Varsity boys swim shatters records and finishes fifth at states

In that moment of suspense and exhaustion as a swimmer turns to look at their time their face is an open book. Frustration, sadness, elation, surprise-all are easy to see as their eyes focus and the digits in front of them sink in. For senior Jackson Goethe, the only expression he had after his swims was one of happiness with his fist pumped in the air.

Goethe had an excellent end to his swimming career at DHS at the MHSAA Division II State Finals March 8-9. He placed first in both the 50 free and 100 free in 21.08 and 45.76, respectively. After prelims he was seeded first in both events and in finals he held his spot, improving on both times.

“Last year I won the 50 and it was a big deal for me and I took it too emotionally and got caught up in the win and wasn’t able to perform how I wanted to in the 100,” Goethe said. “This year I definitely went in with a more business-like attitude and took every race as itself.”

Goethe also broke the long standing 100 free record, held by Gabe Strickler.

“I didn’t think I was going to get the 100 but it was definitely a pleasant surprise,” Goethe said. “Gabe and I are pretty close and he used to coach me when I was little and he was in high school so it was definitely kind of a full circle kind of thing. It’s a very big deal, a big accomplishment for me.”

DHS placed fifth overall with 169 points behind Holland, Ann Arbor Pioneer, Birmingham Seaholm and Dexter. Four other school records were also broken including the 200 free relay and 400 free relay.

The 200 free relay of freshman Nehemiah Mork, senior Ben Martin, sophomore Zach Hoffman and Goethe placed second in 1:25.41. Mork, Martin and Hoffman all swam sub-22 second 50s while Goethe went a blazing 20.07 in his own leg, going a second faster than his individual time. The 400 free relay broke an eight year old record with their time of 3:06.95. Mork, senior Michael Pixton, Martin and Goethe finished second in this event to screaming stands.

“It’s a lot more pressure than [any other meet], a whole lot more exciting as well,” Mork said. “It’s a lot of fun, you have your team supporting you and the crowd helps get you pumped up as well.”

Pixton broke two school records from 2000 in the 200 free and 500 free. He placed fifth in the 200 free in 1:42.91 and ninth in the 500 Free with a time of 4:39.08. Joining him in the 500 free was freshman Kevin White who swam a 5:02.68 and finished 31st.

Despite suffering from the flu prior to the meet and having a rough time in prelims, Martin was able to pull it together in finals and placed ninth in the 200 IM in 1:55.80 though his time was good enough for fifth place if he had been in the top eight. He also placed 14th in the 100 fly, swimming a time of 53.57.

Mork had a great Finals meet for his first year on the team. He qualified for top eight in the 100 free with Goethe and placed seventh in finals with a 47.58. Instead of swimming a second individual event, he swam all three relays.

“We decided that that would probably score the most points for the team if we could get the 200 medley relay in top eight,” Mork said. “It would score a lot more points than me getting in the top eight individually.”

The 200 medley relay of Pixton, senior Connor Keilitz, Mork and Hoffman placed tenth in 1:39.24. Keilitz also swam the 100 breast, swimming a 1:03.87 and placing 27th. Hoffman swam the 200 IM with Martin in prelims though he didn’t make finals and finished 23rd with a 2:04.63. Freshman Nick Pixton swam the 100 back in 56.55 and placed 22nd.

Next year, Martin will be swimming for MSU and Goethe is swimming for U of M.

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Mary Noble

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