MHS swimmers have high hopes

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Michael Draves and Middleton’s boys swimming team finished first at the Nicolet Invite last Saturday./File photo

Danny Lynam has high hopes, big goals.

And by the looks of it, Middleton’s first-year boys swimming and diving coach could see those lofty expectations come to fruition.

The Cardinals went to the 14-team Nicolet Invite last Saturday and finished first among a gifted field. Middleton finished with 450 points, easily outdistancing runner-up Verona-Mount Horeb (246).

“Our win at Nicolet has helped to show the depth we have on the team this year,” Lynam said. “Almost all of the guys placed top-16, with a number of younger guys stepping up to fill some weaknesses we have had in the line-up in the past.”

Middleton had several terrific performances at Nicolet.

The Cardinals won the 400-yard medley relay, the 200-yard freestyle relay and the 500-yard freestyle relay.

Middleton’s Archer Parkin and Erick Grelle were first and second, respectively, in the 50-yard backstroke, while Blake Zillner was fifth. Nathan Kim was second in the 200-yard IM, while Luke Delaney was fourth and Andrew Martin was seventh.

Nate Lamers was fourth in the 50-yard freestyle, while Kim was fifth in the 100-yard IM and Sam Young was eighth. Parkin was also fourth in the 100-yard freestyle and Lamers was seventh.

Michael Draves and Isaac Hanson were sixth and seventh, respectively, in the 50-yard butterfly. Young, Andrew Lund and Jack Mondi were fifth, sixth and seventh in the 50-yard breaststroke, while Martin was also seventh in the 200-yard freestyle.

“It was a sprint invite, so all the distances were shorter,” Lynam said. “We had a lot of fun getting a chance to show off some of the speed we have been working on the past few weeks.”

Lynam has a lengthy swimming background.

Lynam swam at Verona High School and UW-Stevens Point. He later spent a year as a volunteer assistant coach for the Pointers, then coached Mount Horeb in the Tri-County League and Seminole in the All-City League.

Lynam was an assistant coach at Madison West for two years, assisted at Middleton last season and took over the program from Sam Niesen this year.

“Since I have retired in the water I have kept my passion for swimming alive on the deck,” Lynam said. “I love working with high school athletes because they are typically just starting to grow, get stronger, and find unexpected speed. Middleton has a history of a strong swimming program and I look forward to continuing that tradition.”

Lynam inherits a gifted group that will be looking to improve on last year’s seventh place finish at state.

Draves finished second at state last year in the 500-yard freestyle and was seventh in the 200-yard freestyle. Delaney was 15th in the 100-yard butterfly and 17th in the 200-yard freestyle.

“Michael joined us midseason last year and had a difficult time with the transition to our training program,” Lynam said. “Starting the season with us this year sets up the expectation that he will do very well in the middle distance and distance events at state.

“Luke Delaney has always been useful as multi-event swimmer, able to fill any gaps in the line-up as needed. Some new talent in the freshman class should allow us to keep him focused on his strength — the butterfly — and make an even bigger impact this year.”

Young has impressed early on in the 100 breaststroke, while Lund is much stronger and should excel in the freestyle events and the butterfly. Martin is expected to make an impact in the 200 and 500 freestyles, while Kim has impressed in the 200 IM, the 500 freestyle and the 400 freestyle relay and Lamers has shined as a sprint freestyler.

Lynam knows the Big Eight Conference is as good as ever. The postseason will also be filled with potential potholes.

But Lynam also knows his Cardinals have the ability to do some big things.

“I want the guys to be consciously challenging their stroke and feel for the water in order to better improve it,” he said. “I want to get away from the mindset that more work is better and focus more on the quality of the work we are putting in. If we can do this I hope that we can move up from seventh at the state meet last year to fifth this year.”


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