Middleton swimmers start strong

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Victoria Lin and Middleton’s girls swimming team defeated Verona-Mount Horeb last Friday./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Middleton’s girls swimming and diving team got off to a terrific start last Friday.

The Cardinals notched first place finishes in eight of 11 events and toppled defending Big Eight Conference champion Verona-Mount Horeb, 104-66.

V-MH was without standout Beata Nelson, who is swimming for Team USA in the FINA Junior World Championships in Singapore. Regardless, it was an extremely impressive win for the Cardinals.

“This certainly gives us some confidence moving forward and helps us to figure out what our best line-up will be,” Middleton coach Lauren Cabalka said. “We still have a lot of room for improvement, but are very happy with how this one went.

“This was a huge test for our very young team. Verona is one of the top teams in the state and has an incredibly talented and deep line-up. We knew we would have to put together our best line-up and be creative with where we placed our top swimmers. 

“Without another dual meet under our belts, we were going into this meet a little blind. Nearly half of our line-up is freshmen, so we are still figuring out who goes where and what our strongest line-up is.”

Whatever buttons Cabalka pushed certainly seemed to work. 

Middleton won all three relays.

The quartet of senior Victoria Lin, senior Emma Karbusicky, sophomore Chiara Pierobon-Mays and freshman Makenna Licking won the 200-yard medley relay (1:49.79).

The foursome of senior Samantha Roll, Pierobon-Mays, freshman Cora Mack and Licking won the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:39.44). And the quartet of Roll, Licking, sophomore Caroline Hippen and freshman Hannah Aegerter won the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:39.23).

“Our relays were very impressive,” Cabalka said. “These are the fastest relay times we have ever started the season with, which is very exciting as we move forward.”

The trio of Aegerter, Roll and Hippen finished first, second and third, respectively, in the 200-yard freestyle. Aegerter won the 500-yard freestyle (5:18.15), while junior Margaret McGill was third (5:29.51).

Lin won the 100-yard backstroke (1:01.51) and Pierobon-Mays was second (1:02.27). Karbusicky won the 100-yard breaststroke (1:08.31) and Mack won the 50-yard freestyle (24.97).

Lin (1:00.18) and junior Tryn Peterson were second and third, respectively, in the 100-yard butterfly. Mack (54.44) and Roll (55.14) were also second and third, respectively, in the 100-yard freestyle.

“At the beginning of the season, the girls set goals for each meet of the season,” Cabalka said. “We revisited the goals for the Verona meet and talked through what it would take to win the meet. We knew we would need to score two relays in each event and score as many individuals in the top-5 as possible if we wanted to walk away with a win. 

“I was very impressed with the poise that our freshmen showed. We put them into some big spots, trusting that they would come through. They did that and then some. I have never seen such a mature group of girls. They handled the nerves and pressure of a big meet like upperclassmen. 

“I was equally impressed with our juniors and seniors, who showed incredible leadership throughout the entire week of preparation. They made sure all of our girls knew what to expect on Friday as well as what they expected of each other. As a whole, this was a fantastic team performance.  

• On deck: Middleton is at Madison East Friday at 5 p.m. 

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