Tide paint pool purple in invite

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Josh Flickinger/Beloit Daily News The Beloit Memorial Purple Tide, led by Jim Santas (left) and Jackson Prowse (right, both holding trophy) took first place at Thursday’s Rock County Championship meet for the second straight year.

BELOIT — It took Beloit Memorial several years to win its first Rock County Championship swimming meet.

It only took the Purple Tide one year to do it again.

The Tide repeated its title in the event which also featured Janesville Parker, Janesville Craig and Milton. Beloit finished with a total of 631 points in the 11-event meet, while Parker came in second with a total of 572.

Tide coach Richard Vogel said he was pleased with his team’s effort.

“We hadn’t had a meet in almost a month,” Vogel said. “We had one canceled and then we had the holiday break. We trained really hard, and it was nice to see we had a lot of times that were on parallel with sectional times last season.”

Vogel said there were still some technical things his team needs work on.

“It’s little stuff like not breathing out of turns, relay exchanges, things like that,” Vogel said. “We could work on finishing a little better at times. We have some sophomores that just don’t have the experience the upperclassmen do . They swim fast, but they have to learn how to finish. Overall though, the kids swam very well.”

The Tide came up with first-place finishes in four events: The 200-freestyle relay, 200-medley relay, Adrian Sowicz in the 50-freestyle and Jim Santas in the 100-backstroke.

“I think we swam well tonight,” Santas said. “I feel like I’m ahead of schedule from my times last year. I’ve done a lot of training and had a lot of good coaching to get to this point.”

Santas said the team’s ability to get along well out of the pool has greatly contributed to its success in the pool.

“We have good chemistry,” Santas said. “If everyone gets along like we do, it makes training easier.”

Another difference-maker on the Beloit side is senior Jackson Prowse, who finished second place in both the 200-IM (2:13.09) and 100-breaststroke (1:05.54)..

“I did my best to step up where I could and contribute to the team as best as I could,” Prowse said. “I wanted to win my races, but getting second was OK. I got the best times of my season in both races, so I can’t complain. This was a good test for us to see where we are at after being off for so long.”

The team victory allowed Prowse to reflect on his career.

“It’s pretty amazing just to see how far we’ve come from my freshman year,” Prowse said. “Back then, we didn’t win anything. It’s been a huge change. Over the course of the years, the atmosphere we’ve created has allowed us to work better as a team, and we’ve had a big increase in guys swimming year-round, not just during the season. Tonight showed what the results can be when you have that.”

The winning 200-free relay team consisted of Sowicz, Will Klobucar, Nathan Silll and Kyle Raisbeck. The group finished in 1:36.18, more than three seconds ahead of second-place Parker.

The 200-medley team included Santas, Prowse, Sowicz and Klobucar. They edged out Parker by a half-second with a time of 1:46.18.

The Tide won’t get much time to celebrate their victory. They will be back in the pool Friday at Janesville Craig.

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