Butch Harmon

Sports Scene

While the air outside is chilly, the temperature inside area swimming pools is hot, and so are some of the times being turned in by area swimmers this season.

* Some of the fastest times in the state this season are being posted by the Rams of Rockford. Rockford is off to a strong start this season and is ranked second in the state in Division 1.

They are paced by Eric Chisholm. A returning state champion in the 50 freestyle, he is also a key member of the relay teams that helped Rockford win the West Michigan Relays at the beginning of the season.

Rockford’s relay teams have posted some of the fastest times in the state this season. Leading the way for the Rams is the 200 medley relay team of sophomore Craig Wasberg, senior Bryan Wasberg, senior Josh Travis, and Chisholm that has posted a time of 1:36.9, the fastest in the state this season.

The 200 free relay team, comprised of the same four swimmers, has the third fastest time in the state this season, while the 400 free relay team of Craig Wasberg, Chisholm, junior Trenton Babcock, and junior Mike Arend has posted the fourth fastest time in the state.

The Rams have started the season with a 5-0 mark in dual meets and will have a key dual coming up at the end of the season when they take on 4th-ranked Hudsonville in what should be a showdown for the O-K Red Conference championship.

* Saginaw Heritage is off to a solid start this season. The Hawks are ranked ninth in the state in Division 1 and captured their first four dual meets of the season.

Heritage placed second at its own Hawk Relays to begin the season. At that meet, a pair of relay teams set meet records. The 400 free relay team of Scott Inman, Josh Dornseifer, Elliot Plummer, and Spenser Swanton turned in a time of 3:22.07 to set a new meet record and also post a state qualifying time. In the 400 medley relay, the team of Inman, Plummer, Swanton, and Martin Plummer turned in a new meet record time of 3:46.69.

* Midland Dow swimmers are looking solid as the season heads to the midway mark. Dow is ranked sixth in the state in Division 2. The Chargers have a deep team that is strong in the relays and individual races. Both the 200 free relay team of Ben Martin, John Ludington, Jackson Goethe, and Michael Pixton and the 400 free relay team of Pixton, Martin, Rick Knoff, and Goethe have times that are among the top 20 in the state in Division 2. Pixton also has the 12th-best time in the state in the 200 free with a time of 1:47.16.

* The Bay City Central team snapped a lengthy drought when it defeated Midland Dow 93-90 earlier this season. The win over Dow was the first in 10 years for Central. Central has been swimming strong, as it won four of its first five duals and also captured the championship at the Falcon Invitational at West Branch. The Wolves have a number of talented performers, led by Collin Wojcik (butterfly/breaststroke), Jesse Mindykowski (freestyle/butterfly), Bo Paul (breastroke), Josh Schmidt (backstroke), and Evan Clegg (diving).

* With a veteran team, the Holt Rams are looking to be the team to beat in the CAAC Blue this season. They have a number of returning seniors, led by Eric Dawdy, Eric Fiasky, Kurtis Smith, Ben Majeske, Mike Ramer, Everitt Rawlings, Trent Tuttle, and Collin Harris. The Rams also have a  strong diver in Chris Kruger, who has the 18th best score in the state with a 214.5.

* The state of Michigan’s premier diver is St. Johns junior Brennan LaBar. The defending state champion, LaBar recorded a score of 287.6 this year, which is the best score by a diver in the state this season. LaBar also posted a score of 269.05 in St. Johns’ meet at East Lansing, which established a new pool record. The Redwings have a talented team this season that also includes Ben Grider in the 50 free, Dillon Kuchuk in the 200 IM, Tom Banninga in the 100 butterfly, and James Schroeder in the 100 backstroke.

* Okemos will be tough to dislodge from the top spot in the CAAC Blue. The Chieftains are ranked as an honorable-mention team in Division 2 and return one of the premier swimmers in the area in Adam Marsh. Okemos has won the last five CAAC Blue titles and captured the Waverly Relays this season.

* The DeWitt swim team has been turning in some fast times this season. The Panthers have turned in six state qualifying times so far. In the relays, both the 200 medley relay team of Dan Schroeder, Cale Coduti, Brandon Hill, and Dylan DeChatelets and the 200 free relay team of Hill, Luke Vaughn, Coduti, and DeChatelets have posted state qualifying times. Hill has also qualified as an individual in the 200 IM and the 100 butterfly, while DeChatelets has qualified in the 50 and 100 free.

*  It will be a battle of Bulldogs in the CAAC Red this season, as both the Mason Bulldogs and Ionia Bulldogs are top contenders. Mason is led by a quartet of returning state qualifiers. Ionia also has a senior-laden team and one of the best divers in the state in senior Conner Bennett.