Junior’s four wins help Grafton swim team scare Bulldogs in NSC title fight
Grafton swimming and diving coach Mark Minz couldn’t have asked for much more from his boys’ team.
Besides giving defending champion Cedarburg all it could handle, the Black Hawks came home with the lion’s share of fastest finishes from last week’s North Shore Conference meet at Homestead.
But seven first-place performances in Saturday’s swimming events weren’t enough for Grafton, which had to settle for runner-up honors in the overall standings.
Led by Sean O’Connor’s two individual titles, the Hawks scored 462 points, just shy of Cedarburg’s 503, in what is believed to be their best-ever finish in the meet.
“I thought the guys did a fantastic job,” Minz said. “We knew we would be in the running with Cedarburg but just didn’t have enough depth to pull it out.”
Grafton grabbed an early lead in the team standings and remained in front until the sixth event, the 100-yard butterfly. Although O’Connor won the race in a meet and school record time of 51.74 seconds, the Bulldogs outscored the Hawks, 64-20, in the event and moved ahead for good.
Homestead wound up third in the overall standings with 346 points, followed by Nicolet (312), Whitefish Bay (240), Milwaukee Lutheran (174) and Port Washington (148).
O’Connor continued his outstanding season by contributing to four first-place finishes. Besides his butterfly victory, he won the 200 freestyle (1:45.45) and swam on two of the Hawks’ three winning relays.
Placing first were the 200 medley team of Charley Hanney, Jack Senczyszyn, O’Connor and Adam Schacht (1:41.66), the 200 freestyle team of Bailey Bodart, Senczyszyn, Jake Herlache and Schacht (1:32.49) and the 400 freestyle team of Herlache, Hanney, O’Connor and Bodart (3:22.55).
“He couldn’t have done more than that,” Minz said of O’Connor.