Girls swimmers win Brookfield East Invite

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Ally Silvestri and Middleton's girls swimming team won the Brookfield East Invite on Sept. 8./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Middleton’s girls swimming and diving team has set a goal of winning all of its meets this season.

That immense challenge grew even tougher last weekend when the Cardinals had three of their top swimmers on college recruiting trips.

But Middleton — the two-time WIAA Division 1 state champion — did what it’s done for years. It just kept on winning.

First, the Cardinals downed Madison Memorial, 106-64, in a Big Eight Conference dual meet on Sept. 7. Middleton then won the star-studded Brookfield East Invitational on Sept. 8.

“I was proud of the way we came together for the good of each other and were able to show that we are a team of deep talent who can beat some pretty incredible teams regardless of what our lineup looks like,” Middleton coach Lauren Cabalka said. 

In Middleton’s win over Madison Memorial, the quartet of Emily Keebler, Ally Silvestri, Gabriela Pierobon Mays and Berkley Smith won the 200-yard medley relay. The Cardinals’ 200-yard freestyle relay team of Madelyn Lawn, Smith, Bella Chirafisi and Makenna Licking was also first.

And Middleton’s 400-yard freestyle relay team of Pierobon Mays, Chirafisi, Lawn and Licking was first.

Licking and Chirafisi were first and second, respectively, in the 200-yard freestyle. Silvestri, Keebler and Lawn notched the top three finishes in the 200-yard IM.

Pierobon Mays won the 100-yard butterfly, while Kaitlyn Peters was third. Licking won the 500-yard freestyle and Amanda George was third.

Pierobon Mays won the 100-yard backstroke and Norah Martin was third. Silvestri won the 100-yard breaststroke and Keebler was third.

Smith was also second in the 50-yard freestyle, while Chirfisi was second in the 100-yard freestyle.

“This was a solid meet for us,” Cabalka said. “We've had a stretch of intense Big Eight dual meets at the start of the season and the girls have had to swim at their very best in order to win. That can really take a physical and mental toll on athletes and our girls really rose to the challenge week in and week out. 

“The girls were certainly a little more tired and run down with school starting up, but they stayed composed and performed at a high level against a very solid Memorial team. It was a nice way to end this beginning stretch and put us in a good place as we headed into our first invite of the season.”

Middleton followed that up with a terrific performance at the Brookfield East Invite.

The short-handed Cardinals rolled to the team title with 454 points, while Sun Prairie was second (372). Madison West (355), Verona/Mount Horeb (301) and Madison Edgewood (263) rounded out the top five at the 11-team invite.

Middleton’s 400-yard freestyle relay team of Licking, Chirafisi, Lawn and Pierbon Mays finished first. Keebler, Silvestri, Pierobon Mays and Smith were third in the 200-yard medley relay. And the Cardinals’ 200-yard freestyle relay team of Lawn, Smith, Chirafisi and Licking was fourth.

Licking won the 500-yard freestyle, while Amanda George was fifth, Molly Haag was sixth and Sarah Foley was ninth. Licking was second in the 200-yard freestyle, while Chirafisi was fourth and George was sixth.

Pierobon Mays was second in the 100-yard backstroke, while Keebler was ninth. Silvestri was also second in the 100-yard breaststroke and Wood was 10th.

Silvestri was second in the 200 yard IM, while Keebler was third and Lawn was sixth. Pierobon Mays was fifth in the 100 yard butterfly, while Peters was seventh. Chirafisi was fourth in the 100-yard freestyle, while Lawn was eighth. And Smith added a 10th place in the 50-yard freestyle,

“This meet was a challenge for us in many ways,” Cabalka said. “We knew that the girls were nearly maxed out from the previous three weeks and we were heading into a meet that we have had a lot of success at over the years in a position where we were going to need to shift into a new gear. 

“We were short-handed, with three of our top swimmers on college recruiting trips, and swimming against some incredible talent across the board. We set a lofty goal of having all of our relays in the top-8 and all individual swims in the top-16. We didn't quite make it there, but were darn close and swam incredibly well. 

“Once again, our girls remained composed and did not let the way their bodies were feeling affect their races. We had some great swims — in many cases, season best times — and also some very strong relays. This was a great first invite for us and puts us in a great place for next weekend.”


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