by DENISE WEBB
Rockford Head Coach Tom Parks was all smiles at the end of his first swim/dive meet of the season not because Rockford won 115-61 against Byron Center, but because of how well the men performed both as a team and individually.
“We graduated last year some very fast swimmers with impressive state times,” said Parks. “I was concerned as to how those spots would be filled. If the results of this meet are any indication of how the rest of the season plays out, I’ll be very pleased.”
During this meet, there were many accomplishments. Rockford took first place in every event. Also, senior Derik Bothma swam a state-qualifying time of 49.99 in the 100-yard freestyle. Moreover, 13 swimmers and two divers fulfilled their varsity letter requirements, including freshmen Mike Arend, Trenten Babcock and Nick Willison.
Diving coach Marc VanDyken was also pleased with the outcome of this first meet. Senior diver Tyler Johnson and junior diver Kurt Plaggemars both scored personal bests, 212.40 and 188.65, respectively.
“Kurt and Tyler have both worked very hard, and it has obviously paid off,” said VanDyken. “Tyler placed 14th at state last year and is looking to make his senior year his best.”
The Rams’ next meet will be at Rockford on Tuesday, Dec. 15, at 6:30 p.m. against Grand Haven.