By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
The 1987 and 1988 Lower Peninsula Class A Finals were two of the most closely-contested in MHSAA Girls Swimming & Diving history. And after falling just short in 1987, Birmingham Groves edged the rest to win its first championship in the sport in 1988.
Groves scored 150 points in 1987 at Michigan State University's McCaffree Pool, just seven fewer than champion Ann Arbor Pioneer. But although individual butterfly champion Janet Caraher graduated the following spring, Groves took that last step up the podium at MSU the next fall with 117 points – six more than runner-up Birmingham Seaholm, 12 more than Midland Dow and 32 more than distant fourth-place Pioneer.
Groves was paced by a pair of champions: senior sprinter Laura Fischer won both the 50 and 100-yard freestyles after finishing second and fifth in those races, respectively, in 1987. Senior Becky Callam also improved from second in 1987 to first in diving after also winning the event at the 1986 Final. The team's swimmers were coached by Darin Abbasse and its divers by Dave Eddy.
The Falcons went on to win four straight Division 2 titles from 2003-06 under coach Chris Tennyson, and remain a power, finishing fourth in Division 2 last fall.
Click to read all of the names that go with the photo above.