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Big efforts in the 500-yard freestyle and 400 freestyle relay helped give the Greenfield/Greendale/Pius XI boys swimming team the championship in the Kenosha Bradford Invitational on Jan. 23.

The 'PG-squared' team tallied 433 points to nip pre-meet favorite Racine Case, which totaled 424 points for second place.

The local squad also beat four Woodland Conference foes (South Milwaukee, New Berlin West, Whitnall and Cudahy) in the 15-team meet.

'This was a great meet for us,' coach Dale Schrank said. 'There was pressure put on every swimmer in every single event, and our guys really came through when they needed to.'

Freestyle relay team wins

That was especially true for the 400 freestyle relay unit of Isaac Jiardini, Tyler Lustig, Ben Davis and Steve Novinska, which had to win to hold off Case's relay for the overall meet crown.

The Greenfield/Greendale/Pius swimmers did so, finishing in 3 minutes, 28.4 seconds to beat Case, which came in second at 3:28.69.

'I was concerned about the last relay because Jiardini was just coming off the last heat of the 100 breaststroke and did not have a lot of recovery time before he had to swim again,' Schrank said. 'He led off the relay with 53.25 (seconds). Lustig split 51.86, Davis 50.58 and Novinska had to finish it off.

'Novinska had the swim of the meet, splitting 52.71 and beating the Case relay by 0.29 seconds. Had Case won the relay, it would have won the meet by three points.'

The other key event for the combined team was the 500 freestyle. Rick Davis took first (4:56.2) and was followed by Lustig in second (4:56.8) and Ben Davis third (5:01.12) as the local team swept the top three places.

Ryan Haessly came in 18th in the 500 (personal-best 6:11.93), giving the locals three more points for a total of 68 points in the event and the lead for good in the meet.

Ben Davis also won the 200 freestyle (1:48.78) to round out the event championships for Greenfield/Greendale/Pius XI.

Taking second were Rick Davis in the 200 individual medley (1:59.43); Lustig in the 100 butterfly (55.04); the 200 medley relay of Rick Davis, Jiardini, Lustig and Carmelo Patti (1:43.4); and the 200 freestyle unit of Rick Davis, Ben Davis, Novinska and Ray Smith (1:34.5).

Jiardini took third in the 100 breaststroke (1:05.85), and fourth places went to Novinska in the 200 freestyle (personal-best 1:55.77) and Jiardini in the 200 IM (2:06.62).

Jackson Zgola came in sixth in the 200 IM (2:18.25) to close out the top-eight finishes.

Mistake overcome

Greenfield/Greendale/Pius XI also overcame a disqualification by the 200 medley B squad in the first race of the meet.

'That mistake could have come back to haunt us,' Schrank said, 'but the guys really stepped up and got just that much more determined.'

The local team will compete in the Bob White Invitational at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30, at Wauwatosa West. The squad will be without team captain Rick Davis, who will be on a college visit to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.