Rouleau rolls to fourth IM crown

MARQUETTE – Olivia Rouleau ended her high school swimming career on a positive note Saturday, earning a pair of the Upper Peninsula titles at the Marquette High School pool.

The Hancock High School senior captured the 200-yard individual medley race for the fourth consecutive year in a school-record two minutes, 20.28 seconds.

She also set a school record while winning 100 butterfly at 1:03.7, shattering the old mark by more than three seconds.

“It was a little stressful going after my fourth straight title in IM,” said Rouleau, who swims in a co-op program which includes student-athletes from Calumet and Jeffers. “But once I got into it, I was confident. I felt the rhythm. This is a great way to end my senior year and high school career.

“I definitely had a real good start in butterfly, although the last 50 yards is also the hardest. Much of it is so mental.”

The Marquette girls won for the 12th time in 13 years with 335 points. They were followed by defending champion Houghton 277 and Rudyard 195. Hancock-Jeffers-Calumet placed fifth at 105.

Marquette copped its first boys’ title in four years with 331 points, followed by defending champ Sault Ste. Marie 306, Kingsford 181 and Houghton 166.

Rouleau, who hopes to swim in college, also helped Hancock place fourth in the 400 freestyle relay and fifth in the 200 medley event.

“I’m looking for a college, although I’m undecided on where I’ll be going,” said Rouleau.

Houghton gained its lone first in diving on Friday when junior Lauren Jackson topped the standings with 166.95 points.

The Gremlins gained runner-up finishes from junior Sophie Witting in 100 butterfly (1:08.09) and 100 breaststroke (1:17.49). Witting also helped them place second in 200 freestyle relay and third in the 200 medley race.

“I think we had a couple girls who really stepped up,” said Houghton coach Roger Woods. “This was a real good experience for us. We got contributions from all four of our classes. We felt we had a chance coming in, but Marquette swam real well. We lost a lot of points from last year, which is kind of a reversal from last year. Although, runner-up isn’t too shabby against a tough opponent.”

Houghton senior Annika Wheeler placed third in 200 individual medley (2:37.2) and junior Hannah Gundlach took third in 500 freestyle (6:13.5).

Hancock-Jeffers-Calumet sophomore Hannah Heikkinen was third in 200 freestyle (2:17.77).

“Hancock did a nice job recruiting kids,” said Woods. “Their girls did a real nice job.”

The Sault boys started by taking the top three spots in Friday’s diving. Marquette, however, took first in all 11 swimming events on Saturday.

Senior Tony Lackey, junior Nate Rotundo and sophomore Sam Williams were four-event winners for the Redmen.

Houghton senior Drew Meyer was runner-up in 100 butterfly (58.69) and 500 freestyle (5:21.12) and helped the Gremlins take second in 200 freestyle relay and third in the 400 freestyle team event.

“We knew we were going to struggle in some events, but many kids swam personal-bests and got us some points,” said Woods.