Rockford Riptide sent its largest contingent of swimmers ever to the 12-and-under Michigan Swimming Short Course state championships March 12-14 in Waterford, Mich. A total of 17 Riptide swimmers qualified and competed in 73 individual swims and six relays during the event. This was nearly double the number of qualifiers in previous years. Riptide placed sixth statewide in the championship, the best showing of any West Michigan team. Swimmers who qualified and competed in individual events included Ethan Babcock, Russell Brown, Alec Cutler, Jacob Fase, Daniel Haid, Christina Hanssen, Kennzie Hartmann, Julian Kipke, Delayni Kornak-Kortoba, Marissa Marion, Sydney McDowell, David Newberger, Jacob Newberger, Dakota Noble, Peyton Rayburn, Abigail Setterington, and Meegan Snyman. “Many of our swimmers were relatively inexperienced going into the highest level meet for this age group, but they had what other teams didn’t: a drive to succeed,” said Coach Mike Cutler. “We shattered several club records, and many swimmers delivered personal-best times at the state event.” J. Newberger placed in the top five in each of the 11 events in which he competed and took first place in the 10-and-under 100-meter backstroke events, setting a new Riptide club record in the process. Snyman also placed first in the 10-and-under 50-meter breaststroke event. The girls 10-and-under 200-meter relay team of Setterington, McDowell, Snyman, and Hartmann placed second and also beat the previous club record by more than five seconds. The boys 11-12 200 free relay team of Brown, Cutler, Haid and D. Newberger placed first. Other swimmers placing in the top five in events during the state meet were McDowell and D. Newberger, Swimmers ages 13 and up competed in their state meet March 19-21 and some will go on to sectionals in Indianapolis the last weekend of March. Riptide is currently registering swimmers for its spring conditioning season, which runs April 12 through May 27. Riptide’s purpose is to introduce children to the benefits of competitive swimming and encourage swimmers to reach their highest level of potential in and out of the water while demonstrating leadership and sportsmanship skills. For more information, visit www.riptide.org.
Hard-working student makes tasks fun for others Ethan Babcock, age 10, is the son of Dan and Kathy Babcock and brother to Trenten. Ethan is Belmont Elementary’s Example in Excellence because he is a person who always tries to do his best and throws himself whole-heartedly into all of his endeavors. Staff at Belmont say that Ethan shows enthusiasm and perseverance and shares those qualities with others around him. A team-player, Ethan is supportive of fellow athletes on his swim team. He also exhibits compassion and has taken on church projects to help students in Rwanda. Ethan shows his willingness to help others as he volunteers as a lunch helper and mentor to kindergarten students. His teachers describe him as a student who works hard but likes to have a good time along the way. He is also known for his wide variety of interests. A leader, Ethan is president of his fifth-grade class. He is branch manager at the student-run credit union. His relay team took first place in the 10-and-under free relay at State Competition this past spring. Ethan also took ninth place at the summer 2008 Mega Zone meet for ages 10 and under open water event. Included in Ethan’s hobbies are his favorite sports of swimming, water polo, creating with Legos and reading. Ethan is known to spend hours reading a book. A well-rounded individual, Ethan is also involved in his church youth group, Fifty-Six. For his many talents but more importantly his support and encouragement of others, Ethan is an Example in Excellence for peers and staff at Belmont Elementary.