Hard work pays off—even if the workers are the last ones to be convinced.
Janesville Parker senior Ethan Griffith was proof of that Thursday night when he won both the 50 and 100 freestyles in the Rock County Championships boys swim meet held at Beloit High School.
Griffith’s two first-place finishes weren’t enough to lift Parker to the meet championship. That went to the host Purple Knights, who finished with 824 points.
But Parker was second with 581. Janesville Craig was third with 420, and Milton was fourth with 311.
Even with the second-place finish, Parker head coach Eric Rhodes had several reasons to smile, led by the performances of Griffith.
“He shocked us all,” Rhodes said. “He just wanted it.”
Griffith won the 50 freestyle in 23.51 seconds. The next three finishers came in in 23.53, 23.69 and 23.89.
“You know how it is in the 50, five are going to the wall, and he touches the wall first,” Rhodes said. “We about fell over. We were that shocked.”
Griffith doesn’t swim the 50 that often, which made the first-place finish more amazing.”
Griffith followed that up with his win in the 100.
“He just had more gas than anybody else,” Rhodes said.
The head coach credited his assistant coach, Derek Schneider, with providing the motivation behind Griffith’s success.
“My whole coaching style is out of date,” Rhodes said. “I don’t work them hard enough. That’s why I brought in Derek as an assistant. Those guys have been complaining, ‘You’re working us too hard.’”
But it paid off Thursday.
Other noteworthy finishes were turned in by junior Cameron Odegaard (second in the 200 individual medley and third in the 100 breaststroke); senior Garrett Leach (second in the 100 backstroke and third in the 100 butterfly), and Nate Warda (second in the 500 freestyle).
Craig coach Jonathan Hopkins also saw the results of his team’s practices.
Freshman Kiel Wolff won the 500 freestyle in 5:14.17. He added a third-place finish in the 200 freestyle.
Wolff’s winning time in the 500 freestyle was a personal best and four seconds better than any time he has had.
Junior Callaghan Bradley added a second-place finish in the 100 breaststroke.
“We had a lot of hard practices over break, but we also had a few days off because of the holidays, so it was nice to be able to gauge their progress and see so many great improvements over their last meet in December,” Hopkins said. “I’m really proud of their efforts.”
ROCK COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIPS
Beloit 824; Parker 581; Craig 420; Milton 311
200 medley relay—1. Beloit (Ben Salador, Ben Levy, Adrian Sowicz, Nathan Sill), 1:44.75; 2. Beloit.
200 freestyle—1. Anthony Jacobson (BM), 1:55.83; 2. Tyler Davis (BM), 1:56.18; 3. Kiel Wolff (JC), 1:59.54.
200 individual medley—1. James Santas (BM), 2:09.40; 2. Cameron Odegaard (JP), 2:13.28; 3. Nathan Warda (JP), 2:15.48.
50 freestyle—1. Ethan Griffith (JP), 23.51; 2. Adrian Sowicz (BM), 23.53; 3. Will Klobucar (BM), 23.69.
100 butterfly—1. Ben Saladar (BM), 55.51; 2. Adrian Sowicz (BM), 58.07; 3. Garrett Leach (JP), 58.60.
100 freestyle—1. Ethan Griffith (JP), 51.56; 2. Nathan Sill (BM), 52.78; 3. Kyle Raisbeck (BM), 53.44.
500 freestyle—1. Kiel Wolff (JC), 5:14.17; 2. Nathan Warda (JP), 5:16.59; 3. Anthony Jacobson (BM), 5:26.33.
200 freestyle relay—1. Beloit (Adrian Sowicz, Kyle Raisbeck, Will Klobucar, Nathan Sill), 1:33.98; 2. Beloit.
100 backstroke—1. Ben Saladar (BM), 59.16; 2. Garrett Leach (JP), 1:00.06; 3. James Santas (BM), 1:01.53.
100 breaststroke—1. Ben Levy (BM), 1:07.26; 2. Callaghan Bradley (JC), 1:07.89; 2. Cameron Odegaard (JP), 1:09.53.
400 freestyle relay—1. Beloit (Ben Saladar, Anthony Jacobson, James Santas, Nathan Sill), 3:31.70; 2. Parker, 3:37.04.