Grafton’s Nennig caps stellar swim career with Div. 2 honor
As the most-decorated swimmer in Grafton High School history, Al Nennig received a long list of honors during his four-year varsity career.
But just for good measure, the senior took the spotlight one more time at the Wisconsin Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association awards banquet in Hartford on May 5.
He was named the association’s Division 2 Swimmer of the Year.
“I’m very happy. It’s a great end-of-the-season award,” said Nennig, who capped the 2012-13 season by winning state titles in the 50-yard freestyle and 100 backstroke.
“I worked very hard, and our team worked really hard, so it’s a nice honor.”
Nennig, a two-time state champ in the 50 freestyle, was one of three finalists for top Division 2 swimmer. Although he beat out Monona Grove’s Tyler Roehr and Milton’s Spencer Mattox for
the award, he didn’t believe he was a shoe-in.
“I was kind of nervous because the other guys are really good swimmers,” Nennig said. “Anyone of us could have won it.”
Anyone doubting Nennig’s impact on Grafton swimming simply has to check the school’s record books. He holds boys’ team records in the 50 and 200 freestyles, 100 backstroke, 100
breaststroke, 100 butterfly and 200 individual medley.
The only individual marks missing Nennig’s name are the 100 and 500 freestyles and diving.
Nennig, who will take his swimming talent to Denison University in Ohio this fall, was quick to acknowledge the support he received from his teammates and coach Mark Minz.
The senior-led Black Hawks won a sectional title on the way to sixth place in the state meet. Joining Nennig on a pair of state relay teams were classmates Brad Kempka, Ben Gosselin and
“It was nice to have the kind of season we did,” Nennig said. “We had a great group of seniors who stuck together the last four years.
“To me, it was all about motivation, for us to continue to get better.”
During the past four seasons, Minz marveled at Nennig’s leadership.
“The bigger the meet, the better he performed,” Minz said after this year’s state finals. “He’s just been amazingly efficient and versatile.”
Grafton team members received a number of other awards this season.
Earning all-state honors were Nennig in the 50 freestyle, 100 backstroke, 100 breaststroke, and the 200 and 400 freestyle relays of Gosselin, Kempka, Paddock and Nennig.
Given honorable mention were Nennig in the 200 individual medley and Zach Greenwood in diving.
Academic all-state honors went to Brett Rasmussen, Gosselin, Kempka, Paddock and Nennig.
Image Information: GRAFTON SENIOR Al Nennig has been named the state’s Division 2 Boys’ Swimmer of the Year by the Wisconsin Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association. Photo by Sam Arendt