Sean O'Connor won three first places for his Grafton boys swimming team, but his unselfish act also helped secure the North Shore Conference championship for the Black Hawks.
O'Connor, a senior, claimed the 200-yard freestyle with 1 minute, 48.72 seconds and the 100 butterfly in 52.32 seconds, and he swam with Charley Hanney, Jack Senczyszyn and Adam Schacht to capture the 200 medley relay with 1:41.78.
Those victories gave the Hawks 80 points; then in the climactic 400 freestyle relay, O'Connor showed his team spirit in helping provide additional crucial points.
He swam with Grafton's B team, along with Trevor Bodart, Matthew Fischer and Gaven Depies, and that unit captured a share of third place with 3:33.03.
The third place gave the Hawks 31 points, and they won the meet by 21 points over rival Cedarburg.
"Sean unselfishly did what it would take to help his teammates by anchoring the 400 B team," coach Mark Minz said. "The third place by that relay helped Grafton seal the deal on the conference team title."
First NSC crown
The Hawks scored 455 points to top the Bulldogs' 434½ points and claim the North Shore boys swimming crown for the first time.
The Bulldogs, who also took second in the conference relays this season, topped third-place Homestead by 32 points.
Grafton swept all three relays on the day. Besides the 200 medley, Ja'Quese Teat, Senczyszyn, Schacht and Jake Herlache won the 200 freestyle with 1:31.34, and Hanney, Nick Starr, Schacht and Herlache captured the 400 freestyle in 3:20.29.
"None of our A relays were seeded to come in first, but they all managed to find a way to win," Minz said.
Grafton's Starr also won two individual events: the 500 freestyle with 4:59.7 and the 100 backstroke in 56.54.
Runnerup Cedarburg notched firsts in diving with Garrett Gonwa's 351.45 points and the 100 freestyle with Will Hobbs in 47.76 seconds.
The Bulldogs also captured three second places: Hobbs in the 50 freestyle at 21.98, Evan Geiser in the 500 freestyle with 5:09.26 and the 400 freestyle relay of Geiser, Owen Carr, Kevin Glomski and Hobbs with 3:20.31.
The second-place finish in the 400 put more pressure on Grafton and made O'Connor's effort with the B team that much more important.
Herlache snared Grafton's lone second place, in the 200 freestyle with 1:49.48.
The Hawks had third places from Hanney in the 200 individual medley (2:11.49), Herlache in the 100 freestyle (49.07) and Senczyszyn in the 100 breaststroke (1:04.43).
For Cedarburg, third places went to Carr in the 100 butterfly (56.89) and the 200 freestyle relay of Hobbs, Glomski, Carr and Geiser (1:32.22).
Taking fourth for Cedarburg were Carr in the 200 freestyle (1:52.43), Josh Bote in the 200 IM (2:12.04) and Jimmy Radtke in the 100 breaststroke (1:04.89).
Finishing fourth for Grafton were Harry Niswonger in diving (318.4), Hanney in the 100 freestyle (51.14) and the 200 medley B relay of Depies, Starr, Fischer and Teat (1:46.23).
More top places
Coming in fifth for Cedarburg were Geiser in the 200 freestyle (1:52.56), Glomski in the 100 freestyle (52.22), Bote in the 100 backstroke (1:00.03), Jacob Rohman in the 100 breaststroke (1:08.86) and the 200 medley relay of Bote, Radtke, Kaleb Kaiser and Dylan Muhonen (1:47.45).
Diver Ben Niswonger took fifth for Grafton (298.35 points).
Snaring sixth for Grafton were Depies in the 200 IM (2:18.02) and Schacht in the 50 freestyle (23.69). Coming in sixth for Cedarburg were Cole Felmer in the 100 breaststroke (1:08.87) and the 400 freestyle B unit of Kaiser, Tyler Grissom, Radtke and Bote (3:37.69).
Claiming seventh were Glomski in the 200 freestyle (1:56.73) for Cedarburg and Teat in the 50 freestyle (23.92) and Depies in the 100 breaststroke (1:09.22) for the Hawks.
Snaring eighth were Grafton's Fischer in the 50 freestyle (24.18) and Cedarburg's Ben Keller in the 200 IM (2:18.78), Kaiser in the 100 butterfly (58.84) and Radtke in the 500 freestyle (5:30.36).
"It was an outstanding effort by the whole team, with most of the team achieving season-best and personal-best times," Minz said.
Both Grafton and Cedarburg will compete in a WIAA Division 2 sectional meet at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, at Ashwaubenon.