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Despite personnel losses, Craig swimmers confident

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KENNETH M. VELOSKEY
November 30, 2007
— Coach Jeremy Meserole thinks his Janesville Craig High School boys swim team has enough talent to step into the big picture in the Big Eight Conference.

“We would like to get up to fourth,” said Meserole, whose team finished fifth in the 2006-2007 regular season. “We have the talent.’’


Meserole isn’t looking to underachieve. After power programs Middleton, Madison Memorial and Madison West fight for the Big Eight dual title, finishing fourth carries a lot of weight in the league.


The Cougars will miss graduated point-producers Derek Schneider and Mikkel Powell.


Meserole will rely on seniors Tyler Teuscher, Tyler Rockenfield, Josh Babcock, Mike Stone, Josh Terry and Taylor Langan to fill the gap.


Rockenfield, who is a team captain along with junior Nick Hazekamp, has stepped off the football field and jumped into the pool.


Meserole said it is different for a football player to be a competitive swimmer. But in Rockenfield’s case, it works.


“It is a good crossover,” Meserole said. “He is in great shape, and I think he can dominate in the sprints because he has power. Rockenfield is a thoroughbred.”


Meserole expects to parlay Rockenfield with Babcock, Terry, Hazekamp or junior Matt Enloe—another football player—in a bid for a state berth in the 200 free relay.


“Babcock is fast in the 100 and 200 freestyles,” Meserole said. “I look for more of the same this year.’’


Meserole said he also is counting on Terry to produce solid times and points in the 100 breastroke.


“He did a 1:07 (breastroke) last season,” Meserole said. “I’m looking for some good things.’’


Meserole also expects good things from Hazekamp.


“Nick is a great 100 backstroker,” Meserole said. “We’ll be looking for a state berth. He wants to place in the top half of the state.”


Meserole thinks junior Sean Davis can join Hazekamp as a state qualifier.


Meserole said junior Scott Fry is one of fastest sprint freestylers on the team and will add punch to the Cougars.


Freshman Alex Loftus and Nick Strub have gained enough experience through early swimming programs to make a contribution.


The Cougars have 36 swimmers on their roster.


The Craig schedule:


NOVEMBER: 30—Madison West, 5 p.m.


DECEMBER: 1—Cougar Relays, 10 a.m. 7—At Beloit Memorial, 5 p.m. 8—Parker Relays, 11 a.m. 14—Madison Memorial, 5 p.m.. 15—Elkhorn Invitational, 10 a.m. 21—At Middleton, 5 p.m. 26—Alumni meet, at Janesville Parker, 10 a.m.


JANUARY: 11—At Madison East, 5 p.m. 12—Middleton Relays, 10 a.m. 17—Madison La Follette/Sun Prairie, 5 p.m. 19—At Menomonee Falls Invitational, 10 a.m. 25—Janesville Parker, 5 p.m.


FEBRUARY: 2—Big Eight meet, at Middleton, 10 a.m. 9—WIAA sectionals. 16—WIAA state meet, at UW Natatorium.



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