The Wauwatosa Hurricanes had a good season, but it was important to follow coach Heidi Hegwood's mantra: 'Work hard, play hard, cheer hard and improve as a team.'
Hegwood's boys swimming and diving team accomplished all those goals in looking at some of their highlights.
They had a 4-2 dual-meet record, losing only to Shorewood and the Greenfield/Greendale/Pius XI co-op.
They finished second at the Sheboygan South and Bob White Invitationals; eighth at Cedarburg; and ninth at Fort Atkinson.
They placed third at the Woodland Conference Meet and fourth in the conference relays, but they won the 100 freestyle relay for the sixth straight season.
'Even though Greenfield/Greendale/Pius snuck in front of us, we had an amazing meet with some amazing time drops from varsity and JV across the board at conference,' Hegwood said. 'Moreover, our JV took the win for the second time in Hurricane history. We have set the tone for the future.'
Tosa also got to the state tournament and got on the scoreboard besides. Danny Larson finished second in the 200 free and grabbed the state title in the 100 free.
Avery Weishoff finished 19th in diving, the 200 free relay finished 17th (Larson, Paul Gagne, Nick Thuli, Cal Hartt) and the 400 frees relay finished 13th (Hartt, Caleb Vollmers, Henry Lynch, Larson).
'Over the season, at some point, everyone dropped time, which is ultimately my goal as a coach,' Hegwood said. 'Our expectations are to work hard, have fun and see times or dives improve; therefore, we succeeded as a team.'
Four-year letter winners were Joey Rampolla and Brandon Toye.
The Scholar Athlete Award went to Brandon Toye and Henry Lynch.
The Coach's Award exemplifies leadership and the drive to improve the team's future. This year two athletes shared the award: Toye and Avery Weishoff.
The Most Improved Award went to freshman Ian Kruse.
The Most Valuable Swimmer/Diver was voted on by the team and was no surprise: Danny Larson.
Avery Weishoff: The team's top diver and a key member of the 2015-16 team. Had an excellent season.
Brandon Toye: This year Brandon was thrown into the fastest lane (partially due to the fact it was a challenge, partially due to the fact the team needed room in other lanes and lastly because Larson and Hartt were not letting him swim anywhere else). 'Brandon persevered through each set with never yielding mindset,' Hegwood said.
Ryan Polasky: Ryan is a four-year varsity letter winner. He has always been a solid staple on the team and very dependable. 'I can always count on him scoring points, working hard and just doing what needs to be done,' Hegwood said. 'He has some of the best butterfly technique on the team. He has a very strong and steady stroke that is made for distance fly.'
Joey Rampolla: He has been a dependable point-scorer throughout the past four years in both back, breast or free. 'Joey is a very versatile athlete that I know I can place him in any of our weak places and he will finish well,' Hegwood said.
Paul Gagne: One of the fastest sprinters on the team, Paul became a powerhouse sprinter and a staple on the 200 free relay, even qualifying for state in that relay.
Henry Lynch: He was the team's No. 2 vote for Most Improved as he dropped time to qualify for two events for sectionals and make it on to the state 400 free relay.
Evan Vetrano: He had to deal with some injuries this year in his shoulder, which kept him out of the last two meets (conference, sectionals). 'Evan was improving and was on track for a very successful season,' Hegwood said. 'Although injury took him out, it didn't take him away from the team. He kept being a leader, showing up at meets and also checking in with me all the time.'
Peter Minix: He was the team's No. 2 breaststroke swimmer. 'Peter is the definition of a role model that leads by example,' Hegwood said. 'When the rest of his lane would stop to 'stretch,' he always kept going. He knew his goals, and he knew he would see results if he kept going.' This year, he improved his breaststroke and freestyle by over 5 seconds. He also won the 200 IM at JV conference.
Sam Dess, David Mei, Ben August and Peter Chin were seniors on the junior varsity.
Danny Larson: 'Over the past three years, Danny has been a leader to our athletes,' Hegwood said. 'His drive and focus during practice really has shown the other athletes what it takes to succeed. But on top of that, Danny knows how to add some fun to practice as well. He helps make practice just a bit more fun. I know this year finally winning his state title was the icing on his season.'
Cal Hartt: 'Cal is very goal-oriented and will take him far in life and far in swimming,' Hegwood said. He finished in the top 25 in the state in the 200 free and was 56th in his butterfly.
Chris Guinen: He swam the butterfly, IM, backstroke and freestyle. 'Let's just say he is a pretty universal swimmer,' Hegwood said. 'In each of these events, Chris saw time drops. He truly is a jack of all trades, and this makes him a vital part of our varsity team.'
Mathieu St. Amour: 'He has been a great teammate and a great person to have on our team,' Hegwood said. 'Throughout the season, I have seen many aspects of leadership, especially when trying to get people to go out and cheer. He is usually out there and telling others to join him. Mathieu also improved a lot this year in his season.'
Adam Brener was the only junior on the JV.
Nick Thuli: He is the team's lead breaststroke swimmer and finished with a 1:07 at sectionals. He also had a huge time drop in his 200 IM, dropping from a 2:18 to 2:11 at sectionals.
Caleb Vollmers: He is the team's leading distance swimmer, finishing his season with under 5:10 and his 200 with a 1:54 — both great times and something to be proud of. He was also on the 400 free relay and really did what the team needed him score points at state.
Jack Nichols: 'He has been a solid leg to our relays, specializing in free and backstroke,' Hegwood said. 'He dropped another 3 seconds at conference in his backstroke and was part of the medley and 400 free that both finished third.'
Henry Lutz: 'As the season continued, he continued to mature as a athlete and really started to become one of our leaders and one of our top backstrokers. This year he has dropped about 10 seconds in his 100 back and another 10 in his IM; therefore ,he has been becoming a key player in the varsity relays.'
Cory Vines and diver Jacob Lueck round out the sophomore lineup.
Sophomores on the JV are Camden Zach, Nick Haydin, Ben Vargas and Joe Bachar.
The following freshmen were on the junior varsity: Ben Holtz (diving), Henry Tyson, Xanthan Sadowski, Jeffrey Chin, Foster LaGrange, Ethan Krause and Elliot St. Amour.
One freshman, Ian Kruse, moved to varsity and stayed after just a few JV breaststroke events.
Hegwood also took time out to thank the team managers for their hard work: Ellen Smith, Megan Krummel and Ellie Lenkart.