Oakland County Swim Meet has familiar feeling as records fall, Mercy wins

WATERFORD — If the 2014 Oakland County swim and dive championships, held at Waterford Mott on Sunday, were a swimmer, they went out fast before settling into a familiar rhythm, but had enough in reserve for the extra kick to get to the wall.

Through two events, two new county records were set — Farmington Hills Mercy 200 yard medley relay team of Katie Minnich, Jensen Pecora, Alaina Skellett and Roxanne Griffore swam a 1:46.87, beating Birmingham Marian’s 2013 record while Marian senior Mollie Pulte broke her own record in the 200 freestyle with a 1:49.39.


Small in stature, Lerg making a big impact for Mercy

FARMINGTON HILLS – You can’t teach height. You also can’t teach heart.

Jenna Lerg isn’t your prototypical outside hitter, standings just 5-foot-6, but the Farmington Hills Mercy senior has still found a way to make an impact for the Marlins and place herself amongst the best in the state of Michigan.

“She is that small package that does everything,” Mercy coach Loretta Vogel said of Lerg. “She represents all the quality aspects of the game. She is a true leader for us at Mercy and works so well with the team.”

A natural libero that will be playing that position next fall at the University of Michigan, this year has required Lerg to play a variety of positions, mostly outside hitter.

Marlins overcome strong, persistent effort by Falcons

Farmington Hill Mercy got a glimpse as to what the re-aligned Catholic League Central Division is going to be like this volleyball season.

The Marlins can expect every match to be highly competitive, just like the one they played Thursday evening with Dearborn Divine Child.

Mercy won the division opener in three sets – 25-23, 25-22, 25-21 – but the visiting Falcons were in every one and fought hard all the way.

"I anticipate you'll see most of the games like that, where there's a lot of energy, a lot of enthusiasm," Mercy coach Loretta Vogel said. "You're going to see a lot of that competitiveness."

At your service: MHS celebrates Spirit Week by helping others

Eighteen Mercy High School students put aside their laptops and books for a few hours last Tuesday and picked up pruning shears, sponges and squeegies to demonstrate what community service means to them.

The group of freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors — led by their teacher Lynn Waldsmith — spent the morning freshening up the Dinan Home in Farmngton Hills, an "Angels' Place" group residence for developmentally disabled women. The effort was part of the school's annual Make a Difference Day, held during Mercy's Spirit Week.

"I think this is a really good opportunity to live out the Mercy values, with actual physical work, " said Rachel Wagner, MHS senior.

MHS junior Libby Lee agreed.

Marlins boast another powerful lineup of swim talent

Opposing coaches and people in the know see Farmington Hills Mercy as the team to beat once again in Division 1 girls swimming and diving.

The defending state champions have another talented team and are ranked No. 1 in the statewide poll of high school swim coaches.

It's a place the Marlins, who have won state titles in seven of the past eight years, are accustomed to being.

"It's nice to be respected by your adversaries, but I wouldn't put a whole lot of stock in anything tangible after that," Mercy coach Shannon Dunworth said.

"Based on recent history, they're going to select Mercy to be at the top, so we appreciate greatly the respect they show us. It's kinda looking at the past and not necessarily the present."

Making the ‘Pieta’ possible

Local Ukrainian artist’s forgotten design comes full circle

FARMINGTON HILLS — As a young man studying sculpture in Minsk more than 30 years ago, Sergei Mitrofanov was considering a design of the “Deposition of Christ,” also commonly known as the “Pieta.”

“That was the Soviet period of time in Russia,” explained Mitrofanov, who was born in Ukraine but today lives in Livonia. “The religious ideas (and other ideas) other than propaganda weren’t very popular at that time.”

Mitrofanov said his religious statue idea of Our Lady cradling her Son after his death on the cross, “wasn’t promoted by my supervisors and teachers,” but still, “I liked the composition.”

Mercy has outstanding start in 2014 volleyball season

If Farmington Hills Mercy continues on its current pace, the Marlins can anticipate 2014 being another outstanding year in the game of volleyball.

They already have established themselves as one of the top teams in the state and have the potential to do great things this season.

Mercy, ranked No. 2 in the latest coaches poll, has won three consecutive tournaments and compiled a 22-1-1 record to date.

The Marlins have won 18 straight matches since losing to Chelsea in the final round of the Ann Arbor Pioneer Invitational. Subsequently, they won tournaments at Lake Orion, Marian and Saline.

Oprah gives free tickets to Mercy High seniors for metro Detroit show

Oprah Winfrey has invited 222 seniors from Farmington Hills Mercy High School to attend her two-day “The Life You Want” extravaganza for free this weekend at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Mercy High senior Karli Winfrey, a distant cousin to Oprah, e-mailed her famous relative to invite her to speak at the 824-student, all-girls Catholic school. Instead, Oprah extended free tickets for the senior class, plus one adult guest each, to attend the event. The school’s staff also are invited.

Karli Winfrey, 17, said she sent an e-mail to Oprah’s staff two weeks ago and heard back from an assistant quickly that the invite would be passed on to Oprah.

Sister Pie Bakes Up Winning Recipe To Be $50K Hatch Winner

DETROIT (CBS Detroit) – Lisa Ludwinski has been baking since she was a child, making unique creations in professional kitchens and her own home.

Now, after winning  the 2014 Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest presented by the Detroit Lions Wednesday, she will be able to bring her hand-made, seasonal pies and cookies to a larger audience through her bakery Sister Pie.

“I am just so grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to be in such an amazing contest,” said Ludwinski, who credited the contest for focusing her dream for Sister Pie. “I have learned so much about what I want Sister Pie to be, and what it will continue to be when we open our  doors.”