Bodart, O’Connor wins lead GHS boys to Madison; Nosko will represent Pirates
A near-miss didn’t keep members of the Grafton boys’ swimming and diving squad from celebrating after a WIAA Division 2 sectional meet in Plymouth last Saturday.
Although the Black Hawks fell just short of a team championship, they knew they will be well-represented in this week’s state finals.
Bailey Bodart and Sean O’Connor each won two events for a state-qualifying Grafton group that includes six individual performances and three relays.
Bodart, a junior, raced to first place in the 50-yard freestyle (21.69 seconds) and 100-yard freestyle (48.57). The 100-freestyle time broke his own team record.
O’Connor, a sophomore, won the 200 freestyle (1:48.09) and 100 butterfly (53.77).
“They both swam well. We’ve been tapering them for the state meet, so hopefully they’ll have even better times there,” said Grafton coach Mark Minz, whose team scored 359 points, just 12 behind first-place Plymouth’s 371.
“As a team, I thought we did the best we could in this meet.”
The Hawks’ other state-bound individual efforts also came from sophomores: a first by Jack Senczyszyn in the 100 breaststroke (a season-best 1:01.44) and a fourth by Tony Hauer in diving (287.65 points).
Grafton’s state-worthy relay finishes were firsts by the 200 medley team of Charley Hanney, Senczyszyn, O’Connor and Adam Schacht (1:43.41) and 400 freestyle team of Hanney, Jake Herlache, O’Connor and Bodart (3:23.88) and a second by the 200 freestyle team of Senczyszyn, Herlache, Schacht and Bodart (1:32.25).
Port Washington had one state-qualifying performance at the meet. Senior J.B. Nosko advanced in the 500 freestyle with a third-place, personal-best time of 5:07.57.
Nosko is the first Port boy to advance to a WIAA state swimming meet since Alex Mehre qualified in the butterfly in 2012.
Port coach Melissa Hoogester was impressed with Nosko’s effort, which was well under the state-qualifying cutoff time of 5:11.73.
“I think he’s been a great leader for us this year,” she said. “He’s worked really hard and has been a great motivator for the guys.”
Grafton fell short of the team title despite winning seven of the meet’s 12 events. Helping give Plymouth the final edge was a 20-point advantage in diving.
Despite Senczyszyn’s win, Plymouth also outscored the Hawks in the breaststroke by having three top-seven finishes.
“We were up after 10 events, but Plymouth overtook us in the breaststroke,” Minz said.
Chilton/Brillion/Valders was third in the 12-team field with 249 points, and Port was fourth with 221.
Rounding out the field were Kiel/Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah in fifth with 197 points, followed by Brown Deer/University School (169), Brookfield Academy (169), St. John’s Northwest/University Lake (135), Wayland Academy (96), Beaver Dam (57), Berlin/Green Lake (52) and Two Rivers/Roncalli (51).
Bodart heads into this Friday’s Division 2 state meet at the University of Wisconsin-Natatorium in Madison with the fastest-qualifying time in the 50 freestyle. He placed second in the event at state last year.
Bodart has the second-fastest qualifying time in the 100 freestyle, setting the stage for a shot at two individual titles.
“Bailey can handle the pressure. He has the focus and talent to do it,” Minz said.
On Saturday, Bodart capped the day by swimming a 46-second anchor leg to give the 400 freestyle relay its win, Minz noted.
O’Connor, who moved to Grafton from Tennessee after his freshman year, has been a quiet, hard-working leader for the Hawks all season and should also hold his own in Madison, Minz said.
Senczyszyn returns to state in the breaststroke for the second straight year after placing seventh last season.
Hauer will be making his inaugural state appearance in his first year of competitive diving.
“The one thing I can say about him is that he’s pretty consistent,” Minz said.
“He rarely messes up a dive, and I think he’s going to keep getting better.”
Grafton’s other top-10 sectional finishes were a second by Senczyszyn in the 200 individual medley (2:09.79), third by Schacht in the individual medley (2:17.03), fourth by Schacht in the 100 freestyle (51.96), fifth by Hanney in the 100 backstroke (1:03.38), sixths by Herlache in the 200 freestyle (1:58.37) and Hanney in the 500 freestyle (5:34.22) and sevenths by Herlache in the 100 freestyle (53.63) and Harry Niswonger in diving (218.8 points).
The Hawks bettered their third-place finish in last year’s sectional meet.
Port’s other top-10 individual finishes were a fourth by Nosko in the backstroke (1:02.02), sixth by Will Schanen in the individual medley (2:26.45), sevenths by Max Noll in the individual medley (2:33.6) and backstroke (1:08.27), eighths by Ian Tyree in the 500 freestyle (5:43.13) and Will Schanen in the breaststroke (1:12.77), ninths by Charles DeMerit in the 50 freestyle (24.99) and 100 freestyle (55.08) and Christian LaCosse in the butterfly (1:02.88) and breaststroke (1:14.69) and Graeme Biskobing in the backstroke (1:11.66).
In relay races, the Pirates got a fourth from the medley team of Nosko, Schanen, LaCosse and DeMerit (1:54.51), fifth from the 400 freestyle team of Nosko, Biskobing, Tyree and DeMerit (3:45.65) and ninth from the 200 freestyle team of Biskobing, Noll, Schanen and Jack Walch (1:47.56).
Port matched its fourth-place team finish in the sectional last year.
The Division 2 state meet will begin with diving at 2:30 p.m., followed by swimming at 6:30 p.m.
Minz expects a strong effort from his team in its season finale.
“A top-10 finish would be a nice goal for us,” he said. “And on a good day, we could creep into the middle of that group.”
GRAFTON’S BAILEY BODART won the 50 and 100-yard freestyle races at a Division 2 sectional meet last Saturday. Photo by Bill Schanen IV