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Stelpflug secures spot at state finals

January 26, 2011 - Birmingham Groves beat Clarkston in easy fashion Thursday night 74-115, however, senior Ken Stelpflug once again qualifies for Division I time by an incredible 12 seconds in the 500 meter freestyle.

Stelpflug has made states in both his sophomore and junior years for the same race, so to him, it was nothing special.

"Before a race, we try to psych each other up to get prepared for the event," said Stelpflug.

During every event, swimmers not participating in the race cheered their fellow teammates until the very end, even if they came in last to show how close of a team they were.

Another highlight of the night for Clarkston was their freshman diver Joey Zendejas, brother of state champion Jordan Zendejas.

Divers take part in six rounds where they total up all their scores for each round.

After the second or third round, Zendajas was virtually a round ahead of his opposition for the rest of the competition.

Joey's older brother Jordan currently holds the school record for diving.

"My brother taught me most of my techniques, and someday I hope to break the school record," said Joey.

Even with Zendajas and Stelpflug racking up dominating victories, Clarkston couldn't get many more points out of the rest of their team.

Though, captain Stelpflug is a senior this year, the swim team looks promising for years to come.

They have all but four swimmers returning next year including future four-year swimmers in Kyle Inch, Patrick Bemis and Steven Nelson.

"We have to focus on each event, and use our experience to our advantage," said junior Kyle Inch.

While it seems swimming is not usually the first sport of choice for athletes in Clarkston, the people dedicated to the sport can certainly make it a good choice for anyone who tries it.

The Wolves competed against Walled Lake Northern on Tuesday and head to Lake Orion on Saturday.

The boys last meet is next Tuesday at Royal Oak as they get ready for Oakland County Meet, Feb. 4 and 5.

Nick Loomis, senior at Clarkston High School, is son of Sandy and Jeff Houle is a 17-year-old, pursuing a career as a sports journalist. After graduating this June, he plans on attending Central Michigan University where he hopes to get a degree in journalism.
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