Karlee Marsh is state champion

Mickey Alvarado

Tecumseh High School swimmer Karlee Marsh displays her award plaque, which includes the 100-yard freestyle state title medal. Photo by Mickey Alvarado.

Karlee Marsh won a Division 3 state championship in the 100-yard freestyle to highlight Tecumseh High School’s fifth place finish in the Michigan High School Athletic Association finals at Eastern Michigan University on Saturday, Nov. 21.
Marsh, a Tecumseh junior, placed first with a time of 51.80, almost two seconds ahead of Anna Kutschke of Manistee (53.36).
“It was exciting,” Marsh said of winning the title. “It was nerve-racking. It was kind of scary, actually.”
She was seeded number one going into the final 100-yard freestyle swim and felt the weight of the world on her shoulders.
“That put a lot of pressure on me,” she said. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, if I don’t come out first that doesn’t look good. It looks bad.’”
Instead of working against her, the pressure added motivation and ultimately led to the state title. She finished third in the same event last season with a time of 52.15 with Gabby Higgins of East Grand Rapids winning the title in 51.80. Marsh said she has chased Higgins for some time but East Grand Rapids moved to a higher division this year so she knew it was her opportunity to place first.
“I see her at a lot of big sectionals and meets like that and I’m always trying to beat her,” said Marsh. “But I haven’t been able to beat her yet. Hopefully, that’s a goal in the off season.”
Marsh improved with a second place finish in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:54.24. Last season she placed fifth in the event (1:55.81).
Riley Kishman of Grand Rapids Catholic Central placed first in the event with a time of 1:51.01.
Marsh has set a goal of winning the event next year as a senior. “I feel like the 200 has really improved this year after going 1:53 at SECs and having my best time at MISCA,” Marsh said. “I think that will definitely push me for next year.”
She has also set the goal of being named the most valuable swimmer of the state meet.
For now, Marsh is content to have helped promote the Tecumseh Community Pool as one of several athletes who have won state swimming and diving titles for the Indians.
“I think it just helps boost the pool’s credibility,” she said.
Tecumseh varsity girls swim coach Deb Followell was very excited to have placed fifth as a team and have Marsh win a state title.
“Our goal was fifth place so to have set the goal and achieve it was very exciting for the girls,” she said. “And to have a state champ, that was a goal, so, goal accomplished.”
She said she couldn’t be any more proud of Marsh, who’s a team captain this year.
“Karlee shows effort in and out of the water. She leads her team by example and cheers everybody on,” Followell said.
The Indians’ 200-yard medley relay team (Marsh, Alicia Dusseau, Ashlyn Clewis, Brynn Nevins) tied Cranbrook Kingswood for fourth place with a time of 1:52.33.
Tecumseh’s 400-yard freestyle relay team (Marsh, Dusseau, Clewis, Nevins) placed sixth with a time of 3:42.59.
Nevins placed seventh for Tecumseh in the 100-yard freestyle in 55.50 and eighth in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 25.32.
Dusseau placed 11th in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:10.44) and 15th for the Indians in the 200 IM (2:18.56).
Tecumseh’s Megan LaFollette placed 11th in one-meter diving with a score of 324.15. 
Allagan’s Erin Isola won the diving event with a score of 454.40.
Veda Massanari-Thatcher placed 18th in the 500-yard freestyle (5:33.99) preliminaries and 33rd for Tecumseh in the 200-yard freestyle (2:05.60) preliminaries.
Clewis placed 17th for Tecumseh in the 100-yard backstroke (1:03.18) preliminaries.
The Indians’ 200-yard freestyle relay team (Clewis, Emma Hoffman, Massanari-Thatcher, Kamill Linn) placed 28th (1:47.87) in the preliminaries.


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