By Megan Kelley
Lake Orion’s girls swim and dive team traveled to Eastern Michigan University on Nov. 16 and Nov. 17 to compete in the MHSAA Division 1 Swimming and Diving State preliminaries and finals.
The girls swam some of their personal best times and placed 17th overall with a total of 46 points.
The team was made up of senior captains Claire Abbasse, Brooklyn DenOuden, Emily Diener, junior Olivia Cassise, sophomore Riley Sieber and freshmen Frannie Turner and Lauren Valentine.
Abbasse, Sieber, Diener and Cassise formed the 200 meter freestyle relay team and placed 15th in the state.
Abbasse, Sieber and Cassise were joined by Valentine in the 400 meter freestyle relay and placed 13th.
Abbasse finished second in the state in the 50 meter freestyle with a time of 23.14 seconds, and finished second place in the 100 meter freestyle at 49.97 seconds, a new Lake Orion High School record. Both times were National Automatic All-America times.
Abbasse made school history when she was also named to the All-State Michigan Dream Team for the 100 meter freestyle making her the first ever girls swimmer or diver from Lake Orion to receive this honor.
The team ended their regular season well, placing third overall in the OAA White division and had several all-league finalists including Valentine in the 200 meter freestyle, Abbasse in the 100 meter freestyle, and Abbasse, Valentine, Diener and Sieber in the 200 meter freestyle relay.
Additionally, Abbasse set two OAA White League records in the 50 meter freestyle and 100 meter freestyle.
“Our team goal was to battle in every event on any given day and the girls did that on a consistent basis. They learned how to compete and never give up,” said head coach Darin Abbasse. “I am extremely proud of all the girls achieving their team and individual goals.”