ALL-NORTH OAKLAND AREA BOYS SWIMMING: These tankers left quite a wake

| May 12, 2014 | Comments (0)




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Here’s a statistic for you. Boys swimming and diving is one of the only sports where schools from the coverage area of have never won a team state championship.

What does that mean? Well, it certainly doesn’t mean that there isn’t any talent coming from area schools each year. It’s to the contrary.

Again this season, legions of swimmers, divers and relay teams showcased their talents at the league, county, MISCA and state meets and several came away with high medals during the championship season.

Two local teams finished in the top-20 and two more in the top-30 at the three state meets, while those same four schools also finished in the top-20 at the Oakland County meet with two placing in the top 10.

From those schools and several other teams came a boatload of success stories and those can be found on the 2014 All-North Oakland Area Boys Swimming & Diving Team, selected by NOS staff. There was no problems filling in the slots.

Like in past years, athletes were allowed to only one first-team event, minus relays, and athletes on the first team in open events were removed from the second team and honorable mentions. Athletes not on the first team in open events were eligible for multiple second team and honorable mention slots.

Below are the profiles of the first-team honorees and their accomplishments this season:


200 MEDLEY RELAY: DJ SEEDS-DEVON NOWICKI-JACK ANGUS-CRAIG MATOLA, Lake Orion: This foursome cranked up an 11th-place finish (1:37.68) at the Division 1 state finals to conclude the season. This unit was also the OAA White Division champion and placed fourth at the Oakland County meet. Seeds and Matola are seniors while Nowicki and Angus are juniors.

200 FREESTYLE: CHRISTIAN LIDDIARD, Rochester Adams: A junior in his third varsity campaign, Liddiard placed third at the OAA White Division meet with a season-best effort of 1:48.91. He also placed 21st at the Division 2 state finals in the 200 free. In the 500 free, Liddiard also placed third at the league meet (4:54.28), 13th at the county and 20th at the state finals.

200 IM: BLAKE KNIFFEN, Rochester Adams: With the Highlanders back on the rise with many talented non-seniors, this sophomore was part of that core group and posted several notable finishes in various events this year. In the 200 IM, he was third at the OAA White Division meet (2:06.05) and 30th at the D-2 state finals. He was also fifth at the league meet in the 100 butterfly (56.50) and rotated on the three relays as well.

50 FREESTYLE: DALTON POKLEY, Clarkston: While his older brother Brandon Pokley starred on the basketball court, this junior is a rising star in the pool. Pokley was second in the 50 free at the OAA Red Division league meet, placed seventh at the county and 10th at the state finals (21.68). Pokley was also third in the 100 butterfly at the county and placed sixth at the D-1 state finals (51.68) in the same event.

DIVING: JOE ZENDEJAS, Clarkston: Although injured and unable to compete at the regional and D-1 state finals, Zendejas was the most accomplished diver in the area this winter. He was the Oakland County champion and was tops at the OAA Red Division league meet (398.85 points).

100 BUTTERFLY: TROY CHEN, Troy: This senior rotated his talents to multiple open events and relays this season and was the Colts’ top point-scorer overall. In the 100 fly, Chen was fourth at the county, first at the OAA Red Division and placed 10th at the Division 1 state finals (51.68). In the 200 IM, he was the county runner-up, won the OAA-Red meet and finished seventh at state (1:54.14).

100 FREESTYLE: BEN WALLING, Rochester Adams: A junior, Walling was a clutch performer in his signature event, placing eighth at the county, first at the OAA White Division league meet (47.73) and 13th at the Division 2 state finals. In the 50 free, he was also the league champion, placed 12th at the county and 22nd at the state finals (22.17).

500 FREESTYLE: DEVON NOWICKI, Lake Orion: Another versatile swimmer who competed in multiple events this season, Nowicki’s best event was the 500 free. He emerged as the OAA White Division champion, placed second at the county and was sixth at the Division 1 state finals (4:39.48). Nowicki also starred in the 200 free, touching first at the league meet and ninth at the state finals (1:41.61).

200 FREESTYLE RELAY: DALTON POKLEY-ISAAC KEER-CHRISTIAN KEER-MATTHEW CULVER, Clarkston: With all four of these standouts set to return next season, they combined for some solid efforts in this relay in 2014 to set the table for next year. Together, this unit rang up a ninth-place finish at the county, placed fifth at the OAA Red Division league meet (1:31.24) and finished 22nd at the D-1 state finals. Pokley and Christian Keer are juniors while Culver and Isaac Culver are sophomores.

100 BACKSTROKE: ZACHARY CHEN, Troy: The second Chen brother to earn first-team status, this junior raced to the league championship (52.67) in the 100 backstroke and was also fourth at the county and eighth at the D-1 state meet. In the 200 IM, he was fifth at the county and 10th at the state meet (1:55.01).

100 BREASTSTROKE: CRAIG MAROLA, Lake Orion: Matola emerged as the area’s best in the breaststroke this season, placing at a variety of events. He won the title at the OAA White Division meet, placed 12th at the county and 13th at the D-1 state meet (1:00.40).

400 FREESTYLE RELAY: DEVON NOWICKI-CRAIG MATOLA-BRENDAN FOXLEE-DJ SEEDS, Lake Orion: Although they missed out on points at the D-1 state finals by just one position after finishing 17th, they were still OAA White Division champions (3:17.39) and also placed 10th at the county. All are seniors except Nowicki.


TOM BUCKHEIM, Troy: The Colts were one of the better teams in Oakland County this season with a team of very few seniors. Buckheim guided this team to a 5-3 overall record, including 3-2 in the OAA Red Division. Troy was also eighth at the Oakland County meet (115 points), fourth at the OAA Red Division league meet (281 points) and a respectable 20th at the Division 1 state finals (37 points).



200 Medley Relay:        DJ Seeds                 Lake Orion
200 Medley Relay:        Devon Nowicki            Lake Orion
200 Medley Relay:        Jack Angus               Lake Orion
200 Medley Relay:        Craig Matola             Lake Orion
200 Freestyle:           Christian Liddiard       Rochester Adams
200 IM:                  Blake Kniffen            Rochester Adams
50 Freestyle:            Dalton Pokley            Clarkston
Diving:                  Joe Zendejas             Clarkston
100 Butterfly:           Troy Chen                Troy
100 Freestyle:           Ben Walling              Rochester Adams
500 Freestyle:           Devon Nowicki            Lake Orion
200 Freestyle Relay:     Dalton Pokley            Clarkston
200 Freestyle Relay:     Isaac Keer               Clarkston
200 Freestyle Relay:     Christian Keer           Clarkston
200 Freestyle Relay:     Matthew Culver           Clarkston
100 Backstroke:          Zachary Chen             Troy
100 Breaststroke:        Craig Marola             Lake Orion
400 Freestyle Relay:     Devon Nowicki            Lake Orion
400 Freestyle Relay:     Brendan Foxlee           Lake Orion
400 Freestyle Relay:     Craig Matola             Lake Orion
400 Freestyle Relay:     DJ Seeds                 Lake Orion
Tom Buckheim             Troy                     First Season

200 Medley Relay: Troy (Colin Murphy, fr.; Zachary Chen, jr.; Troy 
Chen, sr.; Spencer Barlow, jr.); 200 Freestyle: Matthew Culver,
Clarkston soph.; 200 IM: James Nelson, Clarkston sr.; 50 Freestyle:
Aidan Shurig, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep soph.; Diving: Griffin Olis, 
Troy Athens soph.; 100 Butterfly: Jack Angus, Lake Orion jr.; 100
Freestyle: Blake Hibdon, Oxford sr.; 500 Freestyle: Cheyne Stresky,
Oxford jr.; 200 Freestyle Relay: Troy (Spencer Barlow, jr.; Eric Jin,
jr.; Larry Wu, jr.; Nachiket Deshpande, soph.); 100 Backstroke: DJ
Seeds, Lake Orion sr.; 100 Breaststroke: Andrew Coburn, Rochester
Adams jr.; 400 Freestyle Relay: Troy (Troy Chen, sr.; Spencer Barlow,
jr.; Colin Murphy, fr.; Zachary Chen, jr.).
200 Medley Relay: Clarkston (Ryan Geisler, sr.; Christian Keer, jr.;
Dalton Pokley, jr.; Isaac Keer, soph.); Rochester Adams (Dominic
Moceri, jr.; Andrew Coburn, jr.; Blake Kniffen, soph.; Daniel Carinak,
sr.); Oxford (Cheyne Stresky, jr.; Chad Sebreber, jr.; Erick Vandecar,
sr.; Sean Terry, soph.); Pontiac Notre Dame Prep (Peter McNellis, 
soph.; Carl Wacker, fr.; Kal Barawi, sr.; Aidan Cullen, soph.); 
Rochester (Curran Moffitt, jr.; Gabi Collins, soph.; Jim Schuler, 
sr.; Parker Jones, soph.); 200 Freestyle: Colin Murphy, fr.; Cheyne
Stresky, Oxford jr.; Andy Oh, Rochester Adams jr.; Richard Yang, 
Rochester Adams jr.; 200 IM: Jim Schuler, Rochester sr.; Drew 
Vassilakos, Clarkston soph.; Phillip An, Troy sr.; Eroch Lala,
Troy fr.; Peyton Molzahn, Holly jr.; Erick Vandecar, Oxford sr.;
Austin Xu, Rochester Adams jr.; PJ Perry, Rochester Adams jr.;
Ian Flowers, Rochester Adams soph.; Jack Angus, Lake Orion jr.;
Joe Pongras, Troy Athens fr.; 50 Freestyle: Blake Hibdon, Oxford
sr.; Parker Jones, Rochester soph.; David Keer, Clarkston sr.;
Spencer Barlow, Troy jr.; Colin Richardson, Rochester Stoney Creek
soph.; Chris Parone, Rochester Stoney Creek sr.; Austin Cummings, 
Ortonville Brandon jr.; Diving: David Thiede, Troy soph.; Jared 
Tasch, Oxford jr.; Andrew Builbert, Troy Athens sr.; Marco 
Campagiorni, Oxford sr.; Mitch stencil, Lake Orion jr.; Max Burton,
Rochester Adams jr.; Adam Polosky, Rochester Adams jr.; Tom O’Connor,
Holly sr.; Bryce Kuehl, Ortonville Brandon jr.; Colby Green, Troy 
fr.; 100 Butterfly: Kevin You, Troy jr.; Mitch McLouth, Clarkston
sr.; Victor Wang, Rochester Adams jr.; Larry Wu, Troy jr.; Josh
Exum, Troy soph.; Ian Flowers, Rochester Adamssoph.; Scott Mitchell,
Rochester Stoney Creek soph.; Sean Terry, Oxford soph.;
100 Freestyle: Parker Jones, Rochester soph.; Adam Schurig,
Pontiac Notre Dame Prep soph.; Chris Panone, Rochester Stoney 
Creek sr.; Brendan Foxlee, Lake Orion sr.; Daniel Carniak, 
Rochester Adams sr.; Colton Richardson, Rochester Stoney Creek
soph.; 500 Freestyle: Matthew Culver, Clarkston soph.; Andy Oh,
Rochester Adams jr.; Curren Moffitt, Rochester jr.; Shane Ciora,
Lake Orion jr.; 200 Freestyle Relay: Rochester Adams (Ben Walling,
jr.; Brett Larson, soph.; Austin Xu, jr.; Daniel Carinak, sr.); 
Pontiac Notre Dame Prep (Aiden Cullen, sr.; Logan Brown, jr.; 
Domenic Tatum, jr.; Aidan Schurig, soph.); Auburn Hills Avondale
(Christian Nault, sr.; Jim Boyce, sr.; Brad Rucca, sr.; Connor O’Hara,
sr.); Rochester (Parker Jones, soph.; Derek Kepezynski, fr.; Gabe
Collins, soph.; Sam Sturbi, soph.; Lake Orion (Names not available);
Rochester Stoney Creek (Colton Richardson, soph.; Chris Panone, 
sr.; Scott Mitchell, soph.; Andrew Stolarkuk, soph.); Oxford (Names
not available); Rochester Adams (Names not available); 100 
Backstroke: Cheyne Stresky, Oxford jr.; Colin Murphy, Troy fr.; 
Peyton Molzahn, Holly jr.; Christian Nault, Auburn Hills Avondale 
sr.; Ryan Geisler, Clarkston sr.; Chris Oprea, Troy fr.; Phillip 
An, Troy sr.; DJ Perry, Rochester Adams jr.; Avery Womack, Lake 
Orion fr.; 100 Breaststroke: James Nelson, Clarkston sr.; Mitch 
Tozer, Clarkston sr.; Josh Exum, Troy soph.; Christian Keer, 
Clarkston jr.; Victor Wang, Troy soph.; Andrew Britton, Troy Athens
jr.; Kevin Chang, Rochester Adams sr.; Austin Xu, Rochester Adams
jr.; Joey Woodman, Rochester Adams soph.; 400 Freestyle Relay:
Rochester Adams (Christian Liddiard, jr.; Andy Oh, jr.; Richard
Yang, soph.; Ben Walling, jr.); Pontiac Notre Dame Prep (Domenic 
Tatum, jr.; Aidan Cullen, sr.; Logan Brown, sr.; Aidan Schurig, 
soph.); Rochester Stoney Creek (Scott Mitchell, soph.; Chris
Panone sr.; Colton Richardson, soph.; Nic Varede, sr.); Oxford
(Names not available); Clarkston (Matthew Culver, soph.; Drew 
Vassilakos, soph.; Ryan Geisler, sr.; Isaac Keer, soph.).






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