PHS advances seven events to state meet


BEN NICHOLS of Plymouth competes in the 100-yard butterfly at Saturday’s sectional swimming meet. Nichols placed 11th with a personal-best time. – Photo by Tyler Luedtke BEN NICHOLS of Plymouth competes in the 100-yard butterfly at Saturday’s sectional swimming meet. Nichols placed 11th with a personal-best time. – Photo by Tyler Luedtke ASHWAUBENON – The Plymouth Panthers had a very strong boys sectional swimming and diving meet here last weekend as they qualified seven events for Division 2 state competition.

Senior Riley Josephs kicked off the Panthers’ surge with a first-place finish in Friday evening’s diving event with a score of 377.10 points for 11 dives. The winners in each sectional event automatically qualify for the state meet along with the top-12 performances from each event (excluding sectional winners) from all of the sectionals.

The Panthers other state qualifiers include the 200-yard medley relay, which finished third in the sectional on Saturday; Harrison Strutz, 50 freestyle, second and the 100 backstroke, third; Ben Schaefers, 100 butterfly, third; 200 freestyle relay, fourth; and the 400 freestyle relay which earned fourth.


BEN SCHAEFERS of Plymouth swims the 100-yard butterfly at Saturday’s sectional swimming meet. Schaefers placed third and qualified for state. – Photo by Tyler Luedtke BEN SCHAEFERS of Plymouth swims the 100-yard butterfly at Saturday’s sectional swimming meet. Schaefers placed third and qualified for state. – Photo by Tyler Luedtke Strutz set a school record in the 100 backstroke with a time of 55.37 seconds.

The members of the Panthers’ relays include: 200 medley – Strutz, Leander Leinen, Schaefers and Dawson Smith; 200 freestyle – Smith, Leinen, Jaxsen Schermacher and Schaefers; and the 400 freestyle – Smith, Leinen, Schaefers and Strutz.

PHS earned a solid fourth in a strong 12-team field with 273 points – 65½ ahead of fifthplace Port Washington (207½). Grafton won the title with 379, follwed by Ashwaubenon at 378.

“An amazing meet for us this weekend. Starting off on Friday, Riley Josephs had a very solid meet, scoring close to his personal best and knowing that he still has room to make improvements.

This is our first sectional champ in diving since Josh Suchon in 2011,” said PHS head coach Clare Sedlacek.

“Our medley relay had another great race, finishing right at their seeding but with a fabulous time drop.

“One of the highlights of the day was the 100 backstroke. While we knew that Harrison was ranked solidly in third, we also were excited to have two sophomores, Keegan Gafney and Derek Holec, seeded a very respectable 10th and 14th [respectively],” said Sedlacek.

“Keegan and Derek were in the second to last heat, and while Mason Steffen from Kiel was ahead the whole [heat] race, Keegan finished less than a halfsecond after Mason, dropping over 2½ seconds. Derek had a huge swim, dropping over four seconds to finish just behind Keegan in 11th.

“Harrison had a great swim from start to finish [in the 100 backstroke],” Sedlacek pointed out.

“Christian Pieper, another sophomore, finished off our stellar day in individual events with a huge four-second drop in the 100 breaststroke [placing 10th].”

“Riley did a great job,” said PHS diving coach Greg Heberlein.

“Not to be forgotten was the performance that Charlie Aschenbach and Noah Haese did too.”

Aschenbach, a freshman, placed eighth with a personalbest 284.50. Haese, a sophomore, took ninth with a careerbest 262.65.

A sectional follow-up and a state preview will be in Thursday’s Review.


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