Hawks qualify for state in 4 events
Chris Caporale, email@example.com
Two more Shawano Community High School swim records were broken last weekend as the Hawks advanced senior Griffin Rades and two relay teams to the WIAA state meet.
Rades, who competed at state last season in the 200-yard individual medley, won the 100 breast at the Division 1 sectional in Stevens Point in the time of 1 minute and 2.63 seconds, nearly one second faster than Zach Soper’s previous record time. He added a second-place finish in the 200 individual medley.
Shawano head coach Jeff Easter attributed the faster swims to two factors.
“Certainly the competition level was up, so our guys were really trying harder still, and the adrenaline flowing and channeling that would help them out,” Easter said.
The 200 freestyle relay team of Tyler Buerman, Nate Kane, Jeffrey Green and Griffin Rades broke the previous school record by nearly two full seconds. Rades touched the wall to finish the race in a time of 1:34.69; the previous record, set in 2006, was 1:35.78.
The relay team finished in third at the sectional but advanced as one of the 16 fastest sectional times in the state.
“The guys are swinging their arms as fast as they can,” Easter said. “It’s the other things they’ve got to fine tune and get better at, and that’ll shave some time off.”
Rades and Easter believe the relay can go even lower on Friday.
“Some people had bad turns and stuff, so just try to fix all those little things and cut more time,” Rades said.
The 200 medley relay team of Rades, Kane, James Krueger and Green also qualified.
Green, a junior, missed out on qualifying for state in the 50 free by 0.04 seconds as the 17th-fastest time in the state. He had cut off over half a second from his fastest time on the season and felt good about his positioning as the second-place finisher in the sectional.
Qualifying for state as part of the relay team kept his season alive.
“I’m just really happy and excited I’m going to go,” Green said.
Rades will be competing in four races in his fourth and final trip to state. He competed in both the 200 medley and 400 free relays as a sophomore.
He normally swims in four races in meets, so he isn’t worried about the extra pressure or fatigue.
“It’s definitely going to be a new experience, but I’m sure I’ll be fine,” he said. “I’m going to practice hard this week and taper on the end.”
Like Rades, Kane and Buerman are seniors; Krueger and Green are juniors.
Last season, with Rades as the only state qualifier, the team went to Madison to watch the best swimmers in the state. Performing on that stage will be a different animal.
“It’s not just something you look at from a distance. It’s real now,” Krueger said. “Now that we’re actually there and know that we can actually beat them, I think it’s going to take a lot of time off.”
Before the athletes head down to Madison around 11 a.m. Friday, they have two more practices in the SCHS pool.