Swimmers second at sectionals

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Nate Lamers and Middleton's boys swimming and diving team finished second at the Beloit Memorial Sectional on Feb. 10/Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Middleton’s boys swimming and diving team has been a model of consistency in recent seasons.

Each of the past four years, the Cardinals have finished between seventh and ninth at the WIAA Division 1 state meet.

While that’s certainly nothing to sneeze at, the 2018 Cardinals could be poised for even bigger and better.

Middleton had a memorable performance and finished second at the star-studded Beloit Memorial Sectional last Saturday.

Madison West won the 10-team sectional with 392 points, while Middleton was a close second at 357. Madison Memorial (349), the Sauk Prairie co-op (203) and Verona-Mount Horeb (192) rounded out the top five.

The state meet will be held Saturday at the UW-Natatorium. The diving competition begins at 10 a.m. and the swimming finals start at 3 p.m.

“We went into the meet with two goals: qualify as many swims for state as possible, and beat (Madison) Memorial,” Middleton coach Danny Lynam said. “I normally just tell the guys to worry about swimming fast and not think about the score, but I could tell it would be good motivation for them after getting third at conference.

“We made the mistake last year of having too many guys just miss their state cuts, so we didn't take any risks this year. Anyone who we had a question about qualifying, we rested and had them suit up. It paid off greatly for us. Most of the guys swam lifetime bests and are seeded very well for (this) weekend.”

Middleton senior Michael Draves was a star at sectionals, winning both the 200-yard freestyle and the 500-yard freestyle. Draves is now seeded third at state in the 200 and fourth in the 500.

“Michael already has his sights set on beating his usual competition,” Lynam said. “It was a big win for him to beat (Madison West’s) Lain Weaver in the 200 freestyle (at sectionals) and he will certainly be looking to repeat that performance, with some added competition from others around the state.”

Sophomore Nate Lamers finished first in the 50-yard freestyle, while junior Archer Parkin was fourth. Lamers is seeded sixth at state and Parkin is seeded 13th.

Lamers was also third in the 100-yard butterfly, while sophomore Nathan Kim was ninth and sophomore Forest Peterson was 10th. Lamers is now seeded third at state, while Kim is seeded 18th and Peterson is seeded 19th.

“Nate had a fantastic swim in the 50 (freestyle) at sectionals with a photo finish for first, and also put up a great race against Lain Weaver in the 100 butterfly,” Lynam said. “I know he is looking forward to racing him again (this) weekend. The podium could be in the future for both his events.

“Nathan (Kim) had a disappointing finish to his season last year after fighting illness through sectionals. This year he has refocused and really honed in on the 200 IM and 100 butterfly. He is just starting to come around in both and we are expecting in big things from him (this) weekend.

“Forrest struggled to stay healthy the past couple weeks, and although he had a great swim and a PR, wasn't quite able to make it to state in the 100 backstroke. That will allow him to focus on his 100 butterfly as his sole event, which he continues to drop time in. Forrest could certainly make top-16 and contribute to team points.”

Junior Andrew Martin was second in the 500-yard freestyle and freshman Joe McNerney was fifth. Martin is seeded sixth at state, while McNerney is seeded 10th.

Martin was also sixth in the 200-yard freestyle and McNerney was ninth. Martin is seeded 11th at state in the 200, while McNerney is seeded 21st.

“Andrew has had a breakout year, and also continues to regularly drop time,” Lynam said. “Certainly he has a shot at the podium in the 500 freestyle, and the 200 isn't out of the question either.

“McNerney is the only freshman on the state team this year. Joe has continued to drop time all through the second half of the season. He has already hit his lifetime PR's in the 200 and 500 freestyle, but nothing indicates he is going to stop there. A podium finish in the 500 freestyle is possible.”

Senior Sam Young was second in the 200-yard IM and Kim was third. Young is seeded fifth at state and Kim is seeded seventh. Young was also second in the 100-yard breaststroke and is seeded fourth in that race.

“Sam has just started to find his rhythm in his breaststroke, which has also helped his 200 IM,” Lynam said of Young. “He is going to be up against some fierce competition, but should be able to fight his way onto the podium.”

Junior Blake Zillner was third in the 100-yard freestyle and is seeded 12th.

Parkin was fifth in the 100-yard backstroke, while Zillner was seventh. Parkin is seeded 10th at state and Zillner is 24th.

“Blake is a perfect example of hard work paying off,” Lynam said. “His 100 freestyle will certainly contribute to team points, and after sneaking in his 100 backstroke as the last qualifier, he has nowhere to move but up.

“Archer always finds a way to drop time. He is a very focused competitor. Although he didn't make it into the final heat in either event, anything is possible for him.”

Middleton also had excellent showings in all three relay events.

Middleton’s 400-yard freestyle relay team Zillner, Lamers, Martin and Draves was second at sectionals. That quartet is now seeded second at state.

The Cardinals’ 200-yard freestyle relay team of Parkin, Lamers, Young and Draves was third at sectionals. That group is now seeded fourth at state.

Middleton’s 200-yard medley relay team of Parkin, Young, Kim and junior Blake Zillner was fourth at sectionals and is seeded fourth at state.

It all added up to a terrific performance at sectionals — and could lead to big things at state, as well.

“Some of the guys probably didn't see themselves in this situation to start the year, so they are fired up to be placed up their with some of the best in the state,” Lynam said. “We put in a lot of focused, hard work in this year and it has started to show in the postseason. We had a suspicion we found some speed as a team after watching the JV and varsity conference guys taper, but that sectional meet went just as well as any of us could have hoped.”


Beloit Sectional


Madison West 392, Middleton 357, Madison Memorial 349, Sauk Prairie 203, Verona/Mount Horeb 192, Sun Prairie 191, Waunakee 163, Beloit Memorial 113, Janesville Parker 74, Janesville Craig 53, Madison East 47, Madison La Follette 30


(Winners automatically qualify for state meet)

Diving—Sam Smith (MM) 508.55

200 medley relay—West 1:35.02

200 freestyle—Michael Draves (Mid) 1:41.64

200 individual medley—Wes Jekel (MW) 1:53.27

50 freestyle—Nate Lamers (Mid) 21.63

100 butterfly—Lain Weaver (MW) 50.42

100 freestyle—Shane Rozeboom (Ver) 47.42

500 freestyle—Draves (Midd) 4:39.03

200 freestyle relay—Memorial 1:26.87; 8. Parker (Garrett Leach, Max Kisting, Nate Warda, Ethan Griffith) 1:35.58; 9. Craig (Callaghan Bradley, Lochlin Pearce, Gavin Ziebell, Kiel Wolff) 1:37.44

100 backstroke—Jekel (MW) 50.65

100 breaststroke—Henry Miller (MW) 57.9

400 freestyle relay—West 3:08.4; 9. Parker (Griffith, Warda, Leach, Cameron Odegaard) 3:28.78





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