Middleton swimmers make history

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MTT News's picture
By: 
Gregg Hammill/For the Times-Tribune
Chiara Pierobon Mays and Middleton’s girls swimming and diving team won the first WIAA Division 1 state championship in school history last Saturday./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

They came in as the favorites and left as champions.

Middleton capped a dream season by claiming its first WIAA Division 1 state girls swimming and diving championship at the University of Wisconsin Natatorium last Saturday night.

“We said in the beginning of the season, this was our main goal — state,” said freshman Gabriela Pierobon Mays. “We knew we could do it.

“Last year, they blew it out of the park and got second. We definitely thought we had a shot at this and then it actually coming true is just surreal. There’s no words to describe how awesome it is. It hasn’t sunk in yet.”

Middleton totaled 265 points behind a first-place finish by Pierobon Mays in the 100-yard butterfly and winning performances by the 200- and 400-yard freestyle relays.

“We moved up where we knew we could,” Middleton coach Lauren Cabalka said. “The girls that were tapered from last week, they held where they were and did exactly what we needed them to do. They just really just came together as a team and did it for each other.”

Verona-Mount Horeb finished second with 215.5 points, followed by two-time defending champion Hartland Arrowhead with 180. Cedarburg was fourth with 168.5 points followed by Big Eight Conference schools Madison West (135) and Sun Prairie (122).

“Verona is an amazing team,” Cabalka said. “They pushed us all year long. I think it’s really cool for the two of us to be on top at the end.”

The Cardinals, who won the Big Eight Conference and the Middleton Sectional, entered the meet as slight favorites to win the title over Verona-Mount Horeb and Hartland Arrowhead based on seed times from sectionals and felt the pressure.

“I felt a ton of pressure,” Pierobon Mays said. “Us coming in as a team being favored to win that was definitely a huge pressure on everyone. But then, me being first and third in my individuals, I was pretty nervous for those, but I just kept saying to myself for the team, ‘Got to get the points for them.’ ”

Junior Caroline Hippen was pleased how Middleton handled the pressure.

“For sure, we were favorites to win and there’s always that little pressure, but we handled it really well,” Hippen said. “We did not let it overwhelm us and freak us out. We really kept our cool and went out there and did what we knew. We know we were prepared for this. We worked so hard since August.”

Middleton actually trailed Cedarburg and Verona-Mount Horeb by a slim margin until the sixth event when Pierobon Mays captured the 100-yard butterfly in a personal best 55.0 seconds. She just beat out Madison West’s Katrina Marty who finished in 55.30.

“I swam with (Marty) ever since I started club swimming,” Pierobon Mays said. “I love racing her. Having her by my side pretty much pushed me to get that time. Obviously, I wouldn’t have been able to do that without her.”

Pierobon Mays said she’s learned some things from competing against Marty.

“Throughout the season, Lauren (Cabalka) has always said, ‘You get beat off your third turn, you’ve got to push that up,’ ” Pierobon Mays said. “When I’ve been swimming against Katrina, at conference and sectionals, she beat me off those turns and I definitely took that as a learning experience. And here, I just pushed off the wall and gutted it out.”

Pierobon Mays also finished third in the 100 backstroke in 54.69 seconds.

Perhaps the biggest turning point of the meet came in the meet’s next event, the 100-yard freestyle. Middleton’s Cora Mack and Hippen, swimming the second of three heats in the event, wound up with the second- and sixth-best times earning 30 points for the Cardinals. Mack, a sophomore, finished in 51.32 seconds, easily topping her 12th seed time of 52.70.

“We’ve been telling her all season long, that’s the type of swimmer she is and that’s what she’s capable of,” Cabalka said of Mack. “For her to do it when it mattered most was huge for us.”

Hippen was seeded 10th (52.62) in the race and finished in 51.76.

“Caroline came into this meet in a really good way,” Cabalka said. “She had a really positive attitude, she was ready to go, she was excited, and she wasn’t letting nerves get the best of her. She swam out of her mind. Between her and Cora they carried us.”

Mack and Hippen had the advantage of swimming next to each other in lanes 5 and 6.

“I just kept with her and she kept with me and we really pushed each other like we did this whole season,” said Hippen, who added a podium finish in the 200-yard freestyle, finishing sixth in 1:52.11. “It was a surprise, but it was also a goal of ours. We knew that we could do that. It really helped having my teammate right next to me.”
Mack agreed.

“I think we both push each other to do better and this whole season we’ve gone back and forth,” Mack said.

Mack also swam the second heat of the 50-yard freestyle and wound up with the third-best time in 23.52. Mack was seeded ninth with a time of 24.22.

“It feels pretty good,” Mack said. “I wasn’t expecting to get on the podium because I was in the second heat. I was really surprised in both of my races.”

Hannah Aegerter also had a big performance for the Cardinals. The sophomore was second in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:51.13 and fourth in the 500-yard freestyle in 5:01.39.

Middleton dominated the relay events.

The 200-yard freestyle team of Mack, sophomore Makenna Licking, Hippen, and Aegerter cruised to a first-place finish in 1:33.72, more than two seconds faster than second-place Madison West in 1:33.75.

The 400-yard freestyle relay team of Aegerter, Hippen, Mack, and Pierobon Mays swept to victory in 3:24.94, well ahead of second-place Cedarburg in 3:27.63.

Middleton’s 200-yard medley relay team of junior Chiara Pierobon Mays, freshman Alex Anagnostopoulos, Gabriela Pierobon Mays, and Licking finished second in 1:45.0.

Also for Middleton, senior Elise Hokanson was ninth in the 500-yard freestyle in 5:05.77; Licking was 12th in the 100-yard freestyle in 52.82 and 22nd in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:57.29; Chiara Pierobon Mays was 14th in the 100-yard backstroke in 58.94 and 19th in the 100-yard butterfly in 59.44; and Anagnostopoulos was 14th in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:06.94.

Junior Eleanor Mackey also finished 13th in the diving competition with 286.25 points.

Gabriela Pierobon Mays couldn’t have asked for a better finish to her freshman season.

“It was awesome,” Pierobon Mays said. “There was so much support from everyone. Everyone’s so cheerful, so positive, and so excited. I don’t think I’d want another high school team. I wouldn’t want another group of girls to share this opportunity with and mentor me through the season and to be by my side.”

Hippen said winning state was an overall team effort.

“(State) is a big goal of ours this whole season,” Hippen said. “We’ve been the top dog for a lot of the season and none of us could have done it without any of our teammates with morning practice and afternoon practice and pushing each other and just a really great time.”

 

WIAA STATE SWIM MEET

At UW Natatorium

DIVISION 1

Team scores: Middleton 265, Verona/Mount Horeb 215.5, Hartland Arrowhead 180, Cedarburg 168.5, Madison West 135, Sun Prairie 128, Appleton North 126, Brookfield Central 122, Neenah 104, Madison Memorial 83, Bay Port 70, Mequon Homestead 68, Muskegon 64, De Pere 56, Waukesha South/Mukwonago 51, Racine Case 47, Hartford 38, West Bend West 38, Kenosha Tremper 34, Brookfield East 33, Menomonee Falls/Sussex Hamilton 32, Stevens Point 31, Janesville Craig 30, Waunakee 20, DeForest 20, Hudson 17, Milton 17, Oak Creek 13, Schofield D.C. Everest 13, Milwaukee DSHA 13, Greenfield/Milwaukee Pius 12, Kenosha Indian Trail 11, Chippewa Falls/McDonell 11, Beloit Memorial 11, South Milwaukee 9, Fond du Lac 9, Waukesha West/Catholic Memorial 8, Eau Claire Memorial 7, Wisconsin Rapids 6, Germantown 6, Oshkosh North/Lourdes 3.

Diving: 1, Osero, Nee, 508.65; 2, Nickerson, MH, 473.80; 3, Locante, BC, 471.05; 4, Sanchez, RC 459.15; 5, Tompkins, RC, 457.35; 6, Kornfeld, MDSHA, 444.50; 7 (tie), Avila, Ced, and Nunn, VMH, 439.05; 9, Osell, SM, 438.10; 10, Pach, ECM, 434.45; 11, Donkle, MM, 411.25; 12, Woida, HA, 402.85; 13, Mackey, Mid, 396.20; 14, Neveau, ONL, 392.40; 15, Wrasman, HA, 387.35; 16, Anderson, OC, 385.35.

200 medley relay: 1, Cedarburg (L. Hosack, Remington, Fore, M. Novack), 1:43.44; 2, Middleton (C. Pierobon Mays, Anagnostopoulos, G. Pierobon Mays, Licking), 1:45.00; 3, Madison West (Marty, Kissel, Mirus, Cardwell, 1:45.71; 4, Verona/Mount Horeb (Stewart, Bennin, McCartney, Larsen), 1:45.96; 5, Bay Port, 1:47.21; 6, Muskego, 1:48.13; 7, Appleton North, 1:48.15; 8, Sun Prairie (Unmacht, Nelson, Carey, Powers), 1:48.29; 9, Necedah, 1:48.32; 10, Hartland Arrowhead 1:48.69; 11, West Bend West, 1:49.50; 12, Mequon Homestead, 1:49.61; 13, Madison Memorial (Meyer, McMahon, Vaccaro, Spielman), 1:50.28; 14, Brookfield East, 1:50.26; 15, Menomonee Fall/Hamilton, 1:51.79; 16, Kenosha Tremper, 1:51.98.

200 freestyle: 1, Cabush, HA, 1:50.77; 2, Aegerter, Mid, 1:51.13; 3, Powers, SunP, 1:51.18; 4, Stegner, MFH, 1:51.58; 5, Horn, AN, 1:51.99; 6, Hippen, Mid, 1:52.11; 7, Stupar, StevP, 1:52.89; 8, Daniel, BC, 1:53.14; 9, Champagne, WBW, 1:53.20; 10, Tranel, WSM, 1:53.44; 11, Cortina, Nee, 1:53.71; 12, Held, HA, 1:53.87; 13, Farber, WWCM, 1:53.88; 14, Wilhelms, Waun, 1:54.17; 15, Graves, HA, 1:54.33; 16, Henshue, VMH, 1:54.88.

200 individual medley: 1, Hosack, Ced, 1:59.47; 2, DuChene, KT, 2:03.85; 3, Donagan, JC, 2:04.42; 4, Seidl, VMH, 2:05.17; 5, Lasecki, BP, 2:05.57; 6, Rice, Nee, 2:06.02; 7, Macco, DP, 2:06.28; 8, Gilbert, KIT, 2:08.13; 9, Ketterling, OC, 2:08.97; 10, Zablocki, DP, 2:08.99; 11, Westcott, BE, 2:09.10; 12, Gastrow, HA, 2:09.59; 13, Scanlan, WSM, 2:09.83; 14, Drapp, VMH, 2:10.08; 15, Melendy, BP, 2:10.80; 16, Tatro, DCE, 2:11.28.

50 freestyle: 1, Gustafson, BC, :23.31; 2, Bennin, VMH, :23.43; 3, Mack, Mid, :23.52; 4, Fore, Ced, :23.54; 5, Mirus, MW, :23.79; 6, Hilt, AN, :23.93; 7, Larsen, VMH, :23.94; 8, Novack, Ced, :24.02; 9 (tie), Bjornstad, MH, and Bloomer, MM, :24.19; 11, Loeck, DeF, :24.57; 12, DeBack, Hart, :24.63; 13, Unmacht, SunP, :24.66; 14, Bollendorf, RC, :24.68; 15, Stewart, VMH, :24.71; 16, Sebranek, MW, :24.76.

100 butterfly: 1, G. Pierobon Mays, Mid, :55.00; 2, Marty, MW, :55.30; 3, Lasecki, BP, :56.32; 4, Bollendorf, RC, :56.42; 5, Mirus, MW, :56.74; 6, Stigler, Mus, :56.81; 7, Tatro, DCE, :57.01; 8, Carey, SunP, :57.47; 9, Lewandowski, HA, :57.88; 10, Champagne, WBW, :58.04; 11, Daniel, BC, :58.22; 12, Cramer, Milt, :58.27; 13, Brackett, AN, :58.35; 14, Zablocki, DP, :58.50; 15, Tranel, WSM, :58.62; 16, Szczupakiewicz, Musk, :58.79.

100 freestyle: 1, Fore, Ced, :50.77; 2, Mack, Mid, :51.32; 3, Seidl, VMH, :51.33; 4, Gustafson, BC, :51.38; 5, Horn, AN, :51.44; 6, Hippen, Mid, :51.76; 7, Cabush, HA, :52.10; 8, Stupar, StevP, :52.18; 9, Stegner, MFH, :52.48; 10, Hilt, AN, :52.67; 11, Bjornstad, MH, :52.78; 12, Licking, Mid, :52.82; 13, Farber, WWCM, :52.83; 14, Cardwell, MW, :52.97; 15, Marks, Ger, :52.34;16, Bloomer, MM, :53.38.

500 freestyle: 1, Powers, SunP, 4:56.19; 2, Graves, HA, 4:59.19; 3, Held, HA, 5:01.32; 4, Aegerter, Mid, 5:01.39; 5, Scanlan, WSM, 5:02.53; 6, Henshue, VMH, 5:02.55; 7, Westcott, BE, 5:03.17; 8, Gastrow, HA, 5:03.97; 9, Hokanson, Mid, 5:05.77; 10, Wilhelms, Waun, 5:06. 11, Gnewuch, VMH, 5:07.51; 12, McCadden, FdL, 5:10.04; 13, Cortina, Nee, 5:10.23; 14, Ketterling, OC, 5:10.59; 15, Pilecky, DeF, 5:10.99; 16, Lustig, GMP, 5:13.81.

200 freestyle relay: 1, Middleton (Mack, Licking, Hippen, Aegerter), 1:33.72; 2, Madison West (Mirus, Marty, Cardwell, Sebranek), 1:35.75; 3, Verona/Mount Horeb (Seidl, Larsen, Gnewuch, Bennin), 1:36.65; 4, Madison Memorial (DeFever, Meyer, Spielman, Bloomer), 1:37.43; 5, Brookfield Central, , 1:37.71; 6, Hartford, 1:37.96; 7, Hartland Arrowhead, 1:38.04; 8, Sun Prairie (Rybak, Rundahl, Collins, Carey), 1:38.41; 9, Appleton North, 1:39.29; 10, Neenah, 1:39.45; 11, DeForest (Hargraves, Taugher, Martin, Loeck), 1:39.61; 12, De Pere, 1:40.00; 13, Stevens Point, 1:40.06; 14, Waukesha South/Mukwonago, 1:40.12; 15, Menomonee Falls/Sussex Hamilton, 1:40.20; 16, Chippewa Falls/McDonell, 1:40.80.

100 backstroke: 1, Marty, MW, :54.31; 2, Hosack, Ced, :54.56; 3, G. Pierobon Mays, Mid, :54.69; 4, DuChene, KT, :56.02; 5, Lewandowski, HA, :57.13; 6, Rice, Nee, :57.25; 7, Cramer, Milt, ::57.28; 8, Wells, BM, :57.57; 9, Woods, BE, :57.61; 10, Meinberg, Hfd, :58.19; 11, Melendy, BP, :58.27; 12, Unmacht, SunP, :58.35; 13, Marks, Ger, :58.58; 14, C. Pierobon Mays, Mid, :58.94; 15, Coons, Nee, :58.98; 16, Tunney, MH, :59.23.

100 breaststroke: 1, Bennin, VMH, 1:02.13; 2, Stigler, Mus, 1:02.40; 3, Macco, DP, 1:04.15; 4, Larsen, VMH, 1:04.57; 5, Donagan, JC, 1:04.62; 6, Teng, BC, 1:05.12; 7, Stein, Hud, 1:04.44; 8, Kirkpatrick, GMP, 1:05.40; 9, Borgenheimer, CFM, 1:05.48; 10, Bellart, Mus, 1:05.91; 11, Hartman, WR, 1:06.01; 12, Wood, Hud, 1:06.53; 13, Arps, WBW, 1:06.78; 14, Anagnostopoulos, 1:06.94; 15, Samels, BP, 1:06.96; 16, Kult, BC, 1:06.98.

400 freestyle relay: 1, Middleton (Aegerter, Hippen, Mack, G. Pierobon Mays), 3:24.94; 2, Cedarburg, 3:27.63; 3, Appleton North, 3:31.75; 4, Madison Memorial (Meyer, Spielman, Bloomer, DeFever), 3:32.70; 5, Sun Prairie (Unmacht, Collins, Rybak, Powers), 3:33.50; 6, 3:34.01; 7, Hartland Arrowhead, 3:34.41; 8, Verona/Mount Horeb (Stewart, Gnewuch, Henshue, Seidl), 3:35.28; 9, Waukesha South/Mukwonago, 3:35.44; 10, Neenah, 3:36.23; 11, Brookfield Central, 3:36.34; 12, Waunakee (Wilhelms, Liu, Saxby, Pierce), 3:38.21; 13, De Pere, 3:38.42; 14, West Bend West, 3:38.67; 15, Fond du Lac, 3:38.96; 16, Bay Port, 3:39.14.

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