Royal Oak "fought" their way to finish in first place, followed Rochester High School and Berkley, as seven Oakland County schools competed Friday in the Oakland Activities Association 2014 boys swimming championships in Royal Oak.“The boys swam great on Wednesday and Friday. We had 42 of 43 (98 percent) individual best swims on Wednesday and we added another 27 individual bests on Friday," Royal Oak swim coach Darrin Millar said. "The boys fought their way up in the standings and took places and medals that other teams counted on for themselves."
Royal Oak scored 488 points to win the championship Friday, beating Rochester High School with 476 points. Neighboring Berkley came in third with 347 points, while Avondale High School finished fourth with 319 points.
"It was nice to see them swim with such emotion and determination. I really could not of been and prouder of them," Millar said. "Many coaches came up to us and commented on their swims."
Senior Zach Zatina picked up state cuts in the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle. He also broke team records in both of those events, which were set in 2000, and was named Senior of the Meet.
Royal Oak's Joe Mangum, Ryan Noechel, Zatina, James Mack were named All League in the 200-yard medley, as was Zatina in the 50-yard freestyle and Noechel in the 100-yard breaststroke.
Noechel, Mack, Jacob Czarnik and Zatina were All League in the 200-yard Freestyle Relay.
"We have many hard working good kids. We had great training all year. We prepared well and it paid off for the kids," said Millar, who was named Coach of the Year. "Our motto on our shirts this year was ‘Failure to Prepare, is Preparing to Fail.' I really feel that quote summed up our year.”