For the 2nd time in as many weeks, the Greenfield/Greendale/Pius Swim team was challenged by the top ranked team in the State, and for the 2nd time in a row, the local favorites came out on top. Competing at the Marquette Invitational at the Walter Schroeder Aquatic Center in Brown Deer, the “PantherHawks” finished 1st in a field of 14 teams and won the event with a total of 328 points. Arrowhead was a very close 2nd with 322.5. “Once Arrowhead included their point totals from their divers, the final score was very close.” commented head coach Dale Schrank. “It was a very competitive meet from 2 very strong teams that were both very deep and very talented.“ said Schrank. “ We were able to score in 21 of 24 entries, and they scored in 22 out of 24. The main difference is we were able to win 7 of 13 events, and they won only the diving.” “Had it not been the scoring of a number of our 2nd line varsity swimmers, we could have very easily lost this meet.”
“Captains Emilio Perez, Leo Gandaria, and Jack Lustig all won both their respective events, but if Zach Mrnik, Charles Julien, Zander Spafford, Liem Funk, Mathew Koronka, and especially Parker Tetting had not stepped up and scored where they did, we could never had stayed with the overall depth of Arrowhead.”
The three captains from Greenfield and Pius also missed 5 meet records by less than tenths of seconds. “In a meet with a 27 year history of the top swimmers in Wisconsin, and even a number of the top swimmers from surrounding states, that is no small feat.” commented Schrank . Gandaria missed the meet record in the 200 yard freestyle by less than .55 seconds and missed the 100 yard freestyle meet record by only .33 seconds. Perez tied the meet record in the 50 yard freestyle with his lead off split in the 200 yard freestyle relay with a time of 20.42, and missed his own meet record in the 100 yard butterfly by only .26 seconds. Lustig missed the meet record in the 200 yard individual medley by only .07 seconds and did crush his own meet record in the 500 yard freestyle by over 7 seconds.His new record of 4:31.71 is only is only 2.8 seconds off the existing State mark for division I.
Greendale captains Aaron Shibilski and Vincent Patti also played no small role in securing the win. Patti made the podium in both the 100 yard butterfly and 100 yard breaststroke, and teammate Shibilski made the top 7 in both the 200 and 500 yard freestyle events. “This was the perfect meet to set up both the Woodland Conference and the Sectional and State meets, all coming up within the next 4 weeks. It is hard to believe that the season will be over in only 26 days”. The next competition for the “PantherHawks” will be against crosstown rival Whitnall on Wednesday January 13. Action starts at 5:00 p.m at the Greenfield home pool.