Andrew Bleeker

Rams swim past Zeeland

January 27, 2011 // 0 Comments

Over the last two weeks, the Rockford swim and dive team have proven that they will be a tough contender at the end-of-season championship meets. The Rams continued their OK Red dual meet winning streak by defeating the Jenison Wildcats 215-100 on January 13, and then by dominating the Grand Haven Buccaneers 193-116 on January 20. However, the true test for the Rams came about at Zeeland’s home pool when Rockford paired up against Zeeland for an out-of-conference dual meet on Saturday, Jan. 22. The Rams surprised the talented Zeeland team—who have not lost a dual meet in their OK Green conference yet this season—by outscoring them 110-76. Zeeland, who is currently ranked fourth in the state behind third-ranked Rockford, did not give the Rams an inch as the teams battled back and forth in every event. Rockford set the tone from the first event, the 200-yard medley relay, by swimming their fastest times yet this season while grabbing first and third. The first-place 200-yard medley relay team of Craig Wasberg, Bryan Wasberg, Ben Fredrickson and Jeff Schmitt clocked a best time of 1:38.77, with third-place Rams, Nick Willison, Jared Martella, Josh Travis and Eric Chisholm, swimming a solid 1:42.11. Rockford continued to show a lot of heart and determination, as Mike Arend seized the top spot in the 200-yard freestyle with his first state-qualifying time of the season (1:48.90), edging out Zeelands’ Sam Borgman (1:49.87). Trenton Babcock of Rockford came in third with 1:51.09. However, Zeeland turned the tables in the 200-yard IM event, with Dylan Zwiers placing first (2:00.13) and Christian Otteman picking up third (2:06.04). B. Wasberg placed second with a time of 2:01.99. Rockford gained some ground in the 50-yard free when Rockford’s Chisholm pulled out an impressive first-place finish of 21.99, followed by Chad Stears of Zeeland in second (22.63), Fredrickson of Rockford in third (23.39), and Harrison Webb of Rockford in fourth (23.69). After the 50-yard free event, the Rams were ahead 37-25. The Rockford divers knew they faced a tough challenge going into the meet, as Zeeland is home to one of the best divers in the state of Michigan. As expected, Zeeland’s Tyler Keelean dove to a first-place finish with 293.10 points. Rockford divers Kurt Plaggemars and […]

Close meet, but not in West Ottawa’s favor

February 15, 2010 // 0 Comments

Rockford 173, West Ottawa 142 By Denise Webb Numerous times throughout the Rockford vs. West Ottawa swim/dive meet on February 4 at the Rams’ natatorium, fans had to rely on the touchpad results reflected on the scoreboard to determine who won the event. The finishes were often visibly difficult to determine, but the Rams pulled away with a 173 to 142 victory. More often than not, the events were won by less than a second, and that’s exactly how the meet began. The relay team of Derik Bothma, Alex Devries, Brian Ginebaugh and Josh Travis won the Rams’ first event—the 200-yard medley relay—by .51 seconds, finishing with an improved state qualifying time of 1:41.31. The third place finish was also captured by Rockford. Andrew Denhof, Ben Fredrickson, Jared Martella and Connor Thelen won by a mere .29 seconds (1:45.63). With this 1-3 finish, Rockford began the meet with a 13-5 lead. Even though Rockford fell behind after Event 2 (200-yard freestyle) to the Panthers’ renowned freestyle strength, the Rams quickly recouped in Event 3. Rockford’s Brian Ginebaugh, Jeff Schmitt, Josh Travis and Jared Martella placed 1-2-5-6, respectively, in the 200-yard IM, earning 19 of the possible 29 event points. This event edged the Rams back into the lead, which was never relinquished again. Senior diver Tyler Johnson received a Rockford standing ovation and an abundance of cheers from fans and teammates after defeating West Ottawa’s number one diver Jordan Welling in the diving portion of the meet (Event 5). Johnson was the last competitor in this event, so Rockford’s fate in the diving portion was on his shoulders. While stepping onto the diving board for his last dive of the evening, Johnson knew he had to earn more than 38 points to defeat Welling’s 230.10 score. Tension was high as Johnson proceeded to do his twists and turns to complete his inward one and a half dive. As Johnson entered the waters with little splash after what appeared to be an amazing dive, an eerie silence fell over Rockford’s natatorium as everyone immediately looked to the scoreboard for the judges’ results. When the score of 7.0-7.5-7.0 flashed on the screen, Rockford’s team and fans couldn’t contain their excitement. This dive not only placed Johnson in […]