Boys swimming: Lincoln falls just short at own Invite

Boys swimming: Lincoln falls just short at own Invite

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Boys swimming: Lincoln falls just short at own Invite

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The slimmest of margins can end up being the difference between a hard fought second place finish and a share of the title, something the Manitowoc Lincoln boys swimming team discovered on Saturday at the eight-team Manty Invite.

Leading eventual winner Stevens Point entering the final event, the 400 freestyle relay, the Ships needed to win the relay for a chance to tie.

In the end, Lincoln fell six points short of the team title with a score of 437 to Stevens Point’s 443 as the team of Dylan and Riley Neuser, JJ Klatt and John Cress finished second with a time of 3:24.71. The winning time of the SPASH team was 3:24.41, meaning Lincoln fell .30 seconds short of their goal although Ships coach Mike Zupek couldn’t have been happier with his team’s effort.

“I’m just excited for our kids, they swam their hearts out,” Zupek said. “We had lots of good times, had a lot of guys move up five, six places from where their seeds were. They swam their hearts out trying to win this meet.”

As parents in the stands kept saying throughout the course of the meet, every point mattered and Lincoln’s swimmers left nothing in the pool scrapping for every point possible.

Riley Neuser won two individual events for the Ships, finishing first the 100 and 200 freestyles with times of 49.13 and 1:48.91, respectively.

One of the more dramatic events though came early on in the 200 individual medley with Lincoln’s Damian Klemish winning in 2:04.90, just under four seconds ahead the second place finisher despite trailing entering the final leg. Klemish pounded the water following the win and had to be helped out of the pool by a coach out of exhaustion.

“The biggest thing our coaches teach us is to never give up,” Klemish said of his mindset during the race. “Just because someone is ahead of you you shouldn’t stop, keep giving your best effort and try to win which is what I did.”

Also from the area were the Brillion-Valders-Chilton co-op, which took third (353), Kiel (seventh, 147) and Two Rivers (eighth, 19).

BVC coach Aaron Stachovak thought his team’s showing is a great forecast for the rest of the season.

“I’m very very happy,” Stachovak said. “The invite had a lot of good Division 1 teams this year and it was an opportunity for us to step up and challenge ourselves as we’re pushing toward State and sectionals.”

It was also successful for Two Rivers which is breaking in several new swimmers according to coach Jeff Goessl.

“Watching everybody else it puts a lot of perspective where we’re at,” Goessl said. “We’re a young team, inexperienced. We have a lot of young guys so this year is more about building for the future than anything else.”

A similar sentiment was shared by Kiel coach John Buchholz.

“It was a fun meet, there were a lot of fast teams here and we did ok,” Buchholz said of his teams performance. “Our kids are getting faster and that’s all that matters.”

Individually, Riley Friedrichs’ third-place finish in the 50 freestyle (23.54) paced the co-op while Andrew Henderson took 14th in the same event to lead Two Rivers. For Kiel, Noah Draxler earned third in both the 200 IM (2:20.93) and 100 backstroke (1:00.64).

Team scores: Stevens Point 443, Manitowoc Lincoln 437, Brillion/Valders/Chilton 353, Beloit Memorial 312, Janesville Parker 269, Port Washington 173, Kiel 147, Two Rivers 19

200 medley relay — 1. Stevens Point (Neighbauer, Tanko, Harris, Rosenthal), 1:45.03; 2. Manitowoc Lincoln (D. Neuser, Klemish, Klatt, Cress), 1:47.76; 200 freestyle — 1. Riley Neuser, ML, 1:48.91; 200 individual medley — 1. Damian Klemish, ML, 2:04.90; 50 freestyle — 1. Ben Harris, SP, 22.97; 3. Riley Friedrichs, BVC, 23.54; 100 butterfly — 1. Ben Harris, SP, 56.65; 2. Dylan Neuser, ML, 59.42; 100 freestyle — 1. Riley Neuser, ML, 49.13; 500 freestyle — 1. Aaron Blink, SP, 5:25.53; 3. Colten Schroeder, ML, 5:32.49; 200 freestyle relay — 1. Janesville Parker (Gosline, Amundson, Wolter, Perry), 1:33.82; 2. Manitowoc Lincoln (Klemish, Burgarino, Schroeder, Neuser), 1:36.36; 100 backstroke — 1. Ryan Neighbauer, SP, 58.13; 2. Dylan Neuser, ML, 58.55; 100 breaststroke — 1. Tyler Tanko, SP, 1:04.77; 2. Damian Klemish, ML, 1:06.78; 400 freestyle relay — 1. Stevens Point (Negaard, Neighbauer, Rosenthal, Harris), 3:24.41; 2. Manitowoc Lincoln (D. Neuser, Klatt, Cress, R. Neuser), 3:24.71

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