NEENAH – Max Boehnlein led a record-setting day for the Neenah boys’ swim team Saturday.
Boehnlein, a senior for the Rockets, broke the pool and sectional record in the 200-yard individual medley, the 100 breaststroke and as the anchor leg of the 400 freestyle relay at the WIAA Division 1 sectional meet in the Neenah Natatorium.
Bay Port won the team championship with 369 points to edge second-place Neenah, which had 358.
The winner of each event at the sectional automatically qualifies for state, which is Saturday at the UW Natatorium in Madison.
Eli Rocke joined Boehnlein with two first-place individual finishes, and both were on winning relays as Neenah won six events.
Boehnlein finished with a time of 1:54.74 in the 200 individual medley and 57.30 seconds in the 100 breaststroke.
In the individual medley, Boehnlein ended with splits of 24.92 seconds in the butterfly, 29.56 in the backstroke, 33.21 in the breaststroke and 27.05 in the freestyle as he pulled ahead of Bay Port’s Calvin Schilz (1:55.82).
“Having Calvin so close was kind of nice,” Boehnlein said. “It usually helps me in the back half a lot more. I was really happy that he did well, too, and that he was able to push me.”
Boehnlein also qualified for state in the 200-yard freestyle relay after Rocke regained the lead as the anchor. Aiden Clark and Jan-Mikael Werninger joined Boehnlein and Rocke on both winning relays.
In the 400 relay, Rocke finished with a split time of 47.30 seconds, while Clark finished at 48.79, Werninger at 49.44 and Boehnlein at 47.01 to finish in a record time of 3:12.54.
Rocke won the 50-yard freestyle in 21.48 seconds and won the 100 freestyle in 47.45 seconds to make it to state in four events for his second year in a row.
“Especially in the 100, the mindset I like to use is get in front and stay in front so right away out of the start it’s really important for me to get in the mindset that I’m in front,” Rocke said. “As long as I can hold it, racing is just something I love so it’s easy to keep them off.”
Rocke plans to rest and prepare this week as he knows that winning at state will be difficult.
“The 50 and 100 are the fastest they’ve been for a while, I think fastest for all my years of high school,” Rocke said. “This week it’s going to be about resting well and, hopefully, a new suit will help out, too.”
In the Rockets’ final attempt to defeat the Pirates for the team title, Neenah finished the 400 freestyle relay nearly four seconds ahead of Bay Port (3:16.73), which came in third. Green Bay United finished second in 3:16.34.
“We led it out great,” Rocke said. “Bay Port, Green Bay United, they’re excellent teams. It was all about the middle two stepping up and then Max, he brought it home so great. We look down at state, that’s our next focus and we’ll have to tear it up down there, too.”
Clark placed second in the 100 backstroke in 55.13 seconds.
“I’ve been focusing on my coach and stuff and my time has dropped tremendously,” Clark said. “It dropped three-plus seconds in the last few meets.”
Josiah Vandenberg of Appleton North/East finished third in the 100 butterfly in 55.51 seconds.
BAY PORT 369, NEENAH 358, GREEN BAY UNITED 268, OSHKOSH WEST 178.5, APPLETON WEST/KIMBERLY 175, OSHKOSH NORTH/LOURDES ACADEMY 162.5, APPLETON NORTH/EAST 158, SHEBOYGAN NORTH 155, FOND DU LAC 155, MANITOWOC 134, SHEBOYGAN SOUTH 100
200 Medley R: 1, Green Bay United 1:38.18; 5, Neenah (Michael Conn, Andrew Merfeld, Ethan Coons, Ben Makowski) 1:47.17. 200 Free: 1, Ryan Hakes BP 1:45.83; 4, Jan-Mikael Werninger N 1:49.73; 5, Karsen Sherrick N 1:51.11; 6, Josiah Vandenberg AN/E 1:52.05. 200 IM: 1, Maxwell Boehnlein N 1:54.74; 4, Aiden Clark N 2:01.43. 50 Free: 1, Eli Rocke N :21.48. 100 Fly: 1, Kaiser Neverman GBU :50.85; 3, Josiah Vandenberg AN/E :55.51. 100 Free: 1, Eli Rocke N :47.45; 5, Ben Hendel AW/K :50.01; 6, Jan-Mikael Werninger N :50.65. 500 Free: 1, Aaron Donovan BP 4:56.05; 5, Karsen Sherrick N 5:03.02. 200 Free R: 1, Neenah (Maxwell Boehnlein, Aiden Clark, Jan-Mikael Werninger, Eli Rocke) 1:28.39; 5, Appleton West/Kimberly (Trevor Reese, Jacob Krueger, Chad Heldt, Hendel) 1:33.33. 100 Back: 1, John Gahnz GBU :52.26; 2, Aiden Clark N :55.13. 100 Breast: 1, Maxwell Boehnlein N :57.30; 6, Andrew Merfeld N 1:05.64. 400 Free R: 1, Neenah (Eli Rocke, Aiden Clark, Jan-Mikael Werninger, Maxwell Boehnlein) 3:12.54; 4, Appleton West/Kimberly (Trevor Reese, Jacob Krueger, Benjamin Todd, Ben Hendel) 3:25.78.
Jordan Jacobson: 920-996-7228 or firstname.lastname@example.org