Greenfield - In a dual meet back on Jan. 11, the Greenfield/Greendale and Shorewood boys swimming teams tied at 91 points.
When they met again in the Woodland Conference Meet on Saturday at Cudahy High School, the Panther-Hawks were able to gain a bit of separation from the Greyhounds - one-half point.
In an incredible finish that amazed both head coaches, Greenfield/Greendale tallied 453 points to nip the Hounds' 452½.
"Both teams swam so much better than what the heat sheet projected," Panther-Hawks coach Dale Schrank said. "After last year, where the top three teams all finished within 10 points of each other, I did not think I would ever see a tighter meet on the conference level. To have the very next year be decided by one-half point is just unbelievable.
"Even more impressive is the fact that both teams swam way over their heads in their battle for the title. Both teams scored between 30 and 40 points more than they should have, based on previous best times. This is one conference battle that both teams will remember for a very long time. Our hats sincerely go off to Shorewood."
Shorewood's Rob McCabe felt the same way.
"Well, that's a first," McCabe said. "I've never seen a conference meet be separated by half a point. Greenfield/Greendale swam phenomenally and earned the conference title. They were just that much better than us today, and our guys swam terrific."
Decision based on last swim
The meet was ultimately decided in the final event, the 400 freestyle relay. The Greenfield/Greendale team of Shaun Lucchesi, Shaun Fleischhacker, Andrew Staszak and Rick Perez captured second with 3 minutes, 22.01 seconds, and Shorewood's top squad came in third.
If the Greyhounds' B team placed fifth or higher, Shorewood would have won by 1½ points. That team took sixth, though, giving Greenfield/Greendale the title by the one-half point.
The Panther-Hawks started well in the diving. Will Kivlin won the crown with 368.95 points, breaking his own school record, while Liam Duffy took second with a personal-best 326.8. First-year diver Jake Howard had a personal-best 241.4.
In the first swimming event, the 200 medley relay team of Perez, Ross Rybakowicz, Staszak and Adam Fleischhacker won in 1 minute, 40.51 seconds, the fastest of any area conference.
The B team of Zach Hogan, Jeff Jacobs, Joe Hannah and Nathan Matecki took sixth (1:51.02), defeating Shorewood's B squad and giving the Panther-Hawks a two-point edge over the Greyhounds that would later prove most valuable.
Other co-op winners
Also winning for the Panther-Hawks were Staszak in the 200 freestyle at 1:51.41, Adam Fleischhacker in the 50 freestyle with 22.82 seconds (0.04 seconds short of last year's state qualifying time), Perez in the 100 backstroke at 56.67 and the 200 freestyle unit of Rybakowicz, Lucchesi, Shaun Fleischhacker and Adam Fleischhacker with 1:31.95.
Taking second were Rybakowicz in the 200 individual medley (2:01.71) and the 100 breaststroke (1:02.7) and Staszak in the 500 freestyle (5:04.98). Also in the breaststroke, Jeff Jacobs came up with six unexpected (according to seeds) points, Schrank said.
Perez finished third in the 200 freestyle (1:51.89).
Coming in fourth were Lucchesi in the 200 freestyle (1:52.33) and the 500 freestyle (5:17.41), Shaun Fleischhacker in the 200 IM (2:10.64) and Hogan in the 100 backstroke (57.66). Hogan moved up from the ninth seed in the backstroke, and his time was 0.3 seconds off the 2011 state qualifying mark.
Placing fifth were Adam Fleischhacker in the 100 freestyle (51.57) and Hogan in the 100 butterfly (58.36). Also in the butterfly, Jacobs scored six points and Joe Hannah four points, which proved crucial.
Finishing eighth were Shaun Fleischhacker in the 100 backstroke (1:00.29) and the 200 freestyle B team of Hogan, Jacobs, Andrew Semancik and Matecki (1:41.88).
Greenfield/Greendale hosts a WIAA Division 1 sectional at 1 p.m. Feb. 11. The winners of each event, plus those with the top 18 non-winning times in the state, advance to the state meet on Feb. 18 in Madison.
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