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Swim and Dive Team Finish Regular Season

By Kathy Cheney, 02/23/19, 9:00AM EST


The 200 Medley Team of Dwight Hua, Gavin Saur, Conner Dedert and Kyle Arend. ~ Photo by Tracy Saur

Rams Post Personal Bests in Post-Season

This OK Red Conference Swim and Dive Championships were hosted by Hudsonville, Thursday, Feb. 22-Saturday, Feb. 23. Divers had a qualifying meet on Thursday, while swimmers qualified on Friday. Both groups competed in finals on Saturday. Ram swimmers had 68 personal best swims and three divers had high scores. Several pool and conference records were broken at the meet.

Five divers competed in the conference finals on Saturday and all five will go on to compete in the Regional meet to try to qualify for the State meet. Two divers had top eight finishes. Sophomore Josh Vickery finished fourth and Junior Austin Hintz finished eighth. Freshmen Ben Giera and Isaac Gulliver finished 13th and 14th and also advance to the Regional tournament, which takes place Thursday, Feb. 28, in Wayland.

“Our team was really led all season by the captains,” shares head coach Kevin Brown. “They are the senior group that have worked hard for four years and stuck with the sport through everything that’s been thrown at them. Zach Burns qualified for the State Meet in the 200 freestyle, the 200 freestyle relay and won the 100 Backstroke with a State qualifying time as well. Conner Dedert took second in the backstroke.  It was our best event at conference. Kyle Arend led the sprinters on the team and has been an integral part of our success all season. Gavin Saur and Dwight Hua have been fantastic all season and lead by example! They are both on the State qualifying 200 Medley Relay and they are such a positive force at practices and the meets. They are always working with the younger swimmers trying to help them get faster.”

The senior quartet of Conner Dedert, Dwight Hua, Gavin Saur, and Kyle Arend finished second  with a 1:38.22 time in the 100-Yard Medley Relay and advance to the State tournament in Holland on March 8-9. Arend also advances to State with his 50-yard Freestyle time of 21.81,  earning a third place. Dedert finished third in the 100 freestyle event with a 46.97, and also qualified for the State Finals.

In the 200 Free event, Arend, Ben Schuchardt, Zach Burns and Dedert finished third with a time of 1:28.13. They will advance to State. Rockford finished first and second in the 100 backstroke, with Burns touching the wall at 52.16 and Dedert at 52.45. Both advance to State. The final event of the day was the 400-Yard Free Relay and the team of Burns, Nate Cheney, Logan Lovall and Saur finished fifth with a time of 3:26.43, a personal best for the team.

Showing grit and great pride, the Rams finished the conference season on an upswing for new head coach Kevin Brown. No small feat given the challenging winter weather, which interrupted practices and meets.

“We had a good conference swim meet over the weekend,” concludes Brown. “In spite of the training time we have lost due to all the snow days, our team has gotten faster all year and we have continued to drop time and post personal best times.”

Ben Schuchardt ~ Photo by Tracy Saur

Dwight Hua ~ Photo by Tracy Saur

Gavin Saur ~ Photo by Tracy Saur

Diver Josh Vickery ~ Photo by Tracy Saur

Kyle Arend ~ Photo by Tracy Saur

Logan Lovall ~ Photo by Tracy Saur

Nate Cheney ~ Photo by Tracy Saur

Zach Burns ~ Photo by Tracy Saur

100 yard freestyle Conner Dedert third place. ~ Photo by Tracy Saur

1 meter diving Austin Hintz eighth place. ~ Photo by Tracy Saur

1 meter diving Josh Vickery fourth place. ~ Photo by Tracy Saur

50 yard freestyle Kyle Arend third place. ~ Photo by Tracy Saur

100 yard backstroke Conner Dedert second place. ~ Photo by Tracy Saur

100 yard backstroke Zach Burns first place. ~ Photot by Tracy Saur

200 yard freestyle relay team earned a third place finish. ~ Photo by Tracy Saur

400 yard freestyle relay team (left to right) Zach Burns, Nate Cheney Gavin Saur, and Logan Lovall