Boys Swim and Dive: Looking to Top Last Year’s Success


Senior captain Dakota Weinman walked away from last years state finals counting it as a success. Dakota qualified for states in both the two IM and 100 meter backstroke. His fourth relay also managed to finish inside of the top ten at states which isn’t a common occurrence for the boy’s Forest Hills swim and dive team. This was not the first time that Dakota had made it to the state competition, but it was his best finish yet.

“Individually things went really well,” said Dakota who also made it to the state meet his sophomore year. “Our team also had our best finish in recent history, so we’ll look to continue our success this upcoming season.”

On their way to their first conference championship in five years, Dakota and the rest of the boys swim and dive team managed to fend off the perennial powerhouse, East Grand Rapids.

“They’re always the team to beat so it was nice coming out on top this time,” Dakota said. “The conference finals were the meet we all needed to come together and step up as a team, and that’s exactly what we did.”

With last year’s season being the most successful one in the recent past, the Forest Hills boy’s swim and dive team will look to build off of last season’s prosperity. With many veterans returning for the 2016-2017 season, they will look to repeat what they had accomplished previously.

“We’re the team to beat this year because of all the success that we had last season,” said senior co-captain Mitch Miller. “This year we’re entering the season with a target on our backs as the defending co-conference champions.”

Although some key swimmers have departed, numerous underclassmen, Charlie Krug to be specific, will be looked to to fill the roles that have been left vacant.

“We always had Karsen [Diepholz] to swim the 500 for us, so now there’s a big open gap,” Dakota said. “That’s a long race that takes a lot of endurance, so I’m looking forward to seeing who’ll fill that spot. Without Karsen there’s a big question mark, and that race is key.”

As a team combined of the three Forest Hills schools, one unique aspect of the boys team is their togetherness.

“As one team, we represent three schools and the Forest Hills philosophy of excellence,” head coach Dennis Neat said. “I think there are times that we’re actually closer than a one-school team is. It’s interesting to watch from a coach’s perspective. The team interacts amongst each other and is able to open up in discussion.”

Last season, Forest Hills boys swim and dive had one of their most memorable seasons to date. This season began the same as last with each individual setting goals and vowing to go all in for the team.
“Our team goal this year, and every year, has been to win the conference championship,” Neat said. “We have won the conference title 6 out of the past 12 years and have set the bar to repeat this year. Our toughest opponent will be East Grand Rapids. At the state level, we would like to try to improve upon our eighth place finish last year.”

Looking at the experienced swimmers returning, and based off of their track record against East Grand Rapids a season ago, this Forest Hills team is in good shape to exceed their set goals.

“Last season, we finished the year with only one Conference loss [to East Grand Rapids],” Mitch said.  “We were able to outscore them and place first in the Conference Meet, but ended up sharing the title with them. This year, it is our goal to become the outright champions of the conference, and we have the team to do it.”