Over 150 male swimmers from seven West Michigan area high schools competed at the annual freshman/sophomore meet in Grandville on Saturday, Feb. 5. Last year the Rams came out victorious with their first win in seven years. However, this year it was the Hudsonville Eagles that came out on top, with Rockford finishing in second place. Hudsonville placed first with 482 points, followed by Rockford (379), Jenison (294), Grandville (252), East Kentwood (231), Grand Haven (222), and Holland West Ottawa (162). Despite the loss, the young Rams put forth a tremendous effort with numerous top-16 scoring finishes and several Rams swimming their fastest times of the season. The top 16 individual scorers for the Rams were: • 200-yard free: Mike Arend (second), Reese Patino (ninth), Dylan Dick (14th), Kurtis Loux (15th) • 200-yard IM: Trenton Babcock (first), Nick Willison (third), Corey Fase (10th) • 50-yard free: Chris Lemoine (12th) • 100-yard fly: Craig Wasberg (first), Corey Fase (10th), Jacob Davis (11th) • 100-yard free: Mike Arend (fourth), Justin Hulsebus (10th), Chris Lemoine (14th) • 500-yard free: Stephan Cress (sixth), Kurtis Loux (ninth), Dylan Dick (12th) • 100-yard back: Craig Wasberg (first), Nick Willison (second), Stephan Cress (ninth), Justin Hulsebus (11th), Reese Patino (15th) • 100-yard breast: Trenton Babcock (second), Kyle Hams (sixth), Tyler Vanderhaag (15th) Rockford placed second in all three relays: • 200-yard medley relay: Willison, Babcock, Wasberg, Davis (1:44.68) • 200-yard free relay: Lemoine, Davis, Hulsebus, Arend (1:40.89) • 400-yard free relay: Arend, Willison, Babcock, Wasberg (3:26.15) The Rockford divers, Noah Markel and Shane Phillips, finished in third and eighth places for the Rams, with a final score of 288.80 and 234.40 points respectively. This week, many of these young Rams will join the Rockford juniors and seniors to face off in a dual meet against East Kentwood at the Falcons’ home pool on Thursday, Feb. 10 at 6:30 p.m. Both teams still remain undefeated in the OK Red conference.
Rockford Swim Team
by DENISE WEBB At state finals for any sport, the realization of how refined and talented Rockford’s athletes are becomes evident. The March 12 and 13 swimming and diving Division I state preliminaries and finals were no exception. Fifty-four Michigan high schools qualified this year to compete at this event, where only the best of the best participate. On Friday afternoon at the preliminaries, Rockford Head Coach Tom Parks escorted 12 of his finest athletes onto the pool deck of the Holland Aquatic Center. They were seniors Derik Bothma, Alex Devries, Brian Ginebaugh and Tyler Johnson (diver); juniors Ben Fredrickson, Jared Martella, LJ McCauley (diver), Kurt Plaggemars (diver) and Jeff Schmitt; and sophomores Eric Chisholm, Josh Travis and Bryan Wasberg. At the conclusion of the preliminaries, only the top 16 in each event would advance to the finals on Saturday, earning points and medals for the team. Rockford had eight swimmers and one diver advance to Saturday. Throughout the state finals on Saturday, Saline High School held the lead, followed by Ann Arbor Pioneer. Rockford and its OK Red conference foes, Grandville and West Ottawa, were separated from each other by only one or two points until event nine. After event nine, neither Rockford nor West Ottawa could match Grandville’s speed and depth. Grandville ended the day in fourth place, Rockford in seventh (one point from sixth-place Livonia Stevenson), and West Ottawa eighth. Third and fifth places went to Northville and Zeeland, respectively. At the conclusion of the state finals, the Rams earned 18 medals (received after a 1-16 finish). Four swimmers were named All American (after swimming a specific time), and two individuals and one relay team of four were awarded All State (finishing first through eighth in a state final event). “After countless hours of diving and lifting and after many miles of swimming, it was a pleasure to see their hard work pay off,” said Parks. The 200-yard medley relay team of Bothma, Fredrickson, Ginebaugh and Travis not only placed second in the state, but also was awarded All State and All American for the exact-time-needed finish of 1:37.02. First place in the state went to the Holland West Ottawa team, with a time of 1:36.33. Johnson was the only Rockford diver […]
Celebrating in their natural environment—in the water—Rockford wins the OK Red swimming and diving conference championship on Saturday, Feb. 27 at home. After three days of nonstop excitement, Rockford came out on top with 368 points, followed by Grandville (338), Holland West Ottawa (317), Jenison (294), East Kentwood (269), Hudsonville (240) and Grand Haven (186). The Rams kept the lead early on to win against some of the toughest teams in West Michigan.