One part Big Red, one part Golden Beavers, and a dash of Rockets.
Mix together, let set for an hour, and serve.
It’s been that simple for the new prep boys swimming co-op made up of athletes from Wayland, Beaver Dam and Randolph, which began its competitive season Saturday at the Cudahy Invite and continued Tuesday at the Dodge County YMCA with a 101-69 non-conference loss to Oshkosh North/Lourdes.
The three-team mix didn’t jell right away, but it didn’t take long for it to happen, providing a bright outlook for the season.
“At first it seemed separated, but now it’s pretty (tight-knit) — we’re all one team now,” said Nolan Kohlbeck, the only swimmer from Randolph High School who competed as part of a Beaver Dam/Randolph co-op last year.
“Starting it off, it was a little awkward for them getting to know each other (and) getting to know how this team was going to work,” added co-head coach Jenna Wisdorf, who represents the Beaver Dam/Randolph portion of the co-op. “But at practice yesterday, we saw a different team coming out of that meet on Saturday, and today we saw a different team (again) — they went out there together as one.”
In fact, the program’s unity showed even before the action in the pool began, when the schools joined forces for the national anthem.
“Even our a capella group — we pulled kids from Wayland’s a capella group and kids who sing at Beaver Dam, they joined in and filled in spots,” said Becky Moe, the co-head coach representing Wayland.
Team chemistry aside, WBD — the acronym the program is using — did pretty well in regard to Tuesday’s results as well.
Kohlbeck won the 100-yard backstroke in 1 minute, 1.27 seconds and the 200 freestyle in 2:01.65, a personal record eclipsing his time of 2:03 at sectionals last year. He was also on the winning 200 medley relay (1:50.39), which set a new Beaver Dam/Randolph program record breaking the old mark established a year ago.
But he said that the highlight for him came as a member of the 400 free relay, which shaved 6 seconds off its time from Saturday and was runner-up Tuesday in 3:52.18.
Kohlbeck was joined on both relays by Chris Neil, Jonathn White and Easton Meier.
Meier also claimed a victory for WBD in the 50 free with a time of :25.20.
Meanwhile, second-place finishes were turned in by White in the 100 breaststroke (1:08.61) and 200 individual medley (2:19.82, which was 14 seconds better than his time Saturday), Miguel Serrano in the 100 butterfly (1:09.33) and Ryan Falkinham in the 500 free (6:39.45).
Toss in a runner-up finish by Serrano, Tia Thomas, Eric Cai and Falkinham in the 200 free relay (1:47.96), and WBD was first or second in all but one event.
“There’s a lot more chances to get points. We can have more relays to score, and a lot more people in every event, too,” Kohlbeck said of the net effect of Wayland and Beaver Dam/Randolph combining forces.
The reason for the merger is that numbers in Beaver Dam/Randolph’s program were dwindling to the point of extinction.
But Wayland also gets a boost out of the deal, notably the Big Red girls. Without enough interest for a standalone program during the fall girls season, Wayland’s girls swim with the boys. And whereas in the past some of the top girls were needed in co-ed relays, with the additional boys in the program now, the Big Red girls can team up on their own to chase girls-only school records.
“That’s not something we’ve had in the past, because our fastest girls have had to swim boys relays,” Moe said.
And even though numbers weren’t an issue for the Big Red during the boys season, Moe said “it helps to have the extra coach and the support.”
So it truly is a mutually beneficial arrangement, one that has WBD poised to make a little more noise than Wayland or Beaver Dam/Randolph have previously made on their own.
“We have a good team,” Wisdorf said. “We have a good group of Wayland swimmers coming together with our Beaver Dam swimmers, and I think it was a blessing.”
OSHKOSH NORTH/LOURDES 101, WAYLAND/BEAVER DAM/RANDOLPH 69
(Winners and W/BD/R results only) 200-yard medley relay – 1, W/BD/R (Chris Neil, Jonathn White, Nolan Kohlbeck, Easton Meier), 1:50.39. 3, W/BD/R (Eimi Kamijo, Miguel Serrano, Olivia Putnam, Ryan Almeida), 2:12.84. 5, W/BD/R (Aaron Turnquest, Lucas Smith, Jack Heier, Logan Sutton), 2:25.03. 200 freestyle – 1, Nolan Kohlbeck, W/BD/R, 2:01.65. 4, Ryan Falkinham, 2:12.54. 200 individual medley – 1, Jack Leggett, North/Lourdes, 2:17.07. 2, Jonathn White, W/BD/R, 2:19.82. 3, Chris Neil, W/BD/R, 2:37.19. 50 freestyle – 1, Easton Meier, W/BD/R, :25.20. 5, Miguel Serrano, :26.87. 6, Eric Cai, W/BD/R, :27.16. 100 butterfly – 1, Andrew McAvoy, North/Lourdes, 1:08.35. 2, Miguel Serrano, W/BD/R, 1:09.33. 3, Tia Thomas, W/BD/R, 1:14.95. 5, Olivia Putnam, W/BD/R, 1:16.87. 100 freestyle – 1, Eddie Hansen, North/Lourdes, :54.25. 3, Easton Meier, W/BD/R, :57.78. 5, Chris Neil, W/BD/R, 1:02.19. 6, Eric Cai, W/BD/R, 1:03.86. 500 freestyle – 1, Zach Quinn, North/Lourdes, 6:23.05. 2, Ryan Falkinham, W/BD/R, 6:39.45. 5, Simar Garcha, W/BD/R, 7:01.77. 6, Eimi Kamijo, W/BD/R, 7:05.28. 200 freestyle relay – 1, North/Lourdes, 1:45.22. 2, W/BD/R (Miguel Serrano, Tia Thomas, Eric Cai, Ryan Falkinham), 1:47.96. 4, W/BD/R (Patrick Schuster, Hannah deGuzman, Rick Cordoves, Ryan Almeida), 1:59.01. 100 backstroke – 1, Nolan Kohlbeck, W/BD/R, 1:01.27. 5, Eimi Kamijo, W/BD/R, 1:26.25. 6, Olivia Putnam, W/BD/R, 1:26.68. 100 breaststroke – 1, Eddie Hansen, North/Lourdes, 1:07.25. 2, Jonathn White, W/BD/R, 1:08.61. 5, Simar Garcha, 1:33.22. 400 freestyle relay – 1, North/Lourdes, 3:48.16. 2, W/BD/R (Chris Neil, Jonathn White, Easton Meier, Nolan Kohlbeck), 3:52.18. 4, W/BD/R (Eric Cai, Eimi Kamijo, Tia Thomas, Ryan Falkinham), 4:27.85. 5, W/BD/R (Patrick Schuster, Simar Garcha, Hannah deGuzman, Rick Cordoves), 4:45.33.