Middleton swimmers win Big 8 Conference meet

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MTT News Desk's picture
Rob Reischel
Margaret McGill and Middleton’s girls swimming team won their fourth straight Big Eight Conference title last Saturday./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld


When it all began back in August, Lauren Cabalka really had far more questions than answers.

Half of the roster was new. The lineup was in constant flux.

And Cabalka — Middleton’s girls swimming coach — was at best cautiously optimistic.

“We truly did not know how we were going to fill the holes we lost last season,” Cabalka said.

Here’s how: with talented youngsters and newcomers. And with veterans ready to take advantage of their chance.

In the end, the Cardinals never missed a beat.

Middleton continued its surprising season last Saturday, winning the Big Eight Conference meet for a fourth straight season. The Cardinals finished with 528 points to easily outdistance runner-up Verona/Mount Horeb (422.5) and the rest of the conference.

Middleton now hosts a WIAA Division 1 Sectional Saturday at 1 p.m. The state meet will be Nov. 16 at the UW-Natatorium.

“Our returning swimmers, especially our seniors, knew nothing but success in the Big Eight Conference,” Cabalka said. “They certainly did not want a different result this season and showed incredible leadership and paved the way for our new girls to follow.  

“I’m not sure we have ever had such a well-earned win as we had on Saturday. It took a lot of hard work, dedication and flexibility on the part of the girls and quite a bit of creativity and strategy on the part of the coaching staff. We knew we earned this win, which really made it special and one for the record books.”

Middleton senior Nicolette Krantz opened the meet by finishing fifth in the diving competition.

Cardinals sophomore Victoria Lin won the 100 butterfly and senior Sam Andryk was second.

“I think the highlight of the meet was the somewhat unexpected 1-2 finish in the 100 butterfly,” Cabalka said. “Victoria and Sam dug deep to finish an extremely close race in the top two spots.”

Middleton’s 200 medley relay team was second, and senior Karley Licking was second in the 500 freestyle. Senior Ashley Aegerter was second in the 200 individual medley, while freshman Margaret McGill was fifth and senior Maddy Mack was sixth.

Lin was second in the 100 backstroke, while Licking was third and freshman Tryn Peterson was fourth. Aegerter and sophomore Emma Karbusicky were second and third in the 100 breaststroke, respectively, while Mack was fifth.

Junior Paige Prestigiacomo was third in the 200 freestyle, while sophomore Samantha Roll was fourth and McGill was fifth. In the 100 freestyle, senior Olivia Kossel was third, Prestigiacomo was fourth and Roll was fifth.

Middleton’s 200- and 400- freestyle relay teams were both third.

This has always been one of my favorite meets of the season because it allows us to showcase what we have always prided ourselves on, which is our depth,” Cabalka said. “It can be really difficult to fill a 32-slot roster for some teams. For us, it's the exact opposite.

“We could have shown up with quite a few lineups and still performed incredibly well, which actually makes for some incredibly difficult decisions about who will swim each event. In the end, we took the strongest line-up we could … and met, or in many cases, exceeded expectations.  

“Our girls more than answered every question we had.  

When I think back to where we started the season, I realize how special this win really was.”



Team scores: Middleton 528, Verona/Mount Horeb 422 1/2, Madison Memorial 407, Madison West 404, Sun Prairie 258 1/2, Janesville Craig 85, Madison East 63, Madison La Follette 40, Beloit Memorial 34, Janesville Parker 10.

One-meter diving — 1, Rosenstock, MW, 402.10; 2, Alioto, MM, 367.95; 3, Forrest, MW, 324.75; 4, Kaspar, MW, 291.40; 5, Krantz, Mi, 260.95. 200 medley relay — 1, Sun Prairie (Unmacht, Hawk, Huonker, Powers), 1:51.83; 2, Middleton A, 1:52.05; 3, Madison Memorial, 1:52.14; 4, Verona/Mount Horeb, 1:53.91; 5, Middleton B, 1:54.34; 6, Madison Memorial, 1:54.37. 200 free — 1, Powers, SP, 1:54.41; 2, Huonker, SP, 1:58.49; 3, Prestigiacomo, Mi, 1:58.53; 4, Roll, Mi, 1:59.69; 5, McGill, Mi, 2:00.47; 6, Eckerle, MM, 2:01.33. 200 individual medley — 1, B. Nelson, VMH, 2:04.42; 2, Aegerter, Mi, 2:12.42; 3, Finger, SP, 2:17.80; 4, Ver Voort, VMH, 2:18.74; 5, McGill, Mi, 2:18.75; 6, Mack, Mi, 2:18.87.

50 free — 1, Rozeboom, VMH, :24.61; 2, Martin, ME, :24.62; 3, First, MW, :24.86; 4, Mirus, MW, :24.94; 5, Jekel, MW, :24.99; 6, Center, MM, :25.04. 100 butterfly — 1, Lin, Mi, 1:00.52; 2, Andryk, Mi, 1:01.21; 3, Huonker, SP, 1:01.34; 4, Shea, MM, 1:01.63; 5, Seymour, VMH, 1:02.19; 6, Craig, VMH, 1:02.38. 100 free — 1, Martin, ME, :53.63; 2, First, MW, :54.69; 3, Kossell, Mi, :54.96; 4, Prestigiacomo, Mi, :54.99; 5, Roll, Mi, :55.08; 6, Cole, MM, :55.54. 500 free — 1, Powers, SP, 5:03.73; 2, Licking, Mi, 5:16.57; 3, Frankwicz, MLF, 5:24.41; 4, Olson, VMH, 5:24.43; 5, Lutz, MW, 5:24.88; 6, Finger, SP, 5:25.58. 

200 free relay — 1, Verona/Mount Horeb (Rozeboom, Larsen, Seidl, B. Nelson), 1:38.95; 2, Madison West, 1:39.47; 3, Middleton, 1:40.93; 4, Madison Memorial, 1:41.04; 5, Sun Prairie, 1:41.95; 6, Madison West, 1:42.49. 100 backstroke — 1, B. Nelson, VMH, :55.27; 2, Lin, Mi, :59.71; 3, Licking, Mi, :59.88; 4, Peterson, Mi, 1:00.15; 5, Horton, MM, 1:01.19; 6, Unmacht, SP, 1:02.73. 100 breaststroke — 1, Gomez, MM, 1:07.03; 2, Aegerter, Mi, 1:07.32; 3, Karbusicky, Mi, 1:09.54; 4, Rose, VMH, 1:09.98; 5, tie, Hawk, SP, and Mack, Mi, 1:10.72. 400 free relay — 1, Verona/Mount Horeb (Wilson, Craig, Seidl, B. Nelson), 3:38.24; 2, Madison West, 3:38.83; 3, Middleton, 3:39.06; 4, Madison Memorial, 3:44.12.

At Beloit Memorial.

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