The Elite Eight

The biggest story of the Bejing Olympics was Michael Phelps winning eight gold medals. Albion’s swimming teams adopted the magic number by breaking eight school records at the MIAA finals over the weekend. For the Britons, men’s swimming finished fifth while the Lady Brits took sixth place.

“My biggest surprise was how many records we broke,” said Rachel Restum, East Lansing first-year. “We were really hoping to break the 800-free relay, but on top of that we broke so many more records.”

The women’s 800-free relay included: Restum; Maggie Honeyman, Ann Arbor sophomore; Brittany Wiese, Oakland senior; and Caroline Dobbins, Albion first-year. Honeyman and Wiese also broke the school record for the 400-medley relay, along with Nicki Rockentine, Bloomfield Hills sophomore, and Allison Vial, Farmington sophomore.

“Our team showed up to swim this year,” Honeyman said. “I think we really proved that we are rebuilding.”

Last season, the Lady Brits also finished sixth at the MIAA finals, but this year, the team finished with 301 points compared to 2008’s 150 points.

Adding to the record breaking, Ashley Collins, Saginaw sophomore, set two school records in the 100 and 200 breaststroke.

“I was really proud of how people stepped it up and really put everything they had into their races,” Collins said. “Everyone was really supportive and was constantly cheering for one another.”

In diving, Emily Magyar, Globes junior, placed second in the 3-meter and third in the 1-meter.

“I failed a dive in the preliminary round and still ended up seventh out of 18,” Magyar said. “I made it into finals and was able to make an unbelievable comeback to third place.”

In all, the women broke six school records, with the men adding two more.

The Britons finished fourth in the men’s 200 free relay with a time of 1:26.23. The fourth place finish set a school record by Geoff Keyes, Taylor sophomore; Zakk Havens, Albion junior; and Ryan Gunderson, Grosse Pointe senior; and Matt Witkos, Macomb first-year.

“I didn’t honestly expect to break any records while I was swimming at Albion,” Havens said. “But once we realized that the 200 free relay record was within reach, we all felt obligated to go after it. It’s a good feeling to know that your name will be seen by all the future swim teams to come until the record is broken again.”

Earlier in the season, Haven’s relay teammate, Gunderson, broke records in the 100-meter freestyle and the 50-meter freestyle. At the MIAA finals, Gunderson broke his own school record in the 50-meter freestyle. Gunderson lowered his time to 20.69 seconds.

Not to be out done, for the second year in a row, Ty Lattimore, Grosse Pointe Farms junior, was named Most Valuable diver after he won both the 1-meter diving and the 3-meter diving.

“I was very proud of the way the team swam and dove,” said head coach Keith Havens.

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