Rockford Riptide shines at Super Splash Stroke Championship

March 4, 2010 // 0 Comments

  The Riptide team is winding down its winter competitive season with some strong performances. More than 70 local Rockford Riptide competitive swim team members competed in the club’s recent Super Splash Stroke Championship. Eleven Riptide swimmers took first place in one or more events. They are Russell Brown, Alexa Caster, Stephan Cress, Jessica Cutler, Rachel Gamm, Daniel Haid, Marisa Marion, Sydney McDowell, David Newberger, Jacob Newberger, and Craig Wasberg. Also placing in Super Splash events were Riptide swimmers Grace Badinovac, Yousef Bennett, Erica Cutler, Jessica Cutler, Sara Fredricks, Rachel Gamm, Daniel Haid, Julian Kipke, Marissa Marion, Sydney McDowell, David Newberger, Jacob Newberger, Rachael Romain, Meegan Snyman, Noah Stallworth, Karrington VanderMolen, Craig Wasberg, and Madelyn White. Riptide swimmers are almost midway through the very competitive winter season. Upcoming meets include the Junior Olympics trials in Holt, plus the 12-and-under state championship at Waterford and the 13-and-over state event at Jenison. 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. Rockford Riptide swim team is now registering swimmers its spring session, which runs April 12 through May 27. Riptide is a United States Swimming competitive swim program and part of Rockford Aquatics. A registration session is scheduled for Monday, March 15 and Wednesday, March 17, from 7 to 8:15 p.m. at the Rockford High School pool. Competitive swimming experience is not necessary, and swimmers new to Riptide will be evaluated during the registration session so they can be placed in the program that best fits their skills and goals. Riptide is comprised of several swim sessions over the course of the year. These sessions vary in length and involve some meet opportunities in addition to practices. Fun events like beach parties and pizza and pool game nights are included during the sessions. For complete information about Riptide programs, visit

Ram wrestlers qualify 10 for regionals, prepare for Lowell rematch

February 18, 2010 // 0 Comments

  by TIM COOPER After a long two-hour bus ride north to Traverse City, the Rockford Rams had to wait for their first opponent, as Traverse City Central and Traverse City West met in the first dual meet of team districts. The two Traverse City schools went to the final match of the dual meet before the outcome was determined by a 37-28 victory in favor of the Trojans of Traverse City Central. With a starting weight of 171 pounds, Jake Johnson made short work of his Traverse City opponent, building an 8-0 lead in the first 56 seconds and ending the match with a fall.   Continuing the early trend in the 189-pound match, Zach Banaszak used just 1:05 before pinning Mark Bollinger, giving the Rams a 12-0 lead. The third match of the evening ended at 2:25 when Rockford’s Joe Stefanski put Traverse City Central’s Cody Vickers’ shoulders to the mat, giving the Rams an 18-0 lead. In one of the few matches that went the full six minutes, Rockford’s Jake Banaszak (285) beat his Trojan opponent with an 11-3 major decision. Traverse City failed to send wrestlers out for the 103- and 112-pound matches, adding 12 points to the Ram total and building the lead to a nearly insurmountable 34-0.   Chris Barrentine (119) filled in nicely for the injured Colin Maksimowski by adding six points to the Ram total with his fall at the 3:10 mark. Jake Scholten (125) scored a technical fall with a 17-1 victory over Cameron Bennett, scoring all 17 points in the first two minutes. This helped to build the Rams’ score to 45-0, essentially putting the dual meet out of reach for Traverse City. In the 130-pound match, Jake Byers kept the Rockford momentum going by using a short 49 seconds to finish off his Trojan opponent, making the Ram score 51-0.   In the second of two matches to go the distance for the entire dual meet, Rockford’s Drew Scogg (135) faced Traverse City’s Paco Diaz. With no scoring in the first period, Scogg scored seven in the second two minutes of the match, using a reversal and two near-falls to take a 7-0 lead into the third. Diaz chose down in the third, only […]

Rams men’s skiers place fourth at Marquette regionals

February 18, 2010 // 0 Comments

  On Thursday, Feb. 11, four area schools traveled more than six hours, along with five other Michigan teams to compete at Marquette Mountain in the Division I regional finals for downhill ski racing. With fresh snow and relatively mild conditions, the weather was perfect for the race. The steeper, longer slopes at Marquette also provided a new level of challenge for area teams. Rockford boys entered the competition with a first-place Grand Rapids conference title, having taken first place in 4/5 meets during the regular season and had their sights on a possible berth in the state finals. Unfortunately, one of Rockford’s top racers, Taylor Noakes, was injured in practice and was pulled from the regional competition. Team alternates Jake Lewis and Michael Kommer were called upon to fill the gap and turned in exceptional performances, but the team remained just short of qualifying for the state competition. In the end, the northern powerhouses of Traverse City and Marquette took the top three positions—Traverse City Central 50, Traverse City West 83, Marquette 121—but Rockford had an impressive fourth-place finish, just 37 points away from qualifying as a team for the state finals. Grand Haven boys finished in fifth place with 205 total points. The day started with giant slalom competition for the men. Rockford’s team leader in this event was Ben Avink with a 17th-place finish, followed by Michael Dix with 19th place, John Milewski 25th, and Tyler Manikowski in 29th. Kommer finished in 30th and Travis Fleming in 45th. In the afternoon, the team competed in the slalom event. In slalom, Dix had an impressive seventh-place finish, which earned him a spot on the podium and the chance to move onto the state competition as an individual. Milewski placed 14th in slalom, Fleming 18th, and Avink 27th. Lewis finished 28th and Casey Hefferan was disqualified after a fall. Rockford’s girls team also competed at regionals, finishing in seventh place. In slalom, individual results included Emily Macauley in 28th, Bethany Hicks 30th, Ashley Rister 30th, and Kaiti Bartholomy 35th. In giant slalom, Julie Daukss qualified for the state competition with a 16th-place finish. Bartholomy finished 33rd, Macauley 38th, and Hicks 39th. Emily Kommer and Carly Funk also competed. In addition to Daukss and Dix, […]