Sports

Thu
07
Jun
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Boys track team 11th at state

LA CROSSE — The momentum started in the fall when Middleton’s boys cross country team dominated the field to win the WIAA Division 1 state cross country title. It continued this past weekend at the WIAA state track and field championships.

Middleton’s distance athletes flooded the medal stand all weekend at Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex. Their success indicated that the Cardinals figure to continue rolling when school resumes next fall.

“I think it's just a testament to Middleton's program honestly,” said senior Jack Rader. “We've been strong for a number of years now. Our coaches are such a strong group of guys.”

Rader's third-place finish in the 3,200-meter run capped a successful weekend for the Cardinals, who finished 11th in the team standings with 21 points on the strength of its decorated distance runners.

Thu
07
Jun
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McGinnis, Tanin shine at state

LA CROSSE — Jen McGinnis and Sitori Tanin spent the entire track and field season challenging each other during practice in the triple jump.

“We just pushed each other,” Tanin said. “I'd have a good jump and then she'd go further than me.”

There's no jealously or anger in the tone of Tanin's voice when she says this. As a sophomore for the Cardinals, Tanin considers McGinnis, a senior, a role model and a close friend since starting high school.

They have shared many fun and competitive moments on and off the track the last two years. Last Friday afternoon they shared one more special moment when they both surpassed their pre-tournament expectations by grabbing medals in the triple jump at the WIAA Division 1 state track and field championships at the Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Wed
30
May
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Middleton golfers headed back to state

It’s the most stressful day of the golf season.

Sure, the two-day state tournament can be a nerve-wracking affair.

But sectionals — where every drive, chip and putt can determine if you live to play another round — is a far more taxing endeavor.

Middleton’s young guns — a group that included four players competing at sectionals for the first time — handled the pressure like seasoned veterans Tuesday afternoon.

The Cardinals shot a terrific 306, finished second at the Verona Sectional played at Edelweiss Country Club and earned a trip to the WIAA Division 1 state tournament. Verona won the sectional with a sizzling 296, while Waunakee was a distant third at 313.

The state tournament is Monday and Tuesday at University Ridge Golf Course. And after a one-year absence, Middleton returns to state for the fourth time in five years.

Wed
30
May
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Tennis Cardinals swing for greatness

Ryan Gold was optimistic.

But Middleton’s junior tennis standout admittedly had almost no idea where he’d be seeded for this week’s WIAA Division 1 individual state tournament.

“I’m thinking like (No.) 8 or 9 maybe,” Gold said the day before seeds were released. “I should get a seed. I’m just not sure where.”

Try No. 3.

Gold received the No. 3 seed in the 56-player tournament. Gold received a first round bye and meets the winner of Kenosha Indian Trail freshman Martin Blagoev (17-4) and Nicolet junior Ben Chester (22-8) Thursday at approximately 4 p.m.

Gold could have two matches Friday, and if he plays to his seed, he’ll advance to the state semifinals Saturday at 9 a.m. The championship match would be Saturday afternoon.

“I wasn't expecting a (No. 3) and I don't think Ryan was either,” Middleton coach Kalla Schaefer said. “I am excited for Ryan. It is a great opportunity for him.”

Wed
30
May
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MHS track athletes headed to state

In 2016, Middleton’s boys’ track and field team was a sectional champion. The Cardinals then went and finished second at the WIAA Division 1 state meet.

Middleton coach Joe Line is hoping for similar results in 2018.

Middleton won its own sectional last Thursday, finishing with 107 points to outdistance runner-up La Crosse Central (82). The Cardinals

qualified 10 individuals in seven events and one relay team for the state meet, which will be held Friday and Saturday at Veterans Memorial Stadium in La Crosse.

“Those guys who made it (to state) could all score,” Middleton coach Joe Line said. “That’s really big. Not only score, but be top three in some events.

“The sky’s the limit. If we have our perfect meet, we could do some damage.”

Mon
28
May
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Baseball Cards win share of Big 8 title

MADISON — The unsuspecting manager had just finished waxing poetically about his now championship team.

He took two steps to his left, realized he was a sitting duck, then was attacked by a group of teenagers with a water bucket.

Getting soaked never felt better for Tom Schmitt.

Middleton’s baseball team cruised to a 10-3 win over Madison East at Warner Park last Thursday. The Cardinals improved to 18-6 overall, 15-3 in the Big Eight Conference and clinched a share of their first league title since 2010.

Afterwards, Middleton’s players and assistant coaches lingered as Schmitt handled his media responsibilities. But when Schmitt finished those duties, his team pounced like they would on a 3-0 fastball.

And that was just fine with Schmitt.

Mon
28
May
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Selfless approach key for soccer Cards

The discussion wasn’t easy.

The hard truth never is.

Middleton’s girls soccer program is one of the deepest and most talented in the state year-in and year-out. This year’s Cardinals might have their best roster in many moons, as well.

So before the season began, Middleton head coach Mary Duffy had an honest conversation with her players and their parents. The Cardinals’ remarkably positive reaction to that talk is a major reason they’re in the middle of a memorable season.

“We had a very open discussion at the beginning of the year with players and parents about the struggles of being on a varsity team, and the difficulties of being at the top level, but not playing or not playing a lot,” Duffy said. “Every single girl has embraced their role with great character, strength, determination to improve themselves and the team. They’ve done it with a fantastically positive attitude to produce this amazing team that we have.”

Wed
23
May
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Soccer Cards win Big 8 crown

SUN PRAIRIE — There are still far bigger fish to fry.

There are much larger goals waiting to be attained.

But for a few minutes Tuesday night, Middleton’s girls’ soccer team stopped, smiled, and reflected on what it had just achieved.

Middleton dominated host Sun Prairie from start to finish and rolled to a 2-0 Big Eight Conference win. The victory gave Middleton the undisputed Big Eight Conference title for a second straight year.

Middleton finished the regular season 8-0-1 in the league and tallied 25 points. Sun Prairie could have earned a share of the conference title with a win, but fell to 6-2-1 and settled for second place with 19 points.

Wed
23
May
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Golfers win Middleton Regional

In a season packed with pleasant surprises, adversity hasn’t reared its ugly head very often for Middleton’s boys golf team.

Midway through Tuesday’s WIAA Division 1 Middleton Regional at Pleasant View, though, danger and difficulty were staring the Cardinals squarely in the face.

Middleton shot a disappointing 160 on the front nine and trailed Waunakee by five strokes. This came on the heels of the Cardinals’ third-place finish at the Big Eight Conference meet five days earlier.

Instead of fading to black, though, Middleton turned things around on a memorable back nine. The Cardinals shot a blistering 151, picked up 11 strokes on the Warriors and won their own regional championship.

Middleton finished with a 311, while Waunakee was second at 317. Verona (322) and Oregon (334) also advanced to next Tuesday’s Verona Sectional at Edelweiss Country Club.

Wed
23
May
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Baseball Cards close in on Big 8 title

These days, it’s pretty good to be Middleton’s baseball team.

The Cardinals swept a pair of games from Beloit Memorial last week, topping the Purple Knights, 5-2, on Tuesday and cruising to a 13-2 win on Wednesday. Now, Middleton’s baseball team is on the brink of winning the Big Eight Conference.

The Cardinals sit at 13-3 in the league and 16-6 overall. Middleton, looking for its first conference title since 2010, holds a ½-game lead over second place Janesville Craig (19-3, 12-3) and Sun Prairie (18-3, 12-3).

In addition, Middleton received the No. 1 seed in its 12-team sectional Sunday. The Cardinals received every No. 1 vote from the other 11 coaches.

Middleton now gets a first round bye and hosts either eighth-seeded Onalaska or ninth-seeded Portage in a WIAA Division 1 regional final on May 31. The Middleton Sectional then takes place June 5.

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