Swimmers take aim at state title

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MTT News's picture
Adam Hatlan/For the Times-Tribune
Nathan Kim and Middleton’s boys swimming and diving team take aim at a state championship Saturday./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

It wasn’t an ideal finish.

And it’s certainly not where they hope to be when the music stops Saturday night.

Good thing for Middleton’s boys swimming and diving team it was an appetizer to the bigger meal.

Middleton finished third at its own WIAA Division 1 Sectional last Saturday. Sun Prairie was first with 373 points, Madison West was second (341.5) and Middleton was third (334).

Middleton will now head to the state meet, which begins at 3 p.m. at the UW Natatorium, with hopes of winning the first state title in school history.

“For us this meet isn’t really how we finish, it’s how we set ourselves up for state. Today gave us a glimpse into what we have to do to improve for next weekend at state,” Middleton head coach Danny Lynum said. “We fought a lot of illnesses this week, some guys missed practices and that kind of threw us off. It would have been nice to finish higher than third, but we’re taking it in stride and thinking more about state.”

Lynum was impressed with how freshmen Nick Chirifisi, Jack Madoch, and Tyler Choedak performed, especially in their first taste of a sectional meet.

“I’m really happy we have a good chunk of freshmen here this year gaining experience. We have so many seniors that will be gone, and they will leave a big void,” Lynum said. “Hopefully these freshmen can step up next year. We also have (junior) Joe McNerney and (sophomore) Venden Berg coming back and they will have a strong role on the team next year.” 

Middleton got first-place finishes from senior Forest Peterson in the 200-yard freestyle (1:43.39), senior Nathan Kim in the 200-yard individual medley (1:55.74), and the 400-yard freestyle relay team of Kim, Peterson, Chirifisi, and Madoch (3:12.30)

“I thought we swam great. Even though we didn’t get first place, all of our guys gave everything they had,” Kim said. “I think there is a lot of room to improve, so we have the week to fine tune all the little details.”

Kim placed third in the 100-yard butterfly (52.13) and third in the 200-yard medley relay (1:36.47) with fellow seniors Nate Lamers, Jay Sullivan, and Ben Collier. 

Kim, who will swim collegiately at the University of Minnesota next year, would like a state title as a senior, but said he is proud of his team no matter what happens.

“The best we can do is try our hardest next week (at state). We are just hoping that all the hard work we have put in this season pays off,” Kim said. “We’re not going to change much headed into the state meet. There isn’t much we can do in practice with one week left because we’re tapering (resting) right now. We just have to fine tune the small details.”

Madoch finished 10th in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:47.99, was seventh in the 100-yard freestyle (48.39) and was part of the winning 400-yard freestyle relay team. 

“We have a bunch of young guys that can contribute for the team,” Madoch said. “It’s also fun having the older guys to show us how to become better swimmers.”

Madoch knows the significance of Middleton’s quest towards a state title, as his older brothers Ryan and Micheal both swam for the Cardinals.

“It would be great to contribute to a state title as a freshman,” Madoch said. “Both of my brothers swam for Middleton, so I understand what it would mean to win state. It would be truly amazing.”

Sun Prairie had three individual and two relay champions to fuel its first-place finish. University of Wisconsin recruit Ben Wiegand led the way for Sun Prairie with two individual wins and two relay wins.  

Middleton got a second place finish from senior diver Isaac Roush. Roush finished with a score of 471.15.

“Isaac has been very consistent this year and he qualified for state this weekend,” Lynum said. “He’s been setting personal record after personal record the past few weeks. We’re excited to see what he does at state.”

Lynum believes teams such as Sun Prairie, Madison West, Madison Memorial and Waukesha South will battle with Middleton for the state title. 

“We have a great group of freshmen that bring a lot of energy and excitement to our big meets. They’re happy to be here and really fired up,” Lynum said. “I think their energy is going to rub off on the older guys.”

Middleton’s gifted group of seniors also have plenty of experience, as that group has helped the Cardinals notch second place finishes at state each of the past two years.

“If four years ago you would have told our seniors we’d be in the mix for a state title, I don’t think they would believe you. We’ve had a lot of growth,” Lynum said. “We had a lot of kids that grew significantly over their four years here. To have the strength that we have with our senior class is really a testament to their work ethic and focus and dedication over the past four years.”


February 15



Team scores: Sun Prairie 373; Madison West 341.5; Middleton 334; Verona/Mount Horeb 276; Madison Memorial 267; Waunakee 163; Madison East 133.5; Oregon 84; Madison La Follette 71; Watertown 62; Beaver Dam Wayland co-op 57.

Top finishers

Diving — 1, Bennett, MM, 577.65; 2, Roush, Mid, 471.15; 3, Stadler, MW, 417.50; 4, Bell, MM, 412.65; 5, Pfaff, MW, 404.50.

200 medley relay — 1, Sun Prairie (Sullivan, Wiegand, Anhalt, Braatz), 1:34.48; 2, Madison West (Casey-Hrenak, Nordmeyer, Bulat, Feller), 1:36.06; 3, Middleton (Lamers, Kim, Sullivan, Collier), 1:36.47; 4, Verona/Mount Horeb (Bennin, Rozeboom, Hoppe, Piscitelli), 1:37.32; 5, Madison Memorial (Bell, Kaldor, Bennett, Ketarkus), 1:39.20; 6, Waunakee (Vinson, Wallace, Kobza, Busse), 1:40.30.

200 freestyle — 1, Peterson, Mid, 1:43.39; 2, Barber, MW, 1:45.91; 3, Wellnitz, VMH, 1:46.13; 4, Chirafisi, Mid, 1:46.70; 5, McNerney, Mid, 1:46.77; 6, Anhalt, SP, 1:47.13.

200 individual medley — 1, Kim, Mid, 1:55.74; 2, Werwie, SP, 1:56.12; 3, Feller, MW, 1:56.47; 4, Schluesche, SP, 1:59.30; 5, Drake, MM, 1:59.55; 6, Halbach, SP, 1:59.66.

50 freestyle — 1, Wiegand, SP, :20.37; 2, Casey-Hrenak, MW, :20.74; 3, Roggenbauer, SP, :21.58; 4, Best, VMH, :21.60; 5, Braatz, SP, :21.80; 6, Lamers, Mid, :21.91.

100 butterfly — 1, Best, VMH, :50.28; 2, Lamers, Mid, :52.08; 3, Kim, Mid, :52.13; 4, Hoppe, VMH, :52.35; 5, Vinson, Wau, :52.88; 6, Schluesche, SP, :52.95.

100 freestyle — 1, Casey-Hrenak, MW, :45.74; 2, Roggenbauer, SP, :47.10; 3, Peterson, Mid, :47.90; 4, Anhalt, SP, :48.08; 5, Tucker-Jones, MM, :48.33; 6, Braatz, SP, :48.38.

500 freestyle — 1, Werwie, SP, 4:47.64; 2, Chirafisi, Mid, 4:48.05; 3, Wellnitz, VMH, 4:50.17; 4, Kobza, Wau, 4:51.31; 5, McKinnon, MM, 4:52.84; 6, Arneson, VMH, 4:53.16.

200 freestyle relay — 1, Sun Prairie (Roggenbauer, Anhalt, Braatz, Wiegand), 1:25.09; 2, Middleton (Lamers, Collier, Roberts, Peterson), 1:26.00; 3, Madison West (Feller, Weygandt, Dong, Casey-Hrenak), 1:26.32; 4, Verona/Mount Horeb (Piscitelli, Best, Hoppe, McCartney), 1:28.55; 5, Madison Memorial (Ketarkus, Plautz, Drake, Tucker-Jones), 1:28.94; 6, Madison La Follette (Menge, Fitz, Mueller, Terry), 1:36.19.

100 backstroke — 1, Vinson, Wau, :53.23; 2, Sullivan, SP, :53.80; 3, Gunnink, SP, :53.86; 4, S. Connor, ME, :55.17; 5, Bell, MM, :55.28; 6, B, Connor, ME, :55.36.

100 breaststroke — 1, Wiegand, SP, :57.02; 2, Feller, MW, :57.53; 3, Nordmeyer, MW, :58.55; 4, Dong, MW, 1:00.50; 5, Bennin, VMH, 1:00.83; 6, Siemering, MW, 1:01.09.

400 freestyle relay — 1, Middleton (Peterson, Madoch, Chirafisi, Kim), 3:12.30; 2, Madison West (Weygandt, Bulat, Dong, Barber), 3:14.27; 3, Sun Prairie (Sullivan, Gunnink, Werwie, Roggenbauer), 3:15.38; 4, Madison Memorial (Ketarkus, McKinnon, Drake, Tucker-Jones), 3:16.19; 5, Verona/Mount Horeb (Wellnitz, Lofts, Best, McCartney), 3:17.31; 6, Waunakee (Kobza, Busse, Wallace, Vinson), 3:20.73. At Middleton.


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