BIRMINGHAM — Dow High’s win in the final event, the 400-yard freestyle relay, capped off a 94-92 comeback win over Birmingham Groves in a clash of two ranked boys’ swim teams on Tuesday.
The sixth-ranked Chargers trailed by 10 points after seven of the 12 events, but wins by Kevin White in the 500 free (5:05.35), the 200 free relay team of Jacob Krzciok, Ben Brandstadt, Zach Fewkes, and Nehemiah Mork (1:31.18), and Nick Pixton in the 100 backstroke (56.02) put Dow ahead.
No. 3 Groves responded with Brenden French’s 100 yard breaststroke win (59.05) to tie the meet at 86-86 going into the 400 free relay.
In the 400 free relay, Dow’s team of Mork, Pixton, Fewkes, and Beau Matthews won with a time of 3:20.73, while White, Gage Bunker, Drew Hirselj, and Lucas Braganca took fourth place at 3:34.85 to help the Chargers seal the victory.
“It’s one of the best results of the year for us, because we had to come from behind,” said Dow coach Gary Strickler. “We didn’t get rattled despite being down 10 points with five events to go.
“There’s no better drama than a swim meet that comes down to the final touch (of the wall),” he added.
Winning other events for Dow were Mork (21.47) in the 50 free, Hunter Grannum (260.95 points) in diving, and Mork (52.38) in the 100 butterfly.
“We sent Nehemiah (Mork) off first (in the 400-yard freestyle relay), and he built a huge lead that the other guys were able to maintain,” Strickler said. “It’s nice to have a state champion lead off your relays and help build leads for you.”
Placing second for the Chargers were Pixton, Noah Behm, Brandstadt, and Krzciok (1:41.86) in the 200 medley relay, White (1:53.02) in the 200 free, and Krzciok (49.90) in the 100 free.
Dow’s third-place finishers were Matthews (1:53.60) in the 200 free, Jacob Pasek (172.80) in diving, Pixton (50.08) in the 100 free, Fewkes (5:11.15) in the 500 free, Braganca, Hirselj, Matthews, and Behm (1:36.38) in the 200 free relay, Alex Owens (1:00.00) in the 100 back, and Behm (1:02.47) in the 100 breast.
Taking fourth for the Chargers were Steve Xu, Ben Newman, Owens, and Bunker (1:44.42) in the 200 medley relay, Fewkes (1:53.85) in the 200 free, Behm (2:06.96) in the 200 individual medley, Brandstadt (23.94) in the 50 free, Bunker (57.36) in the 100 butterfly, and Newman (1:04.11) in the 100 breast.
Other winners for Groves were Robbie Hagner, French, Andrew Dagenais, and Cal Cerny (1:41.66) in the 200 medley relay, Grayson Wiggins (1:52.22) in the 200 free, Patrick Seidel (2:02.99) in the 200 medley, and Cerny (49.61) in the 100 free.