On Tuesday night, the Pioneer boys’ swimming and diving team showcased what an awesome program they have – and we aren’t even talking about the dominating win over visiting Ypsilanti or the team’s undefeated dual-meet record or the fact they are clearly one of the favorites to win the Division 1 State Finals later this month.
We are talking about how they celebrate one another and cherish every member of the team, regardless of time or place. Pioneer hosted Senior Night on Tuesday and did it in style. Let’s dive in!
Highlights of the Meet
- Cole Tremewan, Max Rolla-Mullis, and Gabe Mercier (above, L-R) formed a divers-only 200 freestyle relay with Mercier swimming both the first and last legs.
- Freshman Jensen Wood led the whole way through the 500 free, repeatedly splitting sub-30s, getting a larger and larger audience cheering as he finished in 4:52.54, dropping 6 seconds from last Thursday’s meet, and well under the state cut of 4:54.99.
- After finishing within a second of the 100 breaststroke state cut at multiple meets this season, Senior Sung-Jae Lee finished strong to earn his place on the state team with a 1:00.45.
- Pioneer coaches allowed the seniors to choose their own events. Most swimmers chose something fun to swim. “Fun” seemed to be defined as opposite to their usual events. Seniors Sammy Fonte, Jack Shemke and Anthony Gibbons, all middle distance swimmers, chose the distance event 500 free. Meanwhile, distance swimmer Cam Williston picked the sprints, 50 and 100 free. Jack Shemke, who would normally swim anything but the breaststroke, swam the breaststroke.
- Other seniors kept with their usual events. Captain Gabe Labadie swam the sprint freestyles, while Captain Matthew Segal swam the 200 free and 100 breaststroke.
- Liam Herbert, in his third year as a competitive swimmer, and Anthony Gibbons, a lifelong competitive swimmer who just returned to the sport after a 2 year hiatus, challenged each other to race the 100 fly. It was a close race with Gibbons finishing first of the pair in 58.74 and Herbert second with 59.96. The rivalry was beneficial to both of them: neither swimmer had ever broken a minute in the race before.
Honoring the seniors
The Senior Night festivities included toddler pictures and a senior picture of each athlete, fun facts about each of them, and a family picture in front of the Pioneer Swim & Dive banner. Pioneer also honored the lone Ypsilanti senior. The following was read by Brad Labadie during the ceremony:
Our first Pioneer senior tonight is diver Cole Tremewan. Cole is a four year diver with the Pioneer swim/dive team. He has also been involved with Legacy Diving Club. Cole’s favorite swim/dive team memory is sitting in the hot tub with the dive team. Cole is looking forward to attending college next year at the University of Illinois Chicago. He is joined this evening by his mother Christy Summers. Congratulations, Cole!
Next we welcome Senior Sammy Fonte. Sammy is a four year swimmer on the Pioneer swim/dive team and has been involved with several other swim clubs including Saline swim team, Vets swim team, and Club Wolverine. Sammy’s favorite swim team memory is drinking weird fruit juices after practice with the state team. While at Pioneer Sammy has also participated in Club Operation Smile and the Period Project. Next year in college, Sammy plans to pursue studies related to government and law. Tonight Sammy is joined by his parents Nancy and Paul Fonte. Congratulations, Sammy!
Next we have senior Anthony Gibbons. Anthony has been swimming on the Pioneer swim team for three years. He also swam for Club Wolverine. Anthony’s favorite memory from his time with the Pioneer swim team was winning the SEC meet his sophomore year. In addition to the swim team Anthony plays baseball at Pioneer. Anthony will be studying mechanical engineering at college next year. He is joined tonight by his parents Maria Suarez and Keith Gibbons. Congratulations, Anthony!
Now we welcome Pioneer senior Liam Herbert. Liam has been a part of the swim/dive team for 3 years. Liam’s favorite swim memory is “coming up from a good pump in the pit directed by Sir Jesse the Wise and seeing a glorious cinnamon bagel and chocolate milk.” During his high school career Liam has also participated in Pioneer freshman baseball and Pioneer water polo, where he is this year’s team captain. Liam is looking forward to attending either Michigan or Michigan State in the fall and is joined this evening by his father Steve Herbert and his mother Amparo Herbert. Congratulations, Liam!
Next we have senior Gabe Labadie. Gabe is one of Pioneers team captains and has been swimming with Pioneer for four years. He has also been involved with the Saline Swim team and Club Wolverine. Gabe’s favorite Pioneer swimming memory is at the end of last season when the entire State team carried all the hot tubs over to the diving well area and filled them up with bath bombs. In his time at Pioneer Gabe was part of the JV Water Polo team and he also co-founded the Pioneer anti-cyberbullying club while working to have it be part of the curriculum taught at Pioneer. He is also an avid Piñata maker. Gabe plans to attend college after graduation and is excited to determine where this coming spring. He is joined tonight by his parents Brad and Melissa Labadie. Congratulations, Gabe!
Now we welcome Pioneer senior Sung-jae Lee. Sung-jae has been a part of the Pioneer team for 4 years. He also swam for Club Wolverine, Saline Swim team and Travis Pointe Country Club. Sung-jae’s favorite Pioneer swimming memory is his freshman year when captain Adam Orringer rapped in the locker room. During his high school career Sung-jae has participated in Pioneer Tennis, Track and DECA, an association of marketing students at Pioneer. Sung-jae likes to read books and is looking forward to pursuing an English degree at college next year. He is joined this evening by his mother Eunjae Cheon and father Sungmin Lee. Congratulations, Sungjae!
Next we have Pioneer senior and one of the team captains Mathew Segal. Mathew is a four year swimmer with the Pioneer swim/dive team. He has also been involved with Huron Valley swim club, Slauson swim team, and Club Wolverine. Mathew’s favorite swim team memories are waking up early and getting ready for weights and seeing all of his teammates with smiles on their faces. While at Pioneer Mathew has also participated in the ping pong club and the Contemporary Politics and Current Events club. He also enjoys building wooden model ships and collecting fine writing utensils as well as doing deep sky astro-photography. Next year Mathew will be studying biomedical engineering at the University of Wisconsin and swimming for the Badgers. He is joined by his parents Kirsten and Jon Segal. Congratulations, Matthew!
Now we welcome Pioneer senior Jack Shemke. Jack has been a part of the Pioneer team for 4 years. He also swam for Club Wolverine and Huron Valley Swim Club. Jack’s favorite Pioneer swimming memory was his Freshman year when a group of swimmers went to Adam Orringer’s house and made a rap cypher. During his high school career Jack was also a member of the water polo team. A fun fact about Jack is that he has done all this swimming even though his arms don’t fully straighten. Jack is looking forward to attending college after graduation. He is joined tonight by his parents Amy and Dan Shemke. Congratulations, Jack!
Our final senior to honor tonight is captain, Cam Williston. Cam has been a member of the PHS swim team all four years of high school as well as a member of the Plymouth Canton Cruisers for 6 years and he spent a few months at Club Wolverine. His favorite memory on the team was hanging out with everyone while in the ice baths and hot tubs after practice. Cam is also a captain of the PHS water polo team. Cam can juggle and throw cards. He is still deciding which college admission to accept but he wants to study business or political science. He is joined by his parents Mike Blommer and Bethany Williston. Congratulations, Cam!
MAIN PHOTO OF SENIORS: By Nancy Fonte