The Fox River Classic Conference will be well-represented at the WIAA boys state swimming and diving meet Friday and Saturday at the UW Natatorium in Madison.
Bay Port, which won a Division 1 sectional championship for the first time since 2010, has qualifiers in eight of the 11 events in D1 and nine qualifiers overall between eight individuals.
Green Bay United, which is a combined team for the four Green Bay public schools, has qualifiers in seven of the 11 events in D1 and eight qualifiers overall between five individuals.
Then there’s Ashwaubenon in D2, which has a participant in 10 of the 11 events and 14 qualifiers overall between 10 individuals.
Pulaski sophomore Ben Bouchard, meanwhile, qualified for two individual events and two relays.
This kind of representation on the big stage can only be good for the conference.
“I mean, those who know the area real well … there are a lot of people down in the bigger cities that don’t even know where Bay Port is,” Bay Port coach Steve Jeffers said. “But anybody who kind of knows the area can have a lot of appreciation for some of the swimmers that the area is producing right now.”
The Pirates have produced several of them this season.
Bay Port senior Ryan Hakes and juniors Calvin Schilz and Aaron Donovan all qualified for state in two individual events and two relays.
The trio helped lead their team to the FRCC championship for the second straight year along with that sectional title.
The Pirates were a young team entering state last season, so having experience this time around should help.
“We are ranked right kind of in the middle of the bunch,” Jeffers said. “We are not in the low end and we are not at the top end. But right in the middle, where we can be very competitive with a lot of other teams.
“I do think that the experience they got last year should help pay some dividends this year.”
Bay Port entered the season with a deep team. It had more worthy swimmers than spots to fill on its relay teams, which in turn seemed to bring out the best in everybody.
Hakes, who signed a letter of intent in November to compete at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, won a sectional championship in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:45.83.
He might be swimming his best going into state.
“A lot of them have dropped quite a bit from last year (in times),” Jeffers said. “Ryan Hakes, he’s just getting into his rhythm a little bit now at the end of the season. He is a workhorse all season long and now is his time to compete against some of the bigger boys in state.”
Another swimmer to watch could be United junior standout John Gahnz, who won a sectional title in the 100 backstroke and was part of a 200 medley relay team with senior Ben Georgia, junior Kaen Baxter and freshman Kaiser Neverman that took home a championship.
Neverman also won an individual title in the 100 butterfly.
Gahnz set four FRCC records at the conference championship meet earlier this month, including two as part of relays.
“John swims on the same club team with a good number of our swimmers,” Jeffers said. “He has really dropped a lot of time. … he has stepped up great, and I think he’s going to be even more of a force next year.”
WIAA state boys swimming area qualifiers
200 medley relay: G.B. United*, (John Gahnz, jr.; Ben Georgia, sr.; Kaiser Neverman, fr.; Kaen Baxter, jr.), 1:38.18; Bay Port (Alec Jeffers, jr.; Race Archibald, sr.; Calvin Schilz, jr.; Griffin Hawley, fr.), 1:40.54.
200 freestyle: Ryan Hakes*, sr., BP, sr., 1:45.83; Aaron Donovan, jr., BP, 1:48.68.
200 individual medley: Schilz, BP, 1:55.82; Gahnz, GBU, 1:58.81.
50 freestyle: Neverman, GBU, 21.86; Baxter, GBU, 22.05.
100 butterfly: Neverman*, GBU, 50.85
100 freestyle: Hakes, BP, 48.00; Baxter, GBU, 49.73.
500 freestyle: Donovan*, BP, 4:56.05.
200 freestyle relay: Bay Port (Hakes, Donovan, Jack Weronka, sr.; Archibald), 1:28.97.
100 backstroke: Gahnz, GBU, 52.26.
100 breaststroke: Schilz, BP, 1:00.07.
400 freestyle relay: G.B. United (Baxter, Riley Komp, fr.; Gahnz, Neverman), 3:16.34; Bay Port (Donovan, Schilz, Wyatt Dvorak, jr.; Hakes), 3:16.73.
200 medley relay: Ashwaubenon*, (Joe Stone, jr.; Daniel Jablonski, sr.; Max White, sr.; Eric Van Dyck, sr.), 1:37.37; Shawano (Griffin Rades, sr.; Nathan Kane, sr.; James Krueger, jr.; Jeffrey Green, jr.), 1:46.83.
200 freestyle: Mark Teske*, jr., ASH, 1:47.73.
200 individual medley: Van Dyck*, ASH, 2:00.57; Joblonski, ASH, 2:00.90; Rades, SHA, 2:03.21; Ben Bouchard, so., Pulaski, 2:03.97.
100 butterfly: White, ASH, 51.48.
100 freestyle: Stone, ASH, 49.63.
500 freestyle: Teske, ASH, 4:56.36; Joe Steffel, fr., ASH, 5:02.14.
200 freestyle relay: Ashwaubenon (Van Dyck, Spencer Klika, fr.; Jablonski, Teske), 1:30.74; Shawano (Tyler Buerman, sr.; Kane, Green, Rades), 1:34.69; Pulaski (Noah Larscheid, jr.; Alex Wojta, sr.; Jarrett Johnson, jr.; Bouchard), 1:34.91.
100 backstroke: White*, ASH, 52.99; Stone, ASH, 53.46; Bouchard*, PUL, 55.39.
100 breaststroke: Jablonski*, ASH, 1:00.78; Van Dyck, ASH, 1:01.02; Rades*, Shawano, 1:02.63.
400 freestyle relay: Ashwaubenon (White, Charley Hanney, sr.; Nick Starr, so.; Sean O’Connor, sr.), 3:15.20; Pulaski (Bouchard, Larscheid, Johnson, Wojta), 3:28.70.
(Sectional times and relay members)
* Denotes sectional champion