'Tak' wraps up storybook season with pair of all-state finishes

From Day 1, Takuya Kobayashi surprised his teammates and coaches on the Grand Haven swim team with his speed in the pool.
Tribune Staff
Mar 12, 2012


The foreign exchange student from Japan continued to surprise throughout the season, cumulating with a pair of top 6 finishes during Saturday’s Division 1 state finals held at Eastern Michigan University.

Kobayashi’s unknown-to-awe-inspiring story was complete following his  fourth-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly and a sixth-place showing in the 200 individual medley.

Kobayashi recorded a time of 50.80 seconds in the butterfly — faster than Nick Zacek’s Division 3 state championship time — and 1:54.21 in the individual medley.

His strong finishes helped Grand Haven total 50 points at the finals, which was good for 15th overall. Saline won the team title with 326.5 points.

Bucs’ senior Aaron Venema also shined in his final prep meet, as he took sixth in his best event — the 500 freestyle — by touching the wall in 4:42.13. The time was better than his school record-breaking performance he established last month at the O-K Red Conference meet.

Venema also placed 14th in the 200 freestyle, as he finished in 1:45.38.

A pair of Bucs’ divers gave the program a reason for optimism in the future, as junior Casey Carlson placed 12th overall with a finals score of 352.45.
Sophomore Griffen Dwyer took 16th with a 320.70.



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