Rhianna Hensler swam her way into first place during the MHSAA Girls Swim & Dive Division 3 State Championships at Holland Aquatic Center, Nov. 18-19.
Hensler, a Clarkston resident and freshman at Notre Dame Prep in Pontiac, finished with a time of 56.21 in the 100-yard butterfly and became state champion in the event.
She also set a new state record in Division 3 as well as a new record at Notre Dame Prep. She beat the previous record by over four seconds.
“It was very surprising,” Hensler said. “I swam my best time at the county meet in October with a time of 57.86, and came here hoping to swim in the high 57s. I ended up going in the low 56s. To win a state title and set the record is very special.”
Going into the meet she was seeded second in the 100-yard butterfly.
“It was a very exciting race,” said Terry Hensler. “With only 3/100ths seconds separating her and the second place finish. Pretty unusual for a freshman to win the state title, so we are super proud of Rhianna’s hard work and dedication.”
During the state championship, Rhianna also placed 11th in the 200-yard IM in her other individual events. With her two relay teams in the 200-yard medley relay and 400-yard freestyle relay placed 15th and 14th.
Her goal going into the state meet was to swim her best time in all her events.
Rhianna began swimming when she was 8-years-old with the Clarkston Sea Wolves. She swims for Liquid Lightning in Lake Orion when she is not swimming with Notre Dame Prep.
Her teammate, Julia Nellis, who is also a Clarkston resident and a junior at Notre Dame Prep, earned All-State honors with her eighth place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke.
Notre Dame Prep finished in 13th place overall out of the 31 high school teams competing during the state championship. The team is coached by Shawn Kornoelje and assistant coach Jaime Badhorn.