Competing in a tough sectional last Saturday, Janesville boys swim coaches Matt Palma of Craig and Eric Rhodes of Parker knew their teams would have to exceed expectations to have a chance to have any qualifiers for the WIAA state swim meet.
And that’s exactly what the two coaches got. Craig’s Ben Witt qualified in two individual events and each school got two relay teams each into Saturday’s Division 1 state meet at Waukesha South High School.
Witt, a sophomore, will swim in the 200 freestyle and the 100 butterfly. He’ll join seniors Kadin Wojcik and Ethan Hundt, along with junior David Cummings in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays.
“I want them all to take it all in and enjoy the moment,” Palma said. “They’ve earned the right to be here. They’re the first guys to make state for Craig since 2015. It is a special feeling to send a relay team to state, let alone two. I’ve never had an opportunity to coach a relay to state (I’ve been to state before as the Delavan coach). It has always been a goal of mine because of the team aspect. They all have to swim well and work together. It was awesome to see how fired up and happy they were after the 200 free relay, really a special feeling as a coach.
“We were hoping to just get Ben to state in one of his events, and he crushed it every time he entered the water! He put on a show, really they all did.”
Parker sends its 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams to state.
Members of the two relay teams are junior Zhander Rowley, seniors Aaron Griffith and Ben Rahlf and freshman Zach Payne.
“The goal for both relay teams is to try and finish in the top 16,” Rhodes said. “”It’s always more fun to be in the final results.”