Zoë Michos is a competitor. She’s a hard worker and has raced – and more times than not – beaten the clock from the first time she jumped in a swimming pool when she was just 7 years old.
The Dexter senior swimmer understands the individual aspect of competitive swimming. But there is more to it than racing against the clock – and it’s the other part of competitive swimming that really gets Michos all splashed up. The Dreadnaughts are a family. And that’s where the water hits the road for this 17-year-old swimmer, team captain, leader, cheerleader, friend and, yes, sister.
“I think that Dexter has been so good in swimming over the years because not only do we have talent, we have great sportsmanship and also go above and beyond to support each other,” she says. “There has been a long legacy of swimming at DHS and that has attracted a lot of swimmers to the team. I regularly hear from new freshmen that they are having the time of their lives as part of the team – it’s fun to watch their excitement.”
One of those younger swimmers having the time of their life is Alena Michos, now a sophomore at Dexter and the sister of the team’s captain.
“We are very close,” says Zoë. “We obviously have swam together for a long time. We have a lot of the same friends and are supportive of each other. She has a great sense of humor and adds a lot to the team.”
That support, like Zoë says, is so important in high school athletics, especially where there also is an individual component. And helping keep at least one eye on t-e-a-m is the c-o-a-c-h.
Coach (Cory) Bergen adds to the strength of the team with his positive energy and support of every swimmer,” Michos says. “And having Murphy Hansen as assistant coach this year has been a great help with such a big team. Everyone loves her. Adrienne Woods was the assistant coach both my freshman and sophomore years and we all looked up to her. She made great contributions to the team.
Michos also has made some great contributions to the team over the years. It all started with her “amazing” freshman year.
“I immediately fell in love with the team and it was incredible how all of the upperclassmen immediately took me under their wing,” she says. “I made the state team that year in the 100 breaststroke at my last opportunity and got the exact time I needed. There was a lot of cheering from the rest of the team when I got the cut, it was such a special experience for me.”
Despite having only a small group of qualifiers that year, Dexter still finished second in the state.
During her sophomore year, the team was restocked with a pool full of talented freshman. Michos again qualified in the 100 breaststroke and made it to finals. She also swam on the medley relay which finished fifth in the state.
“This meet was in Holland and it was fun to travel with the team,” she says. “We came in second in the state again, behind East Grand Rapids which had just moved into our division that year. Strong seniors really helped us score.”
Michos said last year “flew by with a lot of extracurricular activities.”
The Dreadnaughts had lost some strong seniors from the year before but still managed to keep their SEC title and stay on top. Michos swam the 200 IM all season and improved on that event during the season.
“We had a smaller group at states at Oakland, but everyone who was there worked hard and did great,” she says.
Which brings us to this season, Michos’ senior year and her last lap with the Dexter High School swimming and diving team. And, as you would expect, she loves talking about and supporting her team.
“We had another big freshman class come up this year and they have a lot of talent,” she says. “They are very sweet and fun. As a captain, I have had the opportunity to get to know everyone on the team very well. We are a big team but there is a lot of positive energy and there are lots of swimmers and divers that are doing amazing things already.
“We are using our depth of talent to win at all of our league meets. Our divers are really strong this year and have been sweeping several meets, taking the top three spots.”
The team’s first goal is to keep their SEC champion title streak going – now over 20 years and going (Dread) strong. “We are still building our state team and hope to have a good number of swimmers and divers there so that we can hopefully place in the top four.”
Individually, Michos hopes to keep dropping time in the 100 breaststroke and 200 IM. “I hope to continue to contribute to our team’s scores,” she says. “I am really enjoying the role of captain and doing what I can to build up other members of our team.”
Zoë Michos, the daughter of Sharron and Demetrios Michos, also excels on dry land – especially in the classroom where she has a 4.2778 (weighted) GPA. If you take the weight off it’s still a “heavy” 4.0. She also plays flute in marching band and Symphonic band.
Michos would love to keep swimming in college because, well, you know why.
“I enjoy being part of a team,” she says. “I’m not sure where I want to go yet but I’ve been talking with former teammates who are swimming in college and having a great experience.”
And great experiences is what life – in and out of the water – is all about.