Swimmers, divers head to state

Starr leads five swim events for Black Hawks; Port’s Theis leads quartet
By 
MITCH MAERSCH
Ozaukee Press staff

Port Washington High School is sending four divers and Grafton is sending two divers and four swimmers to the Division 2 state meet at the University of Wisconsin Natatorium on Friday.

Four Black Hawks qualified in a combined five swimming events, led by Ashwaubenon Sectional champion Nick Starr in the 100-yard butterfly. Starr swam the race in 52.98 seconds, nearly half a second faster than the second-place finisher.

The Hawks 200 medley relay team also won, albeit in bizarre fashion. The team of Gaven Depies, Starr, Trevor Bodart and Michael O’Connor swam a 1:41.62 to tie the Chilton Co-op. Both teams were awarded first place.

“The medley relay gave the fans a race to watch as they battled with (Chilton). I sure couldn’t believe my eyes looking up at the score board at the end to see a tie. Wow,” coach Kathy Seitz said.

The 400 freestyle relay team of Bodart, Depies, O’Connor and Starr took second in 3:23.67, three seconds off the pace.

Seitz used a bit of strategy to advance both teams.

“I did switch up a couple of what the guys swam so we could try to make it in two relays and we did,” she said.

“The 400 free relay is the one I knew was going to be more of a challenge but the same four boys rose to that challenge.”

Starr took second in the 200 individual medley in 1:59.54, less than half a second out of first.

Depies took second in the 100 backstroke in 57.76 to qualify.

The Hawks finished fourth in the sectional with 225 points. The hosts won with 286, followed by Cedarburg’s 283 and Plymouth’s 276. Port scored 139 points to take 10th of 11 teams.

“I was a little nervous about how they would do with all the missed practices the week before. The boys worked hard and stayed focused. Their work paid off. All who swam did season best times,” Seitz said.

Port’s Cale Theis took second in diving with 409.6 points to qualify, and teammate Garrett Friede was right behind in third place with 389.95 points.

Roger Schmidt took eighth with 323.65 points, and Dagan Daniels was 13th with 256.55 points.

Diving coach Dennis Hubert is especially impressed with Friede’s progress.

“This is only his second season diving, and he has made some spectacular improvements in just two high school seasons,” he said.

“He finished 13th last year at the state meet, and this year he heads into the state meet seeded fourth. He definitely wants to be on that medal stand.”

Friede’s teammate will provide support as well as competition. Theis was third at state last year and is seeded second this year.

“If he dives well, he can be in the mix for that top spot,” Hubert said.

Cedarburg’s Garrett Gonwa, another of Hubert’s divers, is seeded first after winning the sectional with 424.5 points.

Grafton’s Ben Niswonger took fourth with 359.3 points and Caden Starr 11th with 276.5 to qualify for state.

The Hawks had other swimmers rack up points but not qualify.

O’Connor was fifth in the 500 freestyle in 5:17.29 and seventh in the 200 freestyle in 1:55.53.

Depies was sixth in the 200 individual medley in 2:06.87. Bodart was seventh in the 50 freestyle in 23.43 and in the 100 freestyle in 50.74.

For the Pirates, Neil Tumey was sixth in the 100 backstroke in 1:01.84 and Alex Sharbuno was seventh in the 500 freestyle in 5:21.89.

“Everybody did great. They all dropped time and swam best times. I am happy with how they swam and proud of them for all the hard work they put in this season. It really paid off in the end,” coach Brittany Roecker said.

Seitz said another disjointed week of practices doesn’t help in preparing for state, but everyone is in the same boat.

“I’m looking forward to good things on Friday. The team has all put in a lot of hard work that I hope pays off, especially from Nick Starr. He’ll be shaved and rested this week,” she said.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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