On February 22-24 at Grand Haven High School, Rockford competed against 5 other schools in the 2018 Boys OK Red Conference swim meet. The OK red is make up of; East Kentwood, Grand Haven, Grandville, Holland West Ottawa, Hudsonville, and Rockford.
On Feb. 22nd the Diving Prelims took place with 19 Divers participating. All three of the Rockford divers, Jaren Smigiel, Austin Hintz, and Josh Vickery went on to the finals which were held on Saturday. In the finals, the top 16 divers advanced. Finishing 5th was Jared Smigiel. 7th place went to Josh Vickery and in 9th place was Austin Hintz. All three divers then qualified for regionals.
On Feb. 23rd the swimming prelims took place with many Rockford swimmers posting a season best time. The top 24 swimmers in individual events advanced to the finals the next day with the top 16 eligible to score points for their teams and the top 8 in the final heat and competing for medals. In the relay races, the top 6 teams advanced to be eligible to score points in the finals.
In the 200 yard prelims, the team of Conner Dedert, Paul Sikkema, Jacob Newberger, and Jack Sikkema placed 1st dropping 1.5 seconds from their entry time. In the finals the following day, this same team dropped another 5.2 seconds for a season best 1:35.54 to actually break the conference and 15 year old pool record. However, that was only good enough for 2nd place as the team from West Ottawa outpaced Rockford to take 1st with the now new pool and conference record of 1:33.77.
In the 200 yard Freestyle prelims, Jack Sikkema placed 5th and Zach Burns placed 8th, both with a personal best to move on to the final heat. Logan Lovall placed and Ben Schuchardt both had a personal best and placed 20th and 22nd respectively to move on in the exhibition heats on Saturday. In the finals, Zach Burns dropped another 1.78 seconds to place 5th with Jack Sikkema placing 6th. Both have qualified to swim in the State meet on March 9,10.
In the 200 yard Individual Medley, Paul Sikkema had his personal best to place 6th and move on to the finals. Sean Martella dropped 2.72 seconds for his personal best and 13th place. In the finals, Paul Sikkema dropped 1.22 seconds for 7th place and his personal best and Sean Martella place 13th with his personal best.
The 50 Freestyle prelims saw three Rockford swimmers in the top 8. Kyle Arend placed 2nd with a personal best. Conner Dedert placed 5th. Spencer Nestle placed 6th with a State meet cut and his personal best time. Josh Corder placed tied for 15th. In the Finals, Kyle Arend dropped another ¼ second for 2nd place at 21.47, just .04 seconds behind first. Spencer Nestle swam another personal best at 22.10 for 6th and Conner Dedert placed 7th with a 22.23. All three swimmers move on to the state meet in this event.
In the 100 yard Butterfly prelims, Jacob Newberger dropped 1.37 seconds off his season best for not only 1st place but a new conference, Grand Haven pool and Rockford school record of 50.34. Josh Corder swam a personal best for 7th place. Colby Webster placed 13th and Gavin Saur swam his personal best for 14th place. Dwight Hua and Elijah Chino also swam their personal best for 20th and 21st place. In the finals, Jacob Newberger took home 1st place out distancing the second place finisher by almost 1.5 seconds. Josh Corder dropped another .83 seconds for 6th place. Colby Webster and Gavin Saur both had another personal best time for 10th and 11th respectively.
In the 100 yard Freestyle prelims, Jack Sikkema dropped a second for 4th place and his personal best. Kyle Arend also swam his personal best and 5th place. Spencer Nestle also swam a personal best and 7th place. In the finals, Jack Sikkema dropped another .16 seconds for 3rd place. Kyle Arend placed 5th and Spencer Nestle took 7th with a state cut time and his personal best.
In the 500 yard Freestyle prelims, Logan Lovall placed 12th. Logan placed 13th the next day in the finals.
In the 200 yard Freestyle relay prelims, the team of Conner Dedert, Spencer Nestle, Paul Sikkema, and Kyle Arend placed 1st. In the finals this same team dropped over 3 seconds off their prelim time to place 2nd in the event.
In the 100 yard Backstroke prelims, Rockford once again placed three swimmers in the top 8. Jacob Newberger placed 1st with a new Grand Haven Pool and Rockford school record of 51.21. Zach Burns dropped 1.8 seconds off his best time for 3rd place and his state cut time in the event. Conner Dedert placed 5th. James Bird swam a personal best for 10th place and Ben Schuchardt dropped 1.83 seconds off his season best for 17th place. Kyle Dedert dropped almost 2 seconds off his personal best for 23rd place. In the finals, Jacob Newberger improved on his school record by .11 but was just out touched at the end to place 2nd. Zach Burns continued to drop another ½ second for 3rd place and Conner Dedert moved up from the day before to place 4th. All three Rockford swimmers now move on to the state meet in the event.
In the 100 yard Breast stroke prelims, Paul Sikkema swam his personal best to take 4th place. Sean Martella dropped 1.9 seconds off his personal best for 5th place and his state cut time. Derek Zahnleuter dropped a second off his personal best for 11th place and Dwight Hua dropped 1.24 seconds for his personal best and 14th place. In the finals, Paul Sikkema equaled his time for the day before and placed 5th. Sean Martella placed 6th. Derek Zahnleuter placed 13th and Dwight Hua finished 14th.
In the 400 yard Freestyle relay prelims, the team of Jack Sikkema, Kyle Arend, Spencer Nestle, and Jacob Newberger finished 1st. In the finals, this same team had a season best time for 2nd in the event.
At the end of the conference meet, Rockford finished with a strong 2nd place, 62 points behind Div. 1 top ranked team in the state, Holland West Ottawa and 65 points ahead of 3rd place finisher, Hudsonville. Grand Haven finished 4th, Grandville finished 5th and East Kentwood finished 6th.
Congratulations to the following 6 Rockford swimmers who finished “All Conference” for the meet. Jacob Newberger, Kyle Arend, Zach Burns, Jack Sikkema, Conner Dedert, Paul Sikkema.