Source: MI Prep Zone
Author: Marvin Goodwin
With new coach Mike Venos taking over for recently retired Shannon Dunworth, Farmington Hills Mercy’s girls swimming team will have a new look this season. But the Marlins will still be formidable. With 11 straight Oakland County titles and a third-place finish at last year’s D1 state meet, Mercy’s resume is intimidating. To be sure, it will take a mighty effort from area teams to topple the Marlins, but a host of teams will try.
1. FARMINGTON MERCY — The Marlins will once again be the team to beat in Oakland County with an assortment of experienced returnees from a crew of more than 50 swimmers and divers. “Our strengths lie in our depth,” said Venos. “We are a pretty strong dual meet team, but have some holes to fill before we can be considered a top championship caliber team.”
Even so, senior Alaina Skellet, last year’s D1 state runnerup in the 100 butterfly and a third-place finisher in the 100 backstroke, is back to score more points. Kendall Goit, Katie Minnich, Mya Loniewski and diver Alexa Rybick, all juniors, will also contribute, along with sophomore Annette Dombkowski, a sixth-place finisher in the 500 freestyle at state.
Skellet, Minnich, Dombkowski and Allie Lobbia all swam on the state champion 200 medley relay last year.
Indeed, the Marlins, with talent and experience, are ready to dive into the season. “We have a number of talented freshmen who will be able to contribute … but it’s still early (and) we’re all still figuring out where the best fit for all will be,” said Venos, who has boldly taken over the reins as new coach. “At Mercy, new coach or not, the expectations are still the same. We know if we work hard and stay focused on the things that are in our control, we will walk out of November as a successful team.”