One year ago, Cedarburg swimmer Will Hobbs was, well, hobbled a bit at the time of the WIAA Division 2 state meet.
"I had some illness at (late-season) training time and a back problem towards the end of the season, so I was not at my full potential," Hobbs recalled.
As a result, he came up short in both the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard freestyle races, including finishing second by an agonizing 0.01 seconds in the 100.
"That (the near miss) drove me a lot during this season," Hobbs said.
He made up for last year's frustrations by winning the same two events at this season's state meet on Feb. 17 in Madison.
Hobbs prevailed in the 50-yard freestyle with 21.06 seconds and in the 100 with 46.3 to bring home both coveted crowns.
"I just put my head down and got into the pool," Hobbs said. "My determination really helped me."
As did Cedarburg coach Amit Kaul, whose direction Hobbs cited as a key factor in his state titles.
"When you're swimming, you can't tell what the other (competitors) are doing in the pool," Hobbs said. "Whatever Amit tells us to do, we do. We put our trust in Amit and it worked well this year."
Kaul said the Bulldogs as a team were happy for Hobbs.
"We were thrilled by Will's victories," the coach said. "He found redemption after disappointing losses in both events last season."
Hobbs said he hopes his two victories will ultimately benefit the Cedarburg swimming program.
"I was getting a lot of attention," he said. "I personally don't need the attention, but I know that swimming doesn't get a lot of notice at our school, and I hope this brings some attention to the swim teams, who both send a lot of people to state."
Hobbs, a senior, also pitched in on a pair of relays for Cedarburg.
He led off the 200 freestyle relay, which included seniors Kevin Glomski, Owen Carr and Evan Geiser and placed third in 1 minute, 29.16 seconds, and he anchored the 400 freestyle with the same three, which took fourth at 3:17.13.
The 200 medley relay team of senior Josh Bote, senior Jimmy Radtke, junior Kaleb Kaiser and Glomski came in seventh with 1:42.19.
Geiser snared eighth in the 200 freestyle with 1:48.52 and was followed by Carr in ninth at 1:49.54.
Carr was ninth in the 100 butterfly at 55.25 seconds, and 10th places went to Geiser in the 500 freestyle (4:57.99) and Radtke in the 100 breaststroke at 1:01.6.
The Bulldogs tallied 169 points for fifth place in the team standings, which matched last season's finish.
Hobbs is now on his way to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to compete in swimming next season.
"(UWM) was interested in me, and I know the coaches and some of the kids from junior programs," said Hobbs, who plans to major in mechanical engineering.