the 50(M) and she definitely wants to break a minute in the 100(M) breakstroke.”

Siroky is one of the best swimmers in the state, but after high school is committed to playing hockey.

“I know for sure that she’s going to play hockey in college.” Phil said. “We have talked briefly about going to the Olympic trials. We haven’t talked about it lately because right now we’re all high school … but I think because of her competitiveness she’d like to see where she falls nationally.”

“She’s a supergirl.” Phil said.

Scott Bentley is freelance writer.

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