Panthers upbeat about state meet

by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff


PLYMOUTH’S BOYS swimming and diving team will compete in seven events at Friday’s D-2 state meet. The state qualifiers include (bottom row, left to right) Matt Matz, Mitch Tournour, Cormick Hnilicka, Miguel Reynoso Gonzalez, (back row) Evan Klemme and Michael Bolland. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley PLYMOUTH’S BOYS swimming and diving team will compete in seven events at Friday’s D-2 state meet. The state qualifiers include (bottom row, left to right) Matt Matz, Mitch Tournour, Cormick Hnilicka, Miguel Reynoso Gonzalez, (back row) Evan Klemme and Michael Bolland. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley PLYMOUTH — The Plymouth Panthers’ boys swimming and diving team is excited about the opportunity to perform well in Friday’s Division 2 state meet.

PHS is coming off a strong sectional meet last weekend and hopes to carry that over to the state competition which will be held at the UW-Madison Natatorium. Diving will start at 2:30 p.m. and swimming will begin at 6:30 p.m..

“I think we are poised to have one of our best finishes ever as a team, and that makes everyone excited and everything fun,” said Panther head coach Clare Sedlacek.

“It’s great to have divers back on deck after a one-year absence. It’s just the best feeling to have practice this week and to go into Friday knowing we have worked hard and this is the culmination of all that hard work.”

Plymouth’s state swimming qualifiers include senior Miguel Reynoso Gonzalez in the 100- and 200-yard freestyle races; senior Cormick Hnilicka, 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly; and the 200 and 400 freestyle relays that both consist of Gonzalez, Hnilicka, senior Mitch Tournour and junior Matt Matz.

PHS also has two divers who will compete in sophomores Evan Klemme and Michael Bolland.

The 400 relay is seeded No. 2 and the 200 relay is sixth (based on sectional performances). Gonzalez has the highest seeds for the Panthers’ individual events with a third in the 200 freestyle and a fifth in the 100. Hnilicka is seeded sixth in the 50 freestyle.

“In the individual events, both Cormick and Miguel have the potential to medal,” said Sedlacek.

“In both relays we have to be very aggressive on all our exchanges in order to hang with the rest of the field. In the water we are as fast as anyone – it’s how we good we are from swimmer to swimmer that will make the difference.”

Hnilicka is a four-time state qualifier and Tournour is competing in his second state meet. Sedlacek thinks that experience will help them and the team a lot.

“Our swimmers solidified their place among the elite in the state with their swims at sectionals. It was amazing to see all four guys perform at such an extremely high level. It is proof to them that we worked really hard this season,” said Sedlacek.

“Our divers proved on a tough day of [sectional] competition that they deserve to participate alongside the other 14 qualifiers, and both Evan and Michael had some mistakes that can easily be fixed in order to finish higher.”

Klemme is seeded 14th and Klemme, 16th, and both hope to improve their positions at state.

“I think we will finish around 10 and 11th if all goes well. Hopefully better,” said PHS diving coach Greg Heberlein.

“I think their diving scores will be much higher this week [compared to the sectional]. They are having a good week of practice. The pressure of trying to get to Madison is gone. Now, it’s just dive like we have taught them.”

Heberlein said the main focus in practice is working on having good takeoffs and clean entries. For the swimmers, they are finetuning their techniques, according to Sedlacek.

The head coach thinks that four teams will probably contend for the state title – Monona Grove, Madison Edgewood, Milton and six-time defending champion McFarland – with Grafton as a possible contender.


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