Senior Night honored the graduating seniors (in alphabetical order): Zach Abberton, Kyle Arend, Zach Burns, Connor Dedert, Dwight Hua, Gavin Saur, and Cameron Trimble. ~ Contributed Photo
ROCKFORD - It was Senior Night at the Rockford High School Natatorium this week as the Rockford High School Swim & Dive Team faced off against the Bulldogs from Grandville, Thursday, Jan. 24. This night was all about honoring the senior class, and Rockford stepped up to make sure this was not only a fun night of swimming, but also a victory for the Rams, by a score of 157-137.
The evening started with a ceremony, to recognize the graduating seniors the team had this year: Zach Abberton, Kyle Arend, Zach Burns, Connor Dedert, Dwight Hua, Gavin Saur, and Cameron Trimble. Afterwards, the Rams got down to the business of winning a swim meet.
The first event was the 200 Medley Relay, with the Rockford team of Conner Dedert, Dwight Hua, Gavin Saur, and Kyle Arend electrifying the pool with their decisive win by half a pool length. In the 200 freestyle, the Rams swept the event placing 1st with Burns, 2nd with Ben Schuchardt, and 3rd with Elijah Chino. Logan Lovall won the 200 IM, with Gavin Saur and Williams 4th and 5th. Grandville gave the Rams a tough race in the 50 Freestyle, but Arend was able to win at the wall. Hua and Christian Wagen placed 3rd and 4th, respectively.
The Bulldogs roared back into the meet during the 1-meter diving competition with a phenomenal show on the boards. Rams Josh Vickery, Austin Hintz, Gulliver and Giera placed 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th , respectively.
The second half of the meet started with a Rockford win in the 100 butterfly. The Rams placed 1st with Gavin Saur, 2nd with Nate Hopkins, and 3rd with Williams. Rockford again showed complete domination of the pool in the 100 Freestyle, with Conner Dedert, Arend, Cheney and Trimble sweeping the top four spots. The 500 freestyle victory went to Burns, with only a half second lead at the wall. The Rams also scored Lovall and K Dedert. The 100 Backstroke was a Rockford sweep, with Conner Dedert, Schuchardt, Kyle Dedert, and Trimble taking the top four spots. In the 100 breaststroke, Hua took the event at the wall, narrowly touching out teammates Chino, Wagen and Saur. The final event of the night was the 400 freestyle relay. Rockford’s team of Arend, Burns, Conner Dedert and Lovall sealed the Ram victory.
Following the excitement of Senior Night, the team was on the road for the 4th Annual Hudsonville Invite. The competition started Friday night with diving, with Austin Hintz and Josh Vickery placing 4th and 5th. Swimming started the following morning, with Rockford quickly taking a second place in the 200 Medley Relay. The Ram team of C Dedert, Hua, G Saur and Arend held off a tough Hudsonville squad to just touch them out at the wall. Burns placed 6th in the 200 Freestyle, with Lovall and Schuchardt placing 10th and 16th.
Weber, G Saur and Chino scored in the 200 IM, 12th, 14th and 15th. Arend took 3rd in the 50 Free. In the 100 Fly, C Dedert placed 5th, and Hopkins 15th. Arend then took 5th in the 100 Freestyle. Burns and Lovall placed 10th and 11th in the 500 Freestyle, leading into the 200 Freestyle relay, where the Rams scored 10th. In the 100 Backstroke, Rockford finished in the top 16 with great swims by C Dedert (3rd), K Dedert (12th), and Cheney (13th). Hua and Chino placed 8th and 13th respectively in the 100 Breaststroke. The final event of the invite was the 400 Freestyle relay, with Rockford’s team of Arend, Burns, Conner Dedert and Lovall placing 5th. Rockford’s showing at this year’s invitational was superb, with 40 personal best swims, and 3 season high diving performances.
Ram sophomore Liam Smith also broke 2 National Paralympic Records in the 100 and 200 Freestyle.
Rockford placed 3rd overall in the competition – a job well done! Next up for the team is East Kentwood.