Sports

Tue
04
Feb
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MHS swimmers peaking at perfect time

 

Crunch time has arrived for Middleton’s boys swimming team.
And the Cardinals appear ready to finish the season with a bang.

Middleton finished in third place at the 21-team Madison West Invitational last Saturday at the UW-Natatorium. And with the postseason now here, the Cardinals seem ready to make a splash.

“The meet went really well for us,” Middleton coach Luke Lengfeld said. “We had a number of season best times or personal best times. We are swimming fast at the right time and it’s really setting us up for a very successful championship season.”

Madison Memorial won the meet with 534 points, while Madison West (283), Middleton (224), Eau Claire Memorial/North (186) and Waukesha South/Catholic Memorial (182) rounded out the top five.

Middleton is at the Big Eight Conference meet Saturday at Beloit Memorial at 2 p.m. The Cardinals then host the Middleton Sectional Feb. 15 and are at the WIAA Division 1 state meet Feb. 22.

Tue
28
Jan
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Norregaard shoots Middleton past Parker

JANESVILLE — Tom Klawitter is a tough man to silence.

Janesville Parker’s girls basketball coach is one of the most vocal, demonstrative and outspoken coaches you’ll find in the state of Wisconsin.

But last Friday night, Middleton junior guard Elizabeth Norregaard and her Cardinal teammates pushed the mute button on Klawitter and his Vikings.

Norregard erupted for 32 points, which is believed to be the most by a Middleton player since Angie Halbleib’s 44-point effort during a WIAA state tournament game in 1993. Norregaard’s huge night helped the Cardinals pummel the host Vikings, 62-36.

“Wow. I had no idea,” said Norregaard, whose family moved from Denmark just three months ago. “That’s really neat. I guess I’m pretty proud.”

With good reason.

Tue
28
Jan
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Boys basketball team falls to Parker

Derek Rongstad was baffled.

Two thirds of the way into this boys basketball season filled with enormous promise, Middleton’s senior guard wasn’t expecting this.

“Every time we take a step forward, we take two steps back,” Rongstad said. “Every time we win, it seems like the next night we come out and don’t have the same energy. It’s extremely frustrating.”

And how.

Middleton’s search for a branch of consistency to grab onto fell short again last Saturday afternoon. The Cardinals wasted a 15-point lead and eventually fell to visiting Janesville Parker, 77-76, in overtime.

It’s believed to be the first time Parker has ever won at Middleton and marked the first time since the Cardinals joined the Big Eight Conference 20 years ago that they were swept in a season series by the Vikings.

Tue
28
Jan
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Boys basketball team tops Beloit

 

They were down seven when the fourth quarter began.

They were playing in a tough environment and struggling on both ends of the floor.

But last Thursday night, Middleton’s boys basketball team picked the perfect time to reverse its course. The Cardinals embarked on an 18-0 run and surged past host Beloit Memorial, 64-58, at Barkin Arena.

“An 18-0 run in the final quarter is as dominating as it gets,” Middleton coach Kevin Bavery said. “Good decision-making, great defensive rebounding and knocking down free throws was the key.”

Senior guard Derek Rongstad had a terrific all-around game and led Middleton with 24 points. Senior guard Luke Schafer added 13 points.

Beloit Memorial, which won in Middleton on Dec. 6, got five three-pointers and 19 points from Blake Farr.

“Doc was solid start to finish in all phases,” Bavery said of Rongstad.

Tue
28
Jan
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Wrestlers set for showdown

This is why athletes compete.

It’s why coaches coach.

Middleton and Sun Prairie’s wrestling teams were scheduled to meet Wednesday at 7 p.m. in a Big Eight Conference showdown in Sun Prairie. Both teams entered the match 8-0 in league dual meets and the winner will exit with the conference’s dual meet title.

“It should be fun,” Middleton coach Kent Weiler said. “These kids haven’t failed themselves yet. As a team, we’re really coming together … and I think we can be pretty dangerous.”

Middleton was certainly dangerous last Saturday, going a perfect 4-0 at the Big Eight Conference Duals at Janesville Parker.

The Cardinals defeated Verona, 50-22, in Round 1, then toppled Madison West, 63-18, in Round 3. Middleton blanked Madison Memorial, 84-0, in Round 4 and downed Janesville Parker, 75-4, in Round 5.

Tue
28
Jan
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Gymnasts rounding into form

This is what they’ve been waiting for all season.

A relatively healthy roster. Athletes beginning to peak. And top-notch performances.

It all came together for Middleton’s girls gymnastics team last Saturday, when the Cardinals won the Southwestern Invite.

Middleton finished with a season-best score of 139.325 and edged runner-up Mukwonago (139.1). Holmen was third at 133.675, followed by GET (131.60) and Reedsburg (109.30).

“This is a great group of girls, and all season long we thought we’d have a chance for scores like this if we could get healthy,” Middleton coach Kari Steck said.

Middleton senior Aryn Skibba, who was injured much of the season, competed as an all-arounder for the first time this year and had a memorable performance.

Skibba, who finished sixth individually at state last year, posted an all-around score of 36.225.

Tue
28
Jan
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Swimmers win twice

 

Middleton’s boys swimming team defeated Madison East and Sun Prairie last Friday and wrapped up the Big Eight Conference dual meet season with a 7-2 record.

The Cardinals defeated the Purgolders, 117-21, and toppled Sun Prairie, 87-57.

“The guys swam very well,” Middleton coach Luke Lengfeld said. “Some guys got to swim a different event to get some times in other events. 

“But overall, we had several season-best times which is great going into our championship season. It was a good note to finish the dual meet season and now we are into the final push.”

Middleton’s 200-yard medley relay team of senior Cooper Green, junior Rory Slattery, junior Lex Peterson and senior Lars Haskins was first.

Green, Jacob Aegerter and Peterson went 1-2-3 in the 200 freestyle, while Slattery was second in the 200 IM and Haskins was second in the 50 freestyle.

Mon
27
Jan
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Rough week for hockey Cards

 

Middleton’s hockey team had a rough week, losing all three of its games.

The Cardinals fell to Madison Edgewood, 2-1, last Thursday, in overtime.

Middleton lost to Milwaukee Marquette, 4-3, last Saturday and dropped a 4-2 decision to Fond du Lac on Sunday.

Middleton, which went through a coaching change on Jan. 17, fell to 7-9-2 on the season. Interim head coach Steffon Walby, whose record fell to 1-3-1, didn't return messages for this story.

Here’s a recap of the Cardinals’ three games:

• Madison Edgewood 2, Middleton 1 (OT) — The Cardinals took a 1-0 lead in the third period when senior forward Jordan Carey scored on an assist from sophomore defender Davis Bunz.

But the Crusaders got the equalizer with just 1:04 left in regulation, then won it in the extra period.

Middleton goalie Zach Kasdorf had 28 saves. The Cardinals finished with just 17 shots on goal.

Tue
21
Jan
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Liberts forced to resign

 

This was not the way anyone figured it would end.

Not the conclusion that anybody saw coming. 

Tony Libert and his brother Steve, co-head coaches of Middleton’s hockey team for nearly 21 years, were forced to resign last week.

Tony Libert was at the center of a locker room incident during a game against Madison Memorial on Tuesday, Jan. 14. Steve Libert didn’t enter the locker room until the majority of Tony’s exploits had ended, but he also paid the price.

Both men were given the option to resign or be fired on Friday — and each chose to resign.

The Liberts leave behind a program they built from ground zero starting in 1993-’94. In the time since, Middleton has reached the WIAA state tournament three times, and become a model of consistency in both their play and professionalism.

Steffon Walby, a former player and coach in five different minor professional leagues, was named the interim coach.

Tue
21
Jan
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Walby named interim hockey coach

One of the last places Steffon Walby expected to be this winter was behind the bench of Middleton’s varsity hockey program.

But Walby hopes to calm down a chaotic situation and make the best of a rough time.

Walby was named the interim head coach of Middleton’s hockey team last week. Steve and Tony Libert, Middleton’s former co-coaches, were forced to resign following a locker room incident on Jan. 14.

“I think chaotic is a very good word for what’s been going on,” Walby said. “There’s a lot of emotions for the kids, for the parents, for the community up and down.

“We’re there to enforce the Middleton hockey community, which has always supported the high school team. Just help them continue to be the best they can be.”

Walby, 41, spent much of his youth playing hockey leagues in Middleton. He later attended Madison Edgewood, where he graduated in 1990.

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