South senior Gabby DeLoof, seated center, signed her letter-of-intent to swim for the University of Michigan's women's team in November. Joining her in the celebration were parents, Richard DeLoof, seated left, and mother, Patty DeLoof, seated right; and younger sisters, Jackie DeLoof, standing left, and Catie DeLoof, standing right. photo by Renee Landuyt.
March 20, 2014Grosse Pointe South senior Gabby DeLoof had several top-notch universities recruiting her to swim.
Big Ten schools Purdue, Wisconsin, Indiana, The Ohio State, Northwestern and the University of Michigan, joined ACC member Florida State.
After visiting the schools, coaches and swimmers, the 17-year-old DeLoof chose to stay close to home and swim on the same team as her older sister, Ali, the University of Michigan.
"It's a great opportunity to be on the same college team with my sister and enjoy my college experience at a great school with great coaches and competitors," Gabby DeLoof said.
According to the UM swimming website, DeLoof is listed as the No. 2 ranked recruit in Michigan. She focuses on freestyle and backstroke while competing for Grosse Pointe South and Pointe Aquatics. DeLoof clocked career bests of 51.63 in the 100-yard freestyle, 55.95 in the 100-yard backstroke and 1:59.04 in the 200-yard backstroke.
She helped Grosse Pointe to a third-place finish at the 2012 Michigan state championship while earning two All-State accolates.
She competed at the 2013 USA Swimming Junior National Championships and at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.
Gabby's sister, Ali, has made waves at UM. The sophomore recently broke a four-year-old school record and became the first University of Michigan women's swimmer to clock a sub 53-second 100-yard backstroke when she touched at 52.95 on day two of the U.S. Winter National Championships held at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville, Tenn.
Since beginning to swim at age 3, Gabby DeLoof has lived by these words, "The water is your friend. You don't have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move." Aleksandr Popov.
Her parents, Richard and Patty DeLoof, taught all their children, Ali, Gabby, Catie and Jackie, how to swim before they advanced to the park for improved stroke technique and competitive swimming with coach, Fred Michalik, at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club.
At the age of 7, Gabby started swimming under the direction of Michalik.
It is he whom she credits her style, stroke and technique.
He has been not only a great coach, but also a guide, support and friend, and has become faily to her and the rest of the DeLoof household," said Patty DeLoof.
Gabby has been in the pool practicing for thousands of hours, including some tough ones with Pointe Aquatics coach, Mike O'Connor. It was O'Connor who helped Gabby attain qualifying times for the Olympic Time Trials.
The 2012 Time Trials were in Omaha, Nebraska and this has been the highlight of Gabby's swimming career.
Besides achieving Olympic time trial cuts, Gabby was also named All-American during her freshman, sophomore and junior years of high school. During her senior year, she was named scholastic All-American by USA Swimming.
As a junior on the Blue Devils' swim team, she earned All-State in the 200-yard medley relay, 200-yard individual medley, 100-yard backstroke and 400-yard freestyle relay.
As a sophomore with the Blue Devils, Gabby earned All-State in the 200-medley relay, 200-individual medley, 100-backstroke and 400-freestyle.
Her freshman year as a Blue Devils, Gabby made All-State in the 200-medley relay, 200-IM, 100-backstroke and 400-freestyle relay.
Gabby is also a serious student, earning a 3.9 grade point average.
She is interested in pursuing a career in the sports marketing field or as an agent.