Posted Online: Feb. 22, 2013, 11:53 pm

RI's Rodriguez reaches state swim finals

Comment on this story

By Chris Steele, chrissteele@qconline.com

Rock Island senior Daniel Rodriguez had been to the IHSA State swim finals before, but something about being on the blocks for what could be the final swim of his prep career made him take notice of the little things.

"It was crazy," Rodriguez said. "I remember before the 50 yard freestyle looking up and seeing my name on the state finals board -- it was mind blowing."

Rodriguez touched the wall in 21.48 for a ninth place finish Friday in the IHSA swim meet qualifying him for today's consolation finals.

At the United Township Sectional, Rocky's Rodriguez reached his goal of swimming 21 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle with a 21.60, and is looking for one last time drop in his final swim.

"Maybe dropping under 21 would be nice." said Rodriguez laughingly.

Rodriguez missed out on qualifying in the 100 butterfly, finishing 27th (52.37), with Rock Island teammate George Pappas swimming to a 36th-place time of 53.21.

Pappas finished 26th in the 100 individual medley (1:58.31).

Rock Island 's team of Adam Cady, Pappas, Rodriguez and Josh Fleming finished 27th in the 200 medley relay (1:39.18).

The Moline 200-yard freestyle relay team just missed out on advancing to today's final. The Maroons team of Matthew Roche, Michael Vershaw, Alec Michna and Fermann Flowers was 29-tenths of a second from making the consolation final.

After overcoming a knee injury to swim a school record 58.96, Roche's bid to make the finals in the 100 breaststroke fell short with a 23rd-place finish at 59.23, the second-fastest time he's ever swam in his event.

Rocky's Josh Fleming finished the 500 freestyle in 33rd place (4:51.86), and was 38th in the 200 freestyle (1:46.42).

In the past two weeks, the relays of Rock Island and Moline fed off of each other to post sensational times at conference and sectionals. The two schools rode that intensity to a state appearance, but neither school was able to advance.

Rock Island's relay of Pappas, John Ponsetto, Rodriguez and Fleming finished 30th with a time of 3:16.07, and Moline's group of Michna, Andrew Gerdes, Vershaw, and Flowers landed in 34th (3:18.77).