Performance: Chelsea's Joey Mangner
Performance: Chelsea's Joey Mangner
Boys Swim & Dive
Posted Friday, March 3, 2017

Joey Mangner
Chelsea senior - Swimming & Diving

Chelsea’s standout senior will next weekend cap a career that’s seen him win two MHSAA championships – with an opportunity to at least double that total in his final meet. Mangner swam the fastest 50-yard freestyle time in Michigan this winter (20.78 seconds) to win the race at Saturday’s Southeastern Conference White championship meet and was part of three more victories and four school records total to earn the Michigan Army National Guard’s “Performance of the Week.”

Mangner also won the 100 freestyle (46.50) and swam on winning 200 medley (1:35.59) and 400 freestyle (3:12.10) relays as Chelsea finished second to Dexter, the reigning MHSAA champion in Lower Peninsula Division 2. Chelsea is ranked No. 3 in LPD3 and finished third last season, and Mangner has played a significant part in helping the program rise over his four seasons. He’s an eight-time conference champion and as a freshman helped the Bulldogs to their first league title since 1995. He’s an 11-time all-stater, with individual titles in the 50 as a sophomore and as anchor of the medley relay last season. He’s also earned All-America status in both of those events and is part of five Chelsea pool records in addition to the four school bests.

But Mangner still has plenty he’d like to achieve next weekend at the Holland Aquatic Center. In addition to team goals, he’s focused again on his best event – Mangner was disqualified from the 50 last season for a false start and after entering the championship heat as the top seed, and his time from Saturday’s SEC meet would tie the LPD3 Finals record. He intends to swim collegiately next season and likely will choose between Oakland University and University at Buffalo, with a course of study to be determined.

Coach Dave Jolly said: Joey is an extremely gifted young man. He has the ability to do some of the most amazing things in the water. What is even more special is how humble he has stayed throughout all his acclaim. He is all about his team and watching them all be successful. It has been a true honor and privilege to have had the opportunity to work with him over these past four years.” 

Performance Point: “Out biggest rival was Dexter, in conference at least, and we knew they had a lot more depth than us, a lot more people, and we knew it would be hard to compete team-wise and scoring wise,” Mangner said of the league meet. “Going especially into my senior year, with all the other seniors, we wanted to do the best we could. It’s probably one of my favorite meets. At the state meet level it’s more about being super serious, super on. This (league meet), being at home, knowing the teams close to us, it’s more of a fun meet, for me at least. I was trying to have as much fun as I could have with it and finish off the league as best I could.”

Redemption: “When I think about last year, there was a lot of pressure on me. I had won the 50 (as) a sophomore, and coming back junior year as the defending champ, I had all the pressure. I was seeded first, and everyone was kinda expecting me to win, and then that (false start) happened. Going into this year, I can’t do anything that isn’t better than last year, and that takes a little weight off my shoulders.”

Chelsea’s climb: “It just shows if you just try hard, try your best at something, you can do whatever you want to achieve. In the offseason, I didn’t swim as much as other guys did – I still practiced, but I didn’t go to every single meet – so it’s just exciting to be one of the better swimmers to come out of Chelsea.” 

Play them all: “I did water polo all four years as well, and I tried track my sophomore year but I didn’t like that too much. (But) I like to play pretty much any sport. If basketball season wasn’t the same as swim season, I definitely would’ve given basketball a try, and I also think baseball is fun.”

Dream Finals finish: “It definitely would be fun to win the medley again. Coming back from last year, I’d hopefully love to be champion in the 50 free. I’m looking at the 100 (free) more so for getting the varsity record; I’m not too worried what place I get in the 100. One of our relays, the 200 or 400 free, we’re going to stack on them and go for a state (LP Division 3) record. For the 50 I’ve tied the D3 record, so I would love to get that.”

- Geoff Kimmerly, Second Half editor

Every week during the 2016-17 school year, Second Half and the Michigan National Guard will recognize a “Performance of the Week" from among the MHSAA's 750 member high schools.

The Michigan Army National Guard provides trained and ready forces in support of the National Military Strategy, and responds as needed to state, local, and regional emergencies to ensure peace, order, and public safety. The Guard adds value to our communities through continuous interaction. National Guard soldiers are part of the local community. Guardsmen typically train one weekend per month and two weeks in the summer. This training maintains readiness when needed, be it either to defend our nation's freedom or protect lives and property of Michigan citizens during a local natural disaster. 

Previous 2016-17 honorees:
Feb. 23: Isabelle Nguyen, Grosse Pointe North gymnastics – Read
Feb. 16: Dakota Hurbis, Saline swimming & diving – Read
Feb. 2: Foster Loyer, Clarkston basketball Read
Jan. 26: Nick Jenkins, Detroit Catholic Central wrestling – Read
Jan. 19: Eileene Naniseni, Mancelona basketball Read
Jan. 12: Rory Anderson, Calumet hockey – Read
Dec. 15: Demetri Martin, Big Rapids basketball Read
Dec. 1: Rodney Hall, Detroit Cass Tech football Read
Nov. 24: Ally Cummings, Novi volleyball Read
Nov. 17: Chloe Idoni, Fenton volleyball Read
Nov. 10: Adelyn Ackley, Hart cross country Read
Nov. 3: Casey Kirkbride, Mattawan soccer – Read
Oct. 27: Colton Yesney, Negaunee cross country Read
Oct. 20: Varun Shanker, Midland Dow tennis Read
Oct. 13: Anne Forsyth, Ann Arbor Pioneer cross country – Read
Oct. 6: Shuaib Aljabaly, Coldwater cross country – Read
Sept. 29: Taylor Seaman, Brighton swimming & diving – Read
Sept. 22: Maggie Farrell, Battle Creek Lakeview cross country – Read
Sept. 15: Franki Strefling, Buchanan volleyball – Read
Sept. 8: Noah Jacobs, Corunna cross country – Read

PHOTOS: (Top) Chelsea's Joey Mangner celebrates finishing first in the 50 freestyle at the Lower Peninsula Division 3 Finals in 2015. (Middle) Mangner prepares to launch for the final leg of the 200 medley relay at last season's Finals. (Click to see more at


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