Avery LeTourneau leads swim and dive team to 10th place finish at state meet


Over the weekend, the swim and dive team competed at the division two state meet at Jenison High School. Competing against over 40 teams, the Rangers tied for tenth with 72 points along with Grosse Pointe North. 31 of those 72 points came from senior captain Avery LeTourneau from exceptional performances in multiple events.

On Friday night, the team’s two divers competed in their last diving events of the season. Placing seventh was junior Cole Hysong with 400.1 points for the evening. Following close behind was junior Will Becker with 222.85 points, placing 18th.

“I was super happy with seventh [place] because I medaled and got all state,” Cole said.

Starting the swimming portion of the meet off strong on Saturday, the Rangers went a best time in their 200 medley relay. The team of freshman Reed Dixon, junior Benji Zorn, Avery LeTourneau, and sophomore Ben Rogala swam a time of 1:36.50, earning them a seventh place finish in the event.

Swimming in the next event was Avery again. The 200 freestyle has been one of his best events all season, and he proved that to be true when his time of 1:43.84 placed him in eighth. 

Ben Rogala also had a pretty eventful meet; not only was he in the 200 medley relay mentioned above, but he competed in some other freestyle events as well. In the 50 freestyle, Rogala tied for 23rd, with a rapid time of 22.56. He also swam in the 100 freestyle, swimming a time of 49.78 which placed him 25th in the state.

Later in the meet came the most exciting part: a first place finish from Avery in the 100 fly. Just touching out many of his opponents, Avery won the event and became a state champion with a time of 49.85.

I’m very proud of how Avery took on the race that he’s worked on for the past 4 years and accomplished a personal goal of being an event champion,” head coach Dennis Neat said. “He watched former teammates win [Henry Schutte] which only motivated him to be the best. Avery worked on learning and improving the details of how to be the best swimmer.” 

“It felt amazing to see more than four years of hard work result in something that can’t ever be taken away from me. Records will eventually fall, but state titles last forever,” said Avery after his huge accomplishment.

Reed Dixon was fast enough to make an appearance at the state meet as a freshman, competing in two relays and two individual events. Reed placed 17th in the 500 freestyle by dropping almost three seconds and swimming a time of 4:58.91. Dixon also swam in the 100 backstroke and went a 57.50, putting him at 34th place.

Another relay team consisting of sophomore Gavin Cai, Benji Zorn, junior Roman Kalaczinski, and sophomore Isaac Stewart competed in the 200 freestyle relay. This team swam another best time and went 1:30.80, placing 17th in that event.

In the 100 breast, the Rangers had two athletes participating. Benji Zorn had an incredible swim, dropping over two seconds with a time of 59.68 and placing 12th in the event. Finishing at 1:03.31 was Gavin Cai, placing 29th in the event.

Finally, in the last event, the Rangers placed tenth, solidifying their overall placement. The 400 freestyle relay team of Avery LeTourneau, Isaac Steart, Reed Dixon, and Ben Rogala swam a best time of 3:15.71.  With that time, the Rangers beat the previous FHC record by .20.

The state meet last year was canceled just the night before due to Covid-19, so the team was very grateful to have been able to compete this year.

“I’m excited that we were able to compete this weekend unlike last year,” Neat said. “Even days before, we knew that this meet could also be taken away and that was mostly due to contact tracing, but there are also injuries, illness that could have stopped anyone from competing.”