Swimmers win fourth straight Big 8 title

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MTT News Desk's picture
Rob Reischel
Sam Andryk and Middleton’s girls swimming team won the Big Eight Conference title for a fourth straight year./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld


Ashley Aegerter. Sam Andryk. Emily Douglas. Elizabeth Ihrig. Olivia Kossel. Karley Licking. Maddy Mack.

These seven seniors on Middleton’s girls swimming team did something last week that has never been done in the history of the program.

They finished their careers undefeated in Big Eight Conference dual meets.

Middleton rolled past Madison Memorial, 104-66, last Tuesday and finished a perfect 9-0 in league dual meets. That marked the fourth straight year the Cardinals have won the conference with a perfect record.

That also means Middleton’s sensational senior class went 36-0 in league dual meets during their four-year careers.

“At the end of the meet, my initial reaction was ‘Great, 9-0. We really earned that,’ ” Middleton coach Lauren Cabalka said. “After thinking more about it, I realized that this senior class never lost a dual meet.  

“They won 36 consecutive dual meets in an incredibly tough and talented conference. I think that speaks volumes to their talents, hard work and dedication and is something that they played an incredibly large role in achieving.”

Middleton had several questions when the 2013 season began. But the Cardinals had several swimmers step up and remained queens of the conference.  

“I couldn’t be more proud of this team,” Cabalka said. “We started the season with a lot of question marks and a lot of gaps to fill. We knew we (could fall) to teams like Verona, (Madison) West and (Madison) Memorial.  

“The girls worked their tails off in two short months to make sure that did not happen. They came together when it mattered most and left that pool with one of our best wins of the season. I cannot overemphasize the importance of our senior class and the leadership they have shown, not only throughout this season, but throughout their four years.”

That leadership was on display again versus the Spartans.

Middleton’s 200 yard medley relay team of Victoria Lin, Aegerter, Andryk and Licking was first in 1:52.24.

Paige Prestigiacomo won the 200 yard freestyle (1:59.12) and Samantha Roll was third (1:59.97). Aegerter won the 200 yard IM (2:11.57), while Licking was second (2:13.45) and Emma Karbusicky was third (2:20.10).

Kossel (25.39) and Tryn Peterson (26.32) were second and third in the 50 yard freestyle, while Lin (1:00.71) and Andryk (1:02.53) were second and third in the 100 yard fly.

Prestigiacomo (55.47) and Kossel (55.54) were first and second in the 100 yard freestyle, while Licking won the 500 yard freestyle (5:17.82).

Middleton’s 200 yard freestyle relay team of Roll, Lin, Kossel and Prestigiacomo was second (1:42.39), and Lin was second in the 100 yard backstroke (1:01.70).

Aegerter was first in the 100 yard breaststroke (1:08.46) and Karbusicky was third (1:10.50). And Middleton’s quartet of Roll, Licking, Aegerter and Prestigiacomo won the 400 yard freestyle relay (3:40.41).

“This meet was exactly what we needed as we head into the postseason meets,” Cabalka said. “The girls prepared very well for this meet and it showed in each of their races. This meet was the last dual meet for our senior class and the team worked very hard to dedicate some great races to them and to thank them for four amazing years.”

Now, the Cardinals will focus on the Big Eight Conference meet, which will be held at Beloit Memorial Saturday at 1 p.m. The Cardinals will be looking for their fourth straight conference title.

“We will enter the meet with a target on our backs for sure,” Cabalka said. “But if I know one thing about this team, it's that they are incredibly goal-oriented, tenacious and very talented. They can do just about anything they put their minds to.  

“It is amazing how much they have grown in three short months and we are simply a better team than we were when the season began. If we swim the way I know we are capable of swimming we will be happy with the end result, regardless of the place we finish.”

Verona and Madison Memorial will be Middleton’s primary challengers at the conference meet. But Cabalka believes her team will be up to the task.

“We will need to rise above the challenges and the factors we cannot control and focus on the things we can control,” she said. “Focus on the things we have practiced all year.  

“Winning is not everything, but it is important … especially for our senior class who has been a part of three consecutive conference (postseason) championships.”

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