Greenfield - The 200 medley relay team for Greenfield/Greendale gave a strong performance at Saturday's WIAA Division 1 State Meet and provided some optimism for the future.
The squad of freshman Rick Perez, sophomore Ross Rybakowicz, junior Andrew Staszak and sophomore Adam Fleischhacker came in seventh with 1 minute, 39.19 seconds, missing sixth place - and the state podium - by just 0.4 seconds. That was the team's season-best time by over 1.5 seconds.
"One very optimistic note for next year is that the entire medley relay which just missed the top six will be back for another run," head coach Dale Schrank said.
Rybakowicz claimed ninth in the 100 breaststroke (1:01.37) and 13th in the 200 individual medley (1:58.32), both personal bests.
The 200 freestyle unit of sophomore Shaun Lucchesi, Rybakowicz, senior Shaun Fleischhacker and Adam Fleischhacker placed 11th (season-best 1:30.61).
Perez took 14th in the 100 backstroke (54.77 seconds), tying his time at the previous week's sectional meet. He was also 17th in the 200 freestyle (1:49.51).
Lucchesi, Shaun Fleischhacker, Perez and Staszak captured 19th in the 400 freestyle relay (3:22.25) and Staszak wound up 23rd in the 500 freestyle (5:03.16).
Greenfield/Greendale tallied 52 points for 15th in the 39-team field, which was headed by Madison Memorial at 326 points.
"When swimmers get to their final tapered meet of the season," Schrank said, "sometimes there is no amount of mental toughness that will make up for bodies that just will not cooperate with those intense efforts required to reach their goals. That being said, I am continually amazed at the tenacity and willingness to 'leave it all in the pool' from this year's team."
Schrank said the Panther-Hawks were slowed by a recent bout of illness.
"I think if we had been 100 percent at the right time, we could have been in the top 10 teams at state," he said. "The good part is that the training this season will not be wasted. The results of their hard work will show up in the next couple of weeks as swimmers return to their club teams."
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