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Neverman swims to pair of state titles

By Rich Palzewic
Sports Editor

MADISON – Green Bay Preble senior Kaiser Neverman capped off his high school swimming career by winning a pair of state titles Feb. 22 at the WIAA Division 1 state meet in Madison.

Neverman won the 200-yard individual medley (IM) in 1:47.79 and the 100 butterfly in 47.74 for his Green Bay United team.

“I’ve been working hard for four years,” said Neverman, who is the son of Brock and Heidi Neverman. “I’ve never quite gotten to the top before, so the reward has been great – it paid off.”

Neverman, whose winning time in the IM was more than three seconds faster than the second-place finisher, is a Division I commit to the University of Minnesota.

“How I won the IM was surprising,” said Neverman, who plans on studying psychology at Minnesota. “You don’t swim against many of your competitors all season, so you don’t know what they’re capable of. I didn’t know what to expect, but I kept pushing forward during the race. I knew at sectionals I could go faster at state.”

Neverman, who said his main goal coming in as a freshman at Preble was to win a state title, has another goal before he moves on to the Big Ten Conference where the competition will get more difficult.

“My goal right now is to make the Olympic Trials cut in the 100 butterfly or 200 IM,” he said. “To go to that meet would be a great experience. If I don’t reach that now, I’ll definitely keep trying while in college. I’m not sure what Minnesota’s plan is for me. I’m guessing I won’t redshirt my freshman year, but I don’t know for sure. I’d like to do well at the Big Ten Conference meet, and qualifying for the NCAA meet would be nice, too, but that will be a big challenge.”

Neverman’s weakest stroke is the backstroke, but it wasn’t always that way.

“The backstroke was the first stroke I was good at,” he said. “When I was 6 or 7, I broke my team’s 25 backstroke record, and that was the first record I had. I haven’t been training it as much, so it has developed as one of my weaker strokes.”

Kaiser got to swim with his younger brother, Mikhail, at state in the 200 medley relay.

“I hope his chances are good someday,” said Neverman. “He’s only a freshman, so we will see how he develops.”

Other podium finishers at state included Bay Port’s Griffin Hawley in the 50 freestyle (sixth – 21.16) and its 200 freestyle relay team of Hawley, Kyle Zerbel, Payton Schilz and Keaton Spindler (fourth – 1:25.73).

In the 200 medley relay, Bay Port’s team of Victor Kostov, Hawley, Spindler and Zerbel placed 11th (1:36.3) and GBU’s team of Mikhail Neverman, Macoy Socha, K. Neverman and Riley Komp finished 13th (1:36.99).

Other results for Bay Port included Schilz in the 200 freestyle (19th – 1:46.98), Kostov in the 200 IM (15th – 1:58.36), Spindler in the 50 freestyle (12th – 21.81) and the 100 butterfly (16th – 52.90), Zerbel in the 100 freestyle (23rd – 48.85), Kostov in the 100 backstroke (19th – 53.75) and Hawley in the 100 breaststroke (14th – 59.68).

GBU’s 400 freestyle relay team of Connor Howe, Zachary Karnz, Komp and K. Neverman placed 12th (3:14.76).

Bay Port finished 12th as a team with 66 points, while GBU placed 15th with 58 points.

Middleton won the state title with 228 points.

Thirty-six teams scored points at the meet.

Division 2

Ashwaubenon competed in the Division 2 meet Feb. 21.

Jackson Hodek had a pair of sixth-place finishes in the 200 freestyle (1:48.03) and the 500 freestyle (4:50.21).

Nick Messamore (1:00.83) and Joe Steffel (1:01.18) placed eighth and ninth, respectively, in the 100 breaststroke.

Steffel also placed 15th in the 100 butterfly (55:27).

The 200 medley relay team of Cooper Herr, Messamore, Steffel and Peter Steinhoff placed 14th in 1:43.66.

The 200 freestyle relay team of Messamore, Steffel, Cooper Herr and Steinhoff placed 16th in 1:32.97.

The Jaguars’ 56 points were good enough for 15th place among 33 teams.

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