Sports

Thu
22
Aug
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Middleton swimmers are chasing history

This marks the 50th year that girls swimming has been a WIAA sport.

In that time, there have been just four occasions where a school has won at least four straight state championships. Amazingly, Madison West did it three times (1980-’83, 1989-’92 and 1995-’98) and Hartland Arrowhead did it once (2002-’06).

Middleton could join that elite club this season.

The Cardinals have won three straight state championships, including an inspiring performance last year in which they ran away from the field despite having a top-rated relay team disqualified at sectionals. Now, with a sensational group of returnees, a handful of improved swimmers and a gifted group of newcomers, Middleton is set to take aim at a fourth straight state championship.

The Cardinals open their 2019 season at Madison East Friday at 5 p.m.

Thu
22
Aug
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Middleton's girls tennis team ready to roll

When Terry Geurkink saw the opening, he had his résumé ready faster than a Serena Williams forehand.

And why not?

Middleton’s girls’ tennis program has everything a head coach could want, from talent, to tradition to support from the administration. So when Guerkink was recently named the Cardinals’ new head coach, naturally, he was elated.

“The Middleton girls’ tennis varsity coaching position was appealing to me because of the challenge of coaching a traditionally successful program, and the challenge of coaching in the highly competitive Big Eight Conference,” said Guerkink, whose team began its new season Monday at the La Crosse Central Invite.

For the most part, Middleton has met that challenge through the years.

The Cardinals have been to the WIAA Division 1 state team tournament seven times since 2006, highlighted by a state title in 2013. Middleton hasn’t been to state since 2014, though, and would like to change that this fall.

Wed
14
Aug
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Middleton golfers have great expectations

Great expectations are an annual event inside Middleton’s girls golf program. Delivering on those hopes has never been a problem.

The Cardinals have reached the WIAA Division 1 state tournament 19 times in the last 22 years. And in that time, Middleton won state championships in both 2009 and 2015, and finished second six times — including last year.

It’s safe to say the prospects for greatness are as high as ever this fall. And Middleton fully expects to make a run at greatness once again.

The Cardinals return their top four golfers from last year’s team that had a magical performance at state. That team had the best second-day score and out a scare into champion Kettle Moraine before eventually settling for second place.

Now, with the majority of last year’s group back, the Cardinals know a state title in certainly possible this fall.

Tue
13
Aug
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Middleton tabs Carl to lead softball program

When the call came in, Brittany Carl pumped her fist a few times.

She immediately called her own father, Scott Hammer, to share the news.

And that was enough celebrating. There was work to do.

Carl was named Middleton’s new girls softball coach last week. Carl replaces Perry Hibner, who stepped down at the end of the 2019 season due to the demands of his job as Director of Communications for the Middleton-Cross Plain Area School District.

Carl, who played collegiately at Seton Hall and has coached at various levels the last six years, was an assistant at MHS last season. And when Cardinals’ athletic director Bob Joers picked Carl from the four candidates, she was both giddy and humbled.

Tue
16
Jul
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Middleton's top girls' performances of 2018-'19

It was another sensational year for the sports teams at Middleton High School, where the Cardinals remained a model of consistency both in the Big Eight Conference and across the state.

Of course, some achievements rank as the best of the best. Here’s one person’s opinion of that list.

Last week we handed out the boys’ awards. This week we recognize the top girls.

Team of the year: Swimming

Middleton’s run of greatness continues to grow.

The Cardinals won their third consecutive WIAA Division 1 state swimming and diving championship last November.

Middleton finished with 249.50 points – 61.5 points ahead of second-place Cedarburg with 188. Sun Prairie finished third with 170 points and Verona /Mount Horeb took fourth with 169 points.

Tue
16
Jul
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Middleton's top boys' performances in 2018-'19

It was another sensational year for the sports teams at Middleton High School, where the Cardinals remained a model of consistency both in the Big Eight Conference and across the state.

Of course, some achievements rank as the best of the best. Here’s one person’s opinion of that list.

We will hand out boys’ awards this week, and girls’ awards next week.

Team of the year: Golf

One year after a disappointing sixth place finish at the WIAA Division 1 state tournament, Middleton notched a second-place finish. That meant the Cardinals received a large runner-up trophy and a fire truck escort through Middleton.

Mighty Milwaukee Marquette won its third state title in four years after setting a new state record with a two-day total of 594. Middleton was second at 614, while Lake Geneva Badger (623), Kaukauna (624) and Wauwatosa East/West (627) rounded out the top five.

Thu
27
Jun
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MHS basketball standout Tanin chooses Loyola

Location.

Teammates.

Academics.

And a belief in what is the coaching staff is building.

Middleton girls’ basketball standout Sitori Tanin viewed all of the above as extreme positives when she chose Loyola University in Chicago as her future home. The 6-foot-2 Tanin, a senior-to-be at MHS, announced her decision last week.

“The girls on the team, the coaching staff, the campus, the athletic facilities and the location,” Tanin said when asked what drew her to Loyola. “And since I was looking for a higher academic school, Loyola was a great fit.”

Tanin helped the Cardinals reach the WIAA Division 1 state championship game in March, where they fell to Bay Port, 50-49.

Tanin also received first-team all-Big Eight Conference honors after leading the Cardinals in scoring (13.2), rebounding (11.0), steals (2.2) and blocks (1.1), and finishing second in assists (2.0).

Thu
27
Jun
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MHS golfers earn top honors

Tom Cabalka couldn't stop gushing.

Middleton’s boys golf coach was recently discussing how Kip Sullivan, Jacob Beckman and Carson Frisch were named first-team all-Big Eight Conference, and Tommy Kriewaldt received second-team honors.

The foursome was also recognized by the Wisconsin Golf Coaches Association. Sullivan was named second-team all-state, Beckman received third-team honors and both Kriewaldt and Frisch were named honorable-mention all-state.

And Cabalka simply couldn't find enough plaudits to throw in the direction of his four golfing standouts.

“I'm finding it hard to say enough good things about these guys,” Cabalka said. “They are all great young men, and such an enjoyable group to work with. 

Thu
27
Jun
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Baseball Cardinals named all-conference

Middleton’s baseball team had four players earn all-Big Eight Conference honors.

Senior pitcher Matt Ballweg and junior outfielder Ben Collier were named second-team all-conference. Senior outfielder Cooper Holewinski and junior infielder Adam Casali received honorable-mention all-conference honors.

In 42 innings pitched, Ballweg struck out 40 batters, walked 17 and had a 2.33 ERA. Ballweg allowed just 30 hits in conference games and had a WHIP (walks + hits/innings pitched) of 1.119.

“He was a tremendous pitcher for us who kept us in nearly every game he pitched,” Middleton manager Brent Jorgensen said of Ballweg. “Matt had a great pickoff move to complement his ability to locate all three of his pitches for strikes. His demeanor, pitching abilities, and work ethic were the three things that really set him apart this year.”

Thu
20
Jun
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Four MHS softball players named all-Big 8

Middleton’s girls’ softball team had four players earn all-Big Eight Conference honors.

Sophomore catcher Olivia Hebert and sophomore centerfielder CC Hiorns were named first-team all-league. Senior third baseman Ashley Bindl and senior pitcher Brynn Thayer were both named honorable-mention all-conference.

Hebert led the Cardinals in RBIs (34) and doubles (10). Hebert was also second among Middleton’s starters in batting average (.359), slugging percentage (.522) and steals (11), and was fourth in runs scored (18).

In 96 plate appearances, Hebert struck out just six times. She threw out three runners trying to steal and had a fielding percentage of .965 on 143 total chances.

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