Eventful doesn’t come close to describing the kind of afternoon it was for the Wayland/Beaver Dam/Randolph prep boys swimming team on Saturday at a WIAA Division 1 sectional meet at Homestead High School in Mequon.
Historic is more like it.
Wayland’s Tia Thomas — the Big Red don’t have a girls team in the fall, so she competes with the boys in the winter — Jon White, Nolan Kohlbeck, Jack Heier, Damon Seremet and Ryan Falkinham combined to set six school records as the co-op took eighth place out of 12 teams.
Brookfield Central/East won with 373 points while Hartland Arrowhead was the runner-up with 354 points.
The most momentous of the school records came in the final event of the day, providing an exclamation mark on things for the co-op. That event was the 400-yard freestyle relay and the team of Seremet, Falkinham, White and Kohlbeck took sixth in 3 minutes, 33.17 seconds to shatter the previous Wayland record of 3:39.20 set way back in 1969. The time of 3:33.17 also eclipsed the Beaver Dam record of 3:34.76 set in 2013.
“It was such a sweet way to end the meet,” W/BD/R coach Jenna Wisdorf said via email.
The other longstanding record to come tumbling down was in the 100 freestyle, with Thomas taking 20th in 56.18 seconds to eclipse the old Wayland girls mark of :57.26 set in 1996.
Thomas also bettered her own school record in the 100 backstroke, taking 16th in 1:05.14 to wipe the old mark of 1:05.41 off the board. She established the previous record almost a month earlier at the Fond du Lac Invite to do away with the old mark of 1:06.1 set in 1994.
The junior also owns the Wayland school record in the 500 freestyle (6:02.34, set on Jan. 25 at Jefferson) after shaving less than a second off the old mark set in 2001 and was on the 200 freestyle relay that set the Wayland girls record of 1:56.46 in a meet against Milwaukee Lutheran on Feb. 7, 2017.
The fifth and sixth records to fall Saturday came in the 200 medley relay, where the Big Red’s effort eclipsed the 1:47.54 set a year ago that stood as the school mark for both Wayland and Beaver Dam. Kohlbeck, White, Heier and Seremet disposed of that time by improving upon their No. 8 seed by two spots and taking sixth in 1:45.58.
Individually, the best finish Saturday was notched by White, who took sixth in the 100 breaststroke in 1:05.14.
“He is one of the most determined swimmers I have coached and I’m very proud of him,” Wisdorf said.
The 200 free relay team of Ryan Almeida, Thomas, Heier and Falkinham took eighth in 1:41.14. That wasn’t a record because the mark of 1:56.46 was set by all girls, while the time of 1:41.14 was turned in by a coed squad.
Other finishes of note include Kohlbeck taking ninth in both the 100 free and 100 back with personal record times of :52.01 and :57.55; Seremet taking 12th in the 100 free with a PR of :52.78; Almeida taking 27th in the 100 free with a PR of 1:00.76; Heier taking 15th in the 500 freestyle and 16th in the 100 butterfly with PRs of 5:58.37 and 1:04.74; and Grey Johnson taking 16th in the 500 free with a PR of 5:58.37.
“I am very excited about the improvement Jack has made,” Wisdorf said of Heier, a sophomore. “He has pure talent and has a lot more success coming his way if he keeps working hard.”
Additionally, White took ninth in the 200 free (2:15:73), Seremet placed 11th in the 200 free (2:01.17) and Falkinham took 15th in the 50 free (:24.47) — all doing so with season-best times.
Of the freshman Seremet, Wisdorf said, “I am excited to see the improvement he will make in the next three years. He is a very hard worker and has the drive.”
Meanwhile of Falkinham, she said, “It was very nice to see him do so well at the last meet of his swimming career.”
All in all, it was a banner day for the three-school co-op.
“You could see how determined they were today and how much they were motivating each other,” Wisdorf said. “They had a great season and worked harder than they have ever before. This program has been improving more and more each year and it’s great to see this co-op of Wayland, Beaver Dam and Randolph be so successful. It’s been an honor to coach them.”