'Class act' Wong advances to state swim in two events for Brown Deer/USM
Efforts part of good sectional showing
Brown Deer/University School boys swim coach Bob Van Lieshout makes no bones about it, senior two-time state qualifier Billy Wong is one of his favorites.
For good reason.
Not only did Wong come out of the WIAA Division 2 sectional meet in Plymouth with fine state qualifying times in the 200-yard freestyle and his specialty the 100 breast stroke, but he also helped out on a couple of relays and just by being himself, made life a lot better for this tiny, nine-man team this winter.
"Oh, he was tired by the end of the day," Van Lieshout said, "but he told me afterward that he was going to go home and change and then go to a 'Sadie Hawkins' dance that was being held at school.
"But he told me all he was going to do there was sit (laughs)"
However, that's hardly the whole story behind Wong.
"He was satisfied with his efforts," Van Lieshout said. "He barely missed out on making the 200 last year and so for him to get there in that event this year is just great because he is just a class act. He's why coaches coach. Just one of the best kids that I know. A great example for the school and humanity."
Van Lieshout has nominated Wong for both academic All-American status and for the WIAA Scholar-Athlete award.
Not bad at all.
Wong will be the 15th seed in the 200 freestyle and the 11th seed in the 100 breast stroke when the WIAA State D2 meet is held at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the UW-Madison Natatorium.
His efforts paced the Falconkats to a fourth-place showing in the sectional with 203 points as Grafton won the 11-team meet with 378.
Wong was second in the 100 breast stroke in one minute, 3.97 seconds after taking third in the 200 free (1:52.95).
His showings were part of a good overall day for the local co-op as despite a disqualification of the meet-starting 200 medley relay ("a nervous freshman," Van Lieshout said) that relay still set a four-second season best time.
And then it only got better for the Falconkats.
Van Lieshout cited Josh Thompson for fine efforts in the 200 individual medley (second, 2:13.86) and a sixth in the 100 butterfly (1:00.37) and noted that freshman Jacob Wine turned in a six-second personal best in taking sixth in the 200 IM (2:24.32) and then turned around and dropped about 20 seconds from his best time in the 500 free in taking third (5:31.0).
"Everybody did just about what we wanted them to do, when they needed to do it," Van Lieshout said. "If it had gone perfectly, we might have won four events."
He said that Thompson had the best starts of the meet.
"We just had good swims everywhere we turned," he added.
Other good efforts for the co-op included the following: 200 free: Horst Burmeister, seventh (six-second PR 2:01.57); 200 IM: Zach Farrel, fifth (2:23.45); 100 butterfly: Farrel, 10th (1:04.27); 500 free: Burmeister, sixth (5:40.21); 200 free relay: Thompson, Burmeister, Farrel and Wong, fifth (SB 1:37.18); 100 breast stroke: Ben Zaydaman, 11th (1:14.99); and 400 free relay: Thompson, Burmeister, Wine and Wong, fifth (SB, 3:37.92).
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