Recognize Greater Detroit

Updated: January 14, 2009, 2:12 PM ET
ESPNRISE.com

Boys' Swimming - Ann Arbor Huron



It took every race, every swimmer and relay team, every point they could squeeze out, but Ann Arbor Huron's boys managed to come through with a big win over Pioneer for the Division 1 state championship last winter. It was a win that has been in the making for a few years. "We have had some really great leadership," coach Kelton Graham says. "Some of our guys got together and decided to change our program around, and it panned out for them." A group of swimmers, dissatisfied with the way the team was training, decided to start working harder and putting in more effort to make the team better. "These boys really wanted to change things," Graham says. It worked. Senior Michael Swain, who has his sights set on college and maybe even Olympic-level swimming someday, was one of those hard-working kids determined to make a difference. "He's always swimming," Graham says. "He's always in the water, looking for ways to get better." Patrick Richardson stepped up in his senior season as well and became one of the team's go-to swimmers. "He's come a long way," Graham says. "He's got a lot of fire. When he's ready to race, watch out." Senior John Gorine and juniors Keeley Maher, Michael Toner and Nick Clyde have also helped to build a great team at Huron. It's a team that thinks it can challenge for the crown again this spring. "We'll have to do better," Graham says. "Everyone is gunning for us."



Girls' Swimming - Birmingham Marian



With a margin of victory that eclipsed 100 points, the Mustangs toppled the competition at the Division 3 state swim meet to claim the crown on Nov. 22. Leading the way was senior Maria Donahue, who set a division record in the 500 freestyle en route to her individual crown. Both the 200 free and 400 free relays also earned wins, led by seniors Maggie Brabbins and Katie Pulte, junior Stephanie Berg, sophomores Molly Schaefer and Hayley Johnson and freshman Jaynie Pulte.



Boys' Soccer - Oakland Christian



Led by three players who earned All-State first team honors for their outstanding play, Oakland Christian claimed the Division 4 state title in a thrilling 1-0 victory over Muskegon Central Catholic on Nov. 1. Junior Chris Perrin, an All-State second team selection, scored the team's only goal, while senior goaltender Kramer Everett recorded 13 saves for the shutout. Everett, sophomore Caleb Stanko and senior Jacob Stanko made the All-State first team.



Girls' Golf - Birmingham Seaholm



It took senior Alexandra Lipa three playoff holes to finally claim her state title, edging two-time defending champion Liz Nagel of DeWitt. Lipa's medalist honors turned out to be the driving force behind her team's state title victory as well. The Maples edged Battle Creek Lakeview by 16 strokes, 707-723, to win the Division 2 state title on Oct. 18. Juniors Ali Restaino, Elyse Jackson and Sarah Norris and senior Brooke Sellis rounded out the title-winning team.



BREAK OUT TEAMS



BOYS' CROSS COUNTRY  LAKE ORION
Sean Bone, a junior, will contend for individual state title honors next year.

GIRLS' CROSS COUNTRY  BRIGHTON
Two freshmen  Elizabeth Kingshott and Lydia Bumann  are the future of the Bulldogs.

FOOTBALL  STERLING HEIGHTS STEVENSON
Junior D.J. Mershman's 21 touchdowns made him one of the most feared receivers in the state.

GIRLS'VOLLEYBALL  NORTH BRANCH
Sophomore setter Lauren Fish hopes to lead the Broncos back to the Class B semifinals.