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Whitefish Bay's Kaszubowski has 'Hawley moment,' wins second state diving title

Bott, Oldson also earn WIAA swim medals

Feb. 19, 2013

Whitefish Bay school recordholder and now two-time WIAA State D2 diving champion Joe Kaszubowski had an Alex Hawley moment recently, and boy was it fun.

It was at the North Shore Conference meet a few weeks ago, well before Kaszubowski repeated as state champion last Friday with a new school record mark of 513.4 points.

The story goes that the three-time Bay state diving champion (1994 through 1996) Hawley was in the neighborhood, saw the lights on in the pool and decided to stop in while the Blue Dukes were hosting the North Shore Conference meet.

He found his old coach Jim Davis and after everything was done, Hawley and Kaszubowski had a chance to meet with a picture being taken under the Blue Duke record board.

"It was great to meet the person who had held the record for so long," Kaszubowski said. "He was very nice."

And very realistic too.

"He talked to me about careers and said that if I want to make more money I should stick with baseball," laughed Kaszubowski, whose second sport is baseball. "He said there isn't much money in diving and that baseball would be a much better option. I'll have to see about that."

Kaszubowski's future, and Hawley's

Kaszubowski and Davis might be seeing a lot more of Hawley in the near future. Bay currently doesn't have a diving coach and preliminary discussions are being held with Hawley to come back and coach the divers next season.

As for the sophomore Kaszubowski's diving future, he said he has a lot of drive for a lot more. He wasn't overly impressed with his state effort, which was close to 69 points ahead of the runner-up from Chilton and noted that he thought his set was just "very nice."

He said that this state meet was a lot more relaxed than last year's.

"I knew what was going on this time around," he said.

One specific he did note was that he thought he had improved his reverse 1-1/2 pike greatly from the beginning of the season.

"I just kept on working on it," he said, "and now I think I have a pretty good handle on it. … What I really worked on in the off-season was form. That's the only way my score was going to go up. I was fine-tuning every single little thing at practice."

Kaszubowski's primary coach is Todd Hill at Schroeder.

He used things he learned from Hill to help along first-time state qualifying junior Luke Henricks, who turned in a respectable 13th with a 280.75 score.

Impressive diving

Davis was impressed by all aspects of Kaszubowski's performance.

"By the time he got to the last dive he was phenomenal," Davis said, "and then he just nailed it. He was so far ahead that he just decided to go for it and that he broke his own school record again, went a little higher, is just great."

"You're so proud when you see them perform like that," he continued. "D2 diving was down a little bit this year and I'm hoping Alex (Hawley) can come out and help next year. That'd be fantastic, but it also helps to have a diver of Joe's talent. We haven't had anyone close to him since Alex."

The diver's efforts led Bay to an eighth place showing in the D2 with 103 points as Monona Grove was the new champion with 258.

Bay had three other top six performances as senior Ethan Bott was sixth in the 200 individual medley (2:00.62) and fifth in the 100 backstroke (PB 53.86) and sophomore Noah Oldson was sixth in the 500 free (4:58.75).

Davis was happy with all his performances.

"I think we can really celebrate the fact that we're in the top eight," he said. "We started out well with the (200) medley relay. We always seem to get things going with that. We got a couple of medals and most of the times were personal bests … It was just a great year overall and I was really proud of what we've done."

Other efforts for the Blue Dukes include the following: 200 medley relay - Oldson, Bott, junior Curt Walther and senior Ethan Nikolau, 11th (season best 1:43.74). 50 free - Nikolau, 15th (23.22). 100 free - Nikolau, 15th (50.81). 100 backstroke - Oldson, ninth (PB 56.61). 400 free relay - Oldson, sophomore Joey McMahon, Nikolau, and Bott, 10th (SB 3:22.79).

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