Last Thursday, Oct. 20, the Rockford swim team honored 16 members of the senior class before the East Kentwood meet. This class has experienced some great moments over the past four years, including an OK Red championship, two top-10 state finishes and numerous individual accomplishments. This group of young women, one of the largest in Rockford history, has continued a tradition of high-quality swim teams at Rockford under the leadership of Coach Tom Parks. Divers Macie DeGraaf, Katie DeHaan and Maggie Setterington along with swimmers Abby Finlayson, Emilie Hahne, Shelby Hodges, Maddie Levine, Morgan Longberg, Kara Loux, Amanda Mull, Alyssa Rollins, Rachael Romain, Alaina Smith, Sarah Smith, Renae Venman and Casey Wolfer have entrenched the Rockford program as one of the top swim programs in all of Michigan. On this special night it was only fitting that they handled their business against East Kentwood with an easy victory, 199-105. Rockford started quickly and never looked back as they swept the 200-yard medley relay, taking the top three positions. They followed that up when Megan Schremp, Emily Smith and Adrianna Craft went first through third in the 200-yard freestyle in times of 2:03.67, 2:04.16 and 2:04.88 respectively. Stephanie Mull grabbed second in the 200-yard individual medley in a time of 2:33.32, followed by Marie Siegel in third in 2:33.56, Hodges was fourth in 2:37.17, and Elliana Raymond was fifth in 2:40.76. In the 50-yard freestyle, Levine took first with a :25.92, Madison Trimble was third in :27.02, Morgan Koop was fourth in :27.22 and Kayla Brower was seventh in :30.77. Rockford then swept diving with DeHaan, DeGraaf, Setterington and Sarah McCabe taking first through fourth places. The second half of the meet saw Rockford take four of the top five spots in the 100-yard butterfly with Erin Hudson in first (1:05.44), Trimble second (1:05.58), Delayni Kornak-Kotarba third (1:06.31), and Mull fifth (1:15.45). Rockford continued its dominance when Kennedy Cutler, S. Smith, Hahne and Morgan Longberg went first through fourth in the 100-yard freestyle. In the 500-yard freestyle, Kayla Kidder was first (5:36.96), Dakota Noble was second (5:48.57), Venman was third (5:49.35), and Raymond was fifth in (6:18.29). In the 200-yard freestyle relay, Rockford took the top two places and they followed that up by placing first […]
Rockford Rams Swim Team
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 […]
The Rockford girls swim team easily trounced conference opponent East Kentwood 184-120 Thursday night, Oct. 28. The Rams traveled to Kentwood for the season finale and a new team record by Sarah Smith in the 500 free. Rockford’s A relay team of Casey Wolfer, Rachel Romain, Emily Smith and Jamie Van Porfliet and B relay team of Kara Vandawater, Morgan Lipe, Alaina Smith and Lauren Girard took first and second in the 200 medley. The Falcons’ Sara Bolt finally showed up to the block for the second event, the 200 freestyle, and must have been in a hurry, because she easily beat Rockford’s next four place finishers: Adrianna Craft, Morgan Longberg, Lexy Caster and E. Smith. But Rockford came back in the third event, the 200-yard individual medley, by taking all four top places: Kennedy Cutler was first, Romain second, Vandawater third and Lipe fourth. Van Portfliet took first in the 50 freestyle, supported by Kristen Schnelle (fifth), Wolfer (sixth) and Emily Williams (seventh). The divers took the top three places: Katie DeHaan, Erica Finlayson and Maggie Setterington, with Sarah McCabe taking fifth. Craft and Caster came in first and second in the 100 butterfly, with Taylor Downs and Madison Trimble only one place further back in fourth and fifth. And in the 100 free, Rockford placed first, second, third and fifth: Cutler, A. Smith, Girard and Schnelle. A. Smith took first place in the 500 free, with sister Emily taking third, Kayla Kidder in fourth and Kara Loux in fifth. Rockford’s A relay team of Cutler, Van Portfliet, A. Smith and Craft and B relay team of Schnelle, Williams, Kelsey Carlson and Madison Levine took first and second again in the 200 free. Vandawater and Girard took first and second in the 100 backstroke with the reminder of Rockford’s swimmers in that event and the last two events swimming exhibition. The Rams will travel back to Kentwood for the OK Red conference meet taking place November 4-6. Preliminary diving will take place Thursday evening, preliminary swimming is Friday night, and finals for all are on Saturday.
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 […]
Other veggie winners were senior Connor Thelen, junior Jared Martella (two cans), sophomores Cody Brown, Scott Ginebaugh, Nathan Napolillo, Ben Pitts, Alex Savage, and Josh Travis, and junior diver LJ McCauley. Rockford finished first in eight events, of which four were state-qualifying times, and placed second, third, fourth and seventh in the diving event behind Jenison’s Nate Reitberg. From the moment the opening buzzer sounded, Rockford controlled the waters. The first event—the 200-yard medley relay—ended with a powerful and close first and third finishes by relay teams Eric Chisholm, Alex Devries, Brian Ginebaugh and Thelen; and Andrew Denhof, Ben Fredrickson, Martella and Nick Willison. Before the waves could settle, Bryan Wasberg (1:50.37), Trenten Babcock (1:55.12), Jeff Schmitt (1:55.75), and Mike Arend (1:59.41) finished first, third, fourth and seventh in the 200-yard freestyle. Continuing to stir the waters, B. Ginebaugh (2:06.76), Josh Travis (2:07.41), Martella (2:10.91), and Willison (2:14.50) impressively swam first, second, third and fifth places in the 200-yard IM. The 100-yard backstroke also ended with notable first-, second-, fourth- and fifth-place finishes by Devries (57.82), Travis (58.62), Willison (1:00.30), and Thelen (1:01.59). The most commanding event of the evening was the 100-yard breaststroke. B. Ginebaugh (1:02.23, shaving .22 off his state-qualifying time), Martella (1:05.52), Dan Newberger (1:08.48), and Ian Rosloniec (1:08.76) swamped Jenison in the event with amazing first- through fourth-place finishes. Also, swimming state qualifying times were Derik Bothma in the 50-yard freestyle (22.61, shaving .03 off his time) and the 100-yard freestyle (50.06), and Devries in the 100-yard butterfly (54.43, matching his exciting state time). Rockford’s next meet is at home against Grand Haven at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 28.