Grafton swim team starts rebuilding after loss of five state qualifiers to graduation
It’s rebuilding time for the Grafton boys’ swimming and diving team.
Although the Black Hawks enjoyed their best season in recent memory with a series of record-setting performances and a sixth-place finish at the 2013 WIAA Division 2 state meet, they’re now feeling the impact of graduation.
Gone from last year’s senior-heavy lineup are standouts such as Al Nennig, Brad Kempka, Kieran Paddock, Ben Gosselin and Tyler Kish. Of the Hawks' seven individual state qualifiers last season, only two — divers Zach Greenwood and Killian Mielotz — are back.
“We graduated 13 seniors, the largest group I’ve ever had,” Grafton coach Mark Minz said. “We do have numbers, but there are a lot of freshmen and sophomores.”
The Hawks’ four letterwinners are seniors Greenwood and Mielotz and juniors Bailey Bodart and Michael Zager.
Greenwood placed fourth in his third state appearance last season, and Mielotz was 11th in his second state meet.
“I think they’re very motivated. As seniors, you can see a little extra intensity and focus in them,” Minz said.
Bodart, who swam on a state-qualifying 200-yard medley relay team last season, is Grafton’s top returning freestyle
sprinter. Zager will specialize in distance freestyle races.
“They’re our team captains. Both of them have worked hard in the off-season and improved their stroke technique,”
Grafton’s other top swimmers include juniors Sam Herlache, Adam Lusty, Zach Ryan and Andrew Ebel, sophomore
Max Jensen and freshmen Jack Senczyszyn, Adam Schacht and Charley Hanney. Minz said he also sees potential in
freshman diver Harry Niswonger.
“This is a rebuilding year for us, but I’m glad we’ve got the numbers we do,” Minz said of his 30 or so team
“We’re looking for good years from our divers and Bailey and Michael, and hopefully the new guys can fill in the
Minz expects defending champion Cedarburg to be a heavy favorite in the North Shore Conference, in which Grafton
placed third last season.
The Hawks opened their 2013-14 schedule Tuesday, Dec. 3, with a dual meet against Nicolet and will participate in
the Nicolet Sprint Invitational this Saturday at 9 a.m.
On Dec. 10, Grafton will host Homestead in a 6 p.m. conference meet.
Image Information: AMONG THE FOUR returning letterwinners on the Grafton boys’ swimming and diving team this season are (from left) Bailey Bodart and Michael Zager.