MHS swimmers put on a show

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Hannah Aegerter and Middleton’s girls swimming team won the star-studded Waukesha South Invite last week./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

They wanted to make a statement.

They wanted to let the rest of the state’s elite swimming programs know that they were legitimate.

And that’s exactly what Middleton did Saturday.

The Cardinals went to the star-studded Waukesha South Invite and won the 14-team event. Middleton finished with 333 points and edged state super-power Hartland Arrowhead (325). Verona-Mount Horeb (240), Madison West (230) and Cedarburg (213) rounded out the top five.

Middleton coach Lauren Cabalka noted that Arrowhead was without two of its top swimmers, who were both away on college recruiting trips. Still, that didn’t take anything away from the Cardinals’ magical day.

“The girls continued to make a statement about who we are as a team this season,” Cabalka said. “The state's best swimmers were at this invite and the girls wanted to compete at the same level as they do. 

“As the meet went on, we started to realize that we were in definite contention for a top-two finish. We had more podium finishes than ever before and were able to rack up a significant number of points. I was very impressed with how our girls performed.”

With good reason.

Middleton is a program that often relies on its depth. But the Waukesha South Invite has just 30 entries and one scoring relay, meaning depth doesn’t play a major role in the outcome.

But the Cardinals showed they have terrific talent at the top and throughout their roster this fall.

Middleton’s 400-yard freestyle relay team of senior Samantha Roll, freshman Hannah Aegerter, freshman Cora Mack and sophomore Caroline Hippen was second (3:37.15).

The Cardinals’ 200-yard medley relay team of senior Victoria Lin, senior Emma Karbusicky, sophomore Chiara Pierobon-Mays and freshman Makenna Licking was third (1:50.35).

And Middleton’s 200-yard freestyle relay team of Mack, Pierobon-Mays, Licking and Hippen was third (1:40.43).

Lin was third in the 100-yard butterfly (58.54), while Pierobon-Mays was seventh and junior Tryn Peterson was eighth. Aegerter was fifth in the 200 IM and Karbusicky was ninth.

Aegerter was fifth in the 500-yard freestyle and junior Margaret McGill was eighth. Lin was fifth in the 100-yard backstroke, while Pierobon-Mays was sixth and Peterson was ninth.

Karbusicky was fifth in the 100-yard breaststroke, while Hippen was sixth in the 200-yard freestyle and Roll was seventh. Mack was sixth in the 100-yard freestyle, while Licking was seventh and Roll was eighth. Mack was also seventh in the 50-yard freestyle.

“We have a very young squad, but they certainly did not act that way,” Cabalka said. “Our senior leadership is outstanding and they really helped to prepare our young girls for a meet that housed an amazing depth of talent.

“All in all, a great boost of confidence for us as we move on to the final invite of the year at Homestead. I think our girls are starting to believe that they are capable of achieving any goal they set their minds to as long as they are willing to put in the work required. So far, they have done nothing but.”

Middleton also defeated Sun Prairie, 110-69, last Friday. Middleton finished first in seven of 11 events, including all three relays.

“It was nice for the girls to be back in their home pool after a few weeks away,” Cabalka said. “Our energy was certainly higher and we felt more cohesive. 

“Sun Prairie has some of the state’s top swimmers, so we knew we would have to be at our best, regardless of which events girls were swimming. We took some chances with the line-up and challenged the girls to swim “off" events. The girls delivered and we were able to add another tally to the win column.”

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