State meet climaxes Panthers’ stellar season

by Greg Ceilley
of The Review staff


PLYMOUTH’S 400-yard freestyle relay team and coaches celebrate winning a fifth-place medal in last Friday’s D-2 state swim/dive meet. Pictured (left to right) are head coach Clare Sedlacek, Ben Schaefers, Jaxsen Schermacher, Dawson Smith, Christian Pieper and assistant coach Alex Krueger. – Photo by Tyler Luedtke PLYMOUTH’S 400-yard freestyle relay team and coaches celebrate winning a fifth-place medal in last Friday’s D-2 state swim/dive meet. Pictured (left to right) are head coach Clare Sedlacek, Ben Schaefers, Jaxsen Schermacher, Dawson Smith, Christian Pieper and assistant coach Alex Krueger. – Photo by Tyler Luedtke PLYMOUTH – You can certainly understand and appreciate Plymouth head boys swimming and diving coach Clare Sedlacek’s unbridled enthusiasm and pride about the Panthers’ showing in the Division 2 state meet last Friday in Madison.

The Panthers climaxed an outstanding season with a ninth-place finish at state and two fifth-place medals. PHS won its fourth straight Eastern Wisconsin Conference title and was a sectional runner-up.

“It’s the way you always want to end the season – on the deck at the WIAA D-2 state swim and dive meet, and compete well, give it all you’ve got and leave with hardware,” said Sedlacek who stepped down as the coach after a very successful 13-year run.


CHARLIE ASCHENBACH of Plymouth is all smiles after earning a fifth-place medal in diving at last Friday’s D-2 state swim/dive meet. – Photo by Tyler Luedtke CHARLIE ASCHENBACH of Plymouth is all smiles after earning a fifth-place medal in diving at last Friday’s D-2 state swim/dive meet. – Photo by Tyler Luedtke Earning state medals for the Panthers were junior Charlie Aschenbach in diving, and the 400-yard freestyle relay team of seniors Jaxsen Schermacher and Ben Schaefers and juniors Derek Holec and Christian Pieper.

“We were really excited to be able to get back down to Madison again this season [for state meet] as it is always the goal at the beginning of the season to qualify as many events as possible. This was set up to be a great state meet for us as the guys had all worked so hard to get to sectionals and perform at a super high level,” Sedlacek said.

PHS qualified seven events for the state meet.

“Our theme for the last month or so is ‘not done yet’, and I know for some of our guys there was a feeling of some unfinished business from last year. While we had good [state] results in 2017, there is sometimes a sense disappointment when you are without a medal. Of course that is ridiculous because anyone who has qualified for state has done the work, has put in the time and has done their best.

“What coach [Alex] Krueger [assistant] and myself really wanted for these guys was to have a great day, to give it everything they had and to walk away with no regrets. We absolutely did that.

“Our divers [Aschenbach and Alec Nicholson] struggled a little at the beginning of the meet but rallied with great dives. Charlie comes away with a fifth place and on the medal stand – an amazing result for Charlie as he just missed qualifying last year,” Sedlacek pointed out.

“Alec had a dream season as a first-year diver – from not diving a year ago to eighth place at state. Great job by the guys and [diving] coach Greg Heberlein.

“Smith, Schermacher, Pieper and Schaefers had a race of their lives and were able to break their own school record they had set the week before at sectionals and walk away with a fifth place,” said Sedlacek.


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