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Rockford Swim and Dive Team Kicks Off Season

By Kathy Cheney, 12/15/18, 1:45PM EST

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The 200 Backstroke Relay team earned the Rams a first-place finish. Connor Dedert started the relay off, followed by Ben Schuchardt, Cameron Trimble and Zach Burns. They combined time was 1:43.99. ~ Contributed Photo

The Rockford Swim and Dive season began just after Thanksgiving with 40 total swimmers and five divers. They have been busy practicing, but participated in their first Invitational Saturday, Dec. 15, at the 2018 West Michigan Relays. Sixteen area teams competed in East Kentwood. A pool record was broken in the 100 freestyle and many of the fastest swimmers across the state in D1, D2 and D3 competed. Rockford ended with 222 total points and earned eighth place for the event.

The divers got in the pool first and Rockford came away with 315.9 dive points and a solid third-place finish. The dive team consisted of Austin Hintz, Josh Vickery, Ben Giera and Josh Simkins.

After diving ended, the swimmers finished their warm ups and it was time for them to show their skills. The Rams came away with four Top 5 medals and podium finishes.

The first event to land them on the podium was the all-senior 500 Freestyle Progressive Relay. Kyle Arend earned a state meet entry time with his 21.71 second time for the 50. Dwight Hua swam a 100, Connor Dedert swam 150, and Zach Burns swam the 200 for a combined time of 4:22.96 seconds earning the relay team a fifth place finish and just 46/100 of a second from fourth.

The next relay team earning a spot on the blocks was the 200 Butterfly Relay. This team consisted of Gavin Saur, Connor Dedert, Dwight Hua and Nathan Hopkins. They earned a fifth-place medal with their 1:42.36 time.

Event 8 was the 200 Backstroke Relay and earned the Rams a first-place finish. Connor Dedert started the relay off, followed by Ben Schuchardt, Cameron Trimble and Zach Burns. Their combined time was 1:43.99.

The final event earned the Rams a fifth-place finish. in the 200 Medley Relay. Ben Schuchardt started out with back, Dwight Hua swam breast, Gavin Saur butterfly and Kyle Arend finished with freestyle for a combined relay time of 1:43.8 seconds.

Dive Coach Doug Karsen and swim Coaches Kevin Brown, Dave McWatters and Alex Savage were pleased with the way all the boys performed on Saturday. Many swimmers had personal best times and a lot of potential across the entire team was seen.

The team travels to Jenison on Tuesday, Dec. 18 to compete in their first dual meet.


The 200 Butterfly Relay team earned fifth place. ~ Contributed Photo


The Progressive Relay team claimed fifth place for the event. ~ Contributed Photo


The Rams dive team claimed third place. ~ Contributed Photo