Panthers look for strong showing at state meet

by Greg Ceilley
of The Review staff


THE PLYMOUTH PANTHERS (above) will compete in six swimming events at Friday’s D-2 state meet. The competitors are (left to right) Leander Leinen, Jaxsen Schermacher, Harrison Strutz, Ben Schaefers and Dawson Smith. RILEY JOSEPHS (right) of Plymouth will compete in the D-2 state diving for the third straight season. Josephs is seeded third. – Review photos by Greg Ceilley THE PLYMOUTH PANTHERS (above) will compete in six swimming events at Friday’s D-2 state meet. The competitors are (left to right) Leander Leinen, Jaxsen Schermacher, Harrison Strutz, Ben Schaefers and Dawson Smith. RILEY JOSEPHS (right) of Plymouth will compete in the D-2 state diving for the third straight season. Josephs is seeded third. – Review photos by Greg Ceilley PLYMOUTH – The Plymouth boys swimming and diving team is riding high after a strong sectional performance last weekend.

PHS will try to keep the momentum going at Friday’s Division 2 state meet to be held at the UW-Madison Natatorium. Diving starts at 2:30 p.m. and the swimming begins at 6:30 p.m.

“We had a great [sectional] meet last weekend [placing fourth],” said Panther head coach Clare Sedlacek.

“Our guys were against some of the toughest competition in the state and they absolutely just focused on what they could do for themselves, for their teammates and the job at hand. Everyone performed at an extremely high level and had a great two days.”

Sedlacek pointed out her goals for the team at state.

“As always, that we will have our best day. We’re going to be really excited to start with Riley Josephs and diving which will give us a great start to the meet. Most importantly, that we finish the season on a high note which I have no doubt we will do.

“I think we are poised to have a great day but it’s always a great day to participate on deck at the UW-Natatorium,” said the coach.

Josephs, a senior, will compete in diving for the third straight year. Josephs, who finished first in the sectional, is seeded third at state, based on sectional scores.

PHS qualified six swimming events and they include: 200-yard medley relay; Harrison Strutz, 50 freestyle and 100 backstroke; Ben Schaefers, 100 butterfly; and the 200 and 400 freestyle relays.

The members of the 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. Schaefers and Strutz competed at state last year.

Strutz is the Panthers’ highest seed in the swimming with eighth in the 100 backstroke. The top-six finishers in each state event earn medals.

“We have high hopes for the guys to perform at their seeding, and in some cases we hope to jump over our seeding to a higher placing,” said Sedlacek.

She pointed out the team’s main focus in practice this week.

“The focus is to button everything up, paying extremely close attention to their technique and make the right adjustments in practice this week. At this point attention to detail is the most important part of practice,” said the coach about the swimmers.

“Riley is working really hard to clean up any of the issues he had with dives last Friday and I have complete confidence in his preparation.”

“He [Josephs] is diving really good this week,” said PHS diving coach Greg Heberlein. “We are not going to work on anything new. – just practice the 11 dives he did last Friday [in the sectional].

“From his previous trips to state he knows that if he stays relaxed and doesn’t rush his approach he will do fine.”


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