Panthers hoping to peak at state meet

BOYS SWIMMING
by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff


THE PLYMOUTH BOYS swimming and diving team qualified six events for Friday’s D-2 state meet. The state participants include (front row, left to right) Ryan Holec, Harrison Strutz, Chaz Halderson, Cole Henning (alternate), (middle row) Leon Gehri (alternate), Dan Levan (alternate), Zach Gambrell, Brent Thiel, Lucas Collard, (back row) divers Anghelo Gangano, Evan Klemme and Riley Josephs. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley THE PLYMOUTH BOYS swimming and diving team qualified six events for Friday’s D-2 state meet. The state participants include (front row, left to right) Ryan Holec, Harrison Strutz, Chaz Halderson, Cole Henning (alternate), (middle row) Leon Gehri (alternate), Dan Levan (alternate), Zach Gambrell, Brent Thiel, Lucas Collard, (back row) divers Anghelo Gangano, Evan Klemme and Riley Josephs. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley PLYMOUTH — The Plymouth boys swimming and diving team has enjoyed an outstanding season and will be striving to cap it off with a strong showing at Friday’s Division 2 state meet.

“I’ve had high expectations for this team from the moment they started ‘open swim’ back in October,” said Panther head coach Clare Sedlacek.

“They have worked extremely hard and accomplished quite a bit this season, and my ultimate goal for our team is to have participants in both competitions [swimming and diving] at the state meet which we have accomplished in great fashion.”

The Panthers, who won the sectional at PHS Saturday, qualified six events for the state meet which will be held at the UW-Madison Natatorium. Diving will start at 2:30 p.m., with swimming getting under way at 6:30 p.m.

Three PHS divers will compete – senior Evan Klemme, junior Anghelo Gangano and sophomore Riley Josephs. Klemme will be at state for the third straight year.

The Panthers’ state qualifiers in swimming are junior Ryan Holec in the 50-yard freestyle and 100 butterfl y; the 200 medley relay, and the 200 and 400 freestyle relays. Holec is Plymouth’s highest seed at state (based on sectional performance) withaasixthinthebutterfly.

The PHS relays include the following members: medley – sophomore Harrison Strutz, junior Chaz Halderson, and seniors Brent Thiel and Zach Gambrell; 200 freestyle – Thiel, Gambrell, Holec and Halderson; and the 400 freestyle – Holec, senior Lucas Collard, Thiel and Gambrell. Holec, Halderson, Collard and Gambrell swam in last year’s state meet.

The 200 freestyle relay’s No. 8 seed is the Panthers’ highest among their relays.

Sedlacek pointed out her goals and expectations for the PHS state participants.

“I want them to have their best swims/performances of their season. You want them to leave the season feeling great about their accomplishments,” she said.

“My highest [medal] hopes are for the 200 free relay team to be topsix and be on the [medals] podium as we have been ranked in the top-six all season long. Ryan has a legitimate shot at medaling in both of his individual events, and that would be the icing on the cake for us.

“Some of the keys to having a successful state meet are to understand the nuances of the meet and the pool. There is amazing energy on deck. Everyone is amped to be there. The guys have to try and harness all that energy and use it,” said Sedlacek.

She noted what the swimmers have been focusing on in practice this week.

“It’s always a challenge to hang onto your times from previous, much less improve on them. This week the focus is on fine-tuning their starts and turns because those are the most important aspects of each race,” Sedlacek said.

“If we have great starts and turns we will be successful.”

She said the previous state experience for members of the team will help a lot.

PHS diving coach Greg Heberlein, who will be a D-2 state diving judge Friday, offered his thoughts on Klemme, Gangano and Josephs.

“Evan is seeded 10th right now but anything can happen. I am hoping for a great performance from him and to get a place on the awards stand,” said Heberlein.

“Anghelo could have a great day too this Friday. He is going into Madison as the 11th seed. This will be his first trip to the state meet. He is really excited.

“This is the first trip for Riley. He is coming off a shoulder injury but is diving very well. He is seeded 13th and I hope he will move up into the top 10,” said Heberlein.

He pointed out the keys for the divers to perform well:

“Do [focus on] one dive at a time. Do each of those dives just as they have practiced them, concentrate, have confidence and have fun.”

Sedlacek thinks McFarland and Monona Grove are the favorites to win the state title. Madison Edgewood is the defending champion.

“Our seedings have us finishing 12th but I think we have the opportunity to jump up to the top-10 and score over 100 points,” she said.

“We are so proud to represent PHS and the entire Plymouth community.”


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