Under Head Coach Tom Parks, the Rockford boys swim and dive team wasted no time getting down to business on Tuesday, Dec. 6, when they matched up against Byron Center in their first non-conference meet of the season, defeating them 114-72.
In the first event of the night, the 200-yard medley relay, this year’s senior captains Eric Chisholm, Josh Travis and Bryan Wasberg along with sophomore Craig Wasberg, slammed the wall in first place with a state-qualifying time of 1:40.51 seconds, almost five seconds ahead of the Dawgs’ second-place relay team.
With the majority of the Division I state cuts even tougher this year, the Rams swam with great perseverance as they captured five additional individual state-qualifying times after having only two weeks of practices under their belts. Chisholm seized first place in both the 50-yard and 100-yard free with Division I swims of 21.54 and 49.04 seconds. Junior Nick Willison also qualified for state with his first-place finish in the 100-yard backstroke (56.34). Brothers Bryan and Craig Wasberg claimed one apiece with their respective swims in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:02.01) and the 500-yard freestyle (4:54.44).
Both the top end speed and the depth of the Rams proved to be too much for the Dawgs as the night went on. The Rockford boys grabbed first in every event except one and swept the top three spots in the 100-yard fly (Travis, Timmer Hoffmeister, David Newberger), the 100-yard backstroke (Willison, Travis, Hoffmeister), and the 100-yard breaststroke (B. Wasberg, Trenten Babcock, and Dan Newberger).
Under the new head diving coach, Evan Betts, a former Grand Valley State University diver himself, the Ram divers dominated the Dawgs with their performances on Tuesday night. Returning sophomore diver Shane Phillips claimed first place with a final score of 201.15 points. Senior Devin Rittenhouse, a new student to Rockford High School this year, came in second with 188.50 points, while freshman Sam Lewis pulled in fourth with a score of 136.20.
The Rams’ next competition, the West Michigan Relays, takes place on Saturday, Dec. 17 at East Kentwood.