Daniel Newberger

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 […]

Second Place, 23 Medals earned by Rockford 9/10 Swimmers, Divers

February 19, 2009 // 0 Comments

Very pleased with the outcome of the Saturday, Feb. 7, Freshman/Sophomore Swim/Dive Invitational, Rockford’s coaching staff couldn’t voice enough praises about their team. Rockford placed second behind powerhouse Zeeland, out of eight West Michigan schools (Byron Center, East Kentwood, Grand Haven, Grandville, Jenison and West Ottawa) competing in this event hosted by Grandville. “I couldn’t be more proud of the guys,” said head coach Tom Parks. “Many of them swam their personal bests.” The results of this invitational exhibit Rockford’s extreme competitiveness for several years to come. Of the 12 events, the Rams placed at least once, and sometimes twice or three times, in 10 of them and brought home 23 medals. Many of the events had more than 35 participants vying for a top spot, but only the first eight winners in individual events and the leading three teams in relays won medals. The Rams who brought home “hardware” were sophomores Ben Fredrickson (first, second and two fifth places), Jared Martella (one eighth place), LJ McCauley (one fifth place), Tim Newberger (two seventh places), Kurt Plaggemars (one eighth place) and Jeff Schmitt (first, second, fifth and seventh), and freshmen Eric Chisholm (one first place), Josh Travis (two second places and one fourth), Bryan Wasberg (three first places and one second) and Harrison Webb (fourth and sixth). Other swimmers who earned points for the team were sophomore Dominick Sheridan and freshmen Ben Pitts, Cam Cross, Daniel Newberger and Alex Savage. “Everybody worked really hard. It was a good meet. But look out next year Zeeland!” said freshman Allyn Kinney. Medal winners are as follows: 200-yard medley relay – Ben Fredrickson, Jeff Schmitt, Josh Travis, Bryan Wasberg (second place) 200-yard IM – Bryan Wasberg (first place); Josh Travis (fourth); Jeff Schmitt (seventh) 50-yard freestyle – Ben Fredrickson (fifth) 1-meter diving – LJ McCauley (fifth); Kurt Plaggemars (eighth) 100-yard butterfly – Ben Fredrickson (fifth) 100-yard freestyle – Harrison Webb (sixth); Tim Newberger (seventh) 500-yard freestyle – Jeff Schmitt (fifth) 200-yard freestyle relay – Eric Chisholm, Ben Fredrickson, Jeff Schmitt, Bryan Wasberg (first) 100-yard backstroke – Josh Travis (second); Harrison Webb (fourth); Tim Newberger (seventh) 100-yard breaststroke – Bryan Wasberg (first); Jared Martella (eighth)