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State Girls Swimming & Diving Championships Preview

Monday, November 11, 2019

State Girls Swimming & Diving Championships Preview

THE CHAMPIONSHIPS: The 50th Annual Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Girls Swimming and Diving Championships will be held Friday and Saturday, Nov. 15-16, at the Natatorium on the campus of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wis. Ticket prices for the meet are $8 and $1 for children 6-years old and under.

MEET INFORMATION: The Division 2 championships will be held Friday, with the Division 1 championships to follow on Saturday. The Division 2 diving competition begins Friday at 2:30 p.m. The swimming finals are scheduled to begin Friday at 6:30 p.m. The Division 1 diving competition is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, with the swimming events to begin at 3 p.m. The swimming events will run consecutively following the first event's starting time on the respective days. Here is the order of events (all events in yards):

Order of Events
1. Diving         
2. 200 Medley Relay             
3. 200 Freestyle                      
4. 200 Individual Medley                  
5. 50 Freestyle 
6. 100 Butterfly
7. 100 Freestyle           
8. 500 Freestyle
9. 200 Freestyle Relay
10. 100 Backstroke
11. 100 Breaststroke
12. 400 Freestyle Relay

MEET LIVE ON NFHS NETWORK:  Every event of the WIAA State Girls Swimming and Diving Championships will be streamed live on the WIAA.TV portal of the NFHS Network on a consumer subscription basis. To purchase a subscription to the live programming for only $10.99 per month, log-on to www.wiaa.tv and click on the subscription link. Archived streams of the events will be available on demand on the NFHS Network 72 hours after the tournament without requirement of a subscription. 

LAST YEAR:  Middleton won the title in Division 1 for the third consecutive season. The Cardinals scored 249.5 points to win the title. Cedarburg  was a distant second with 188 points. In Division 2, Edgewood captured the crown for the fourth straight season by scoring 328.5 points. McFarland was the closest challenger with 209 points. 

MEET HISTORY: The WIAA began girls swimming and diving championships in 1970 and moved to a two-division format in 1992. Madison area schools have dominated the championships through the years. Either Madison West or Madison Memorial won all the championships through 1983 and all but one of the Division 1 titles since the inception of the two-division format in 1992 up until 2002. Overall, Madison West has won 15 titles, and Madison Memorial has won 14. Arrowhead has captured 11 titles, and Shorewood has seven championships.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES-DIVISION 1:  Six individual events and all three relays feature their 2018 champion returning to defend titles. Among the returning champions, there is one seeking her fourth straight title in her event and one attempting to win for the third time. Senior Av Osero of Neenah is the three-time defending champion in the diving competition seeking to become only the third diver in State meet history to win four championships. She should be considered the favorite to do just that by entering competition with the top qualifying performance of 524.30.   Senior Cassie Stegner of Menomonee Falls/Hamilton is the two-time returning champion in the 200-yard freestyle. She qualifies this season with the second-fastest qualifying time of 1:55.05 in the event. The fastest qualifier is junior Abby Carlson of Waukesha South/Mukwonago, who enters the meet with a time of 1:49.70. Steger is also a former champion in the 100 freestyle, winning the gold medal in 2017 prior to finishing runner-up last season. She returns to the event after posting a time of 53.62 at sectionals. Junior Sophie Fiske of Sun Prairie edged her for the title last season, and Fiske returns as the fastest qualifier from sectionals this year with a time of 50.85. Fiske is also the returning champion in the 50 freestyle. She has the event’s second-fastest qualifying time this season at 23.42, just behind the 23.20 turned in at sectionals by sophomore Abby Wanezek of Brookfield East. Wanezek’s teammate, junior Reilly Tiltmann is another swimmer in pursuit of her second straight championship in two events. She won the 100 backstroke a year ago and is the event’s top qualifier this season with a time of 53.40. Tiltmann is also the returning champion and top qualifier in the 100 butterfly. She enters the State meet with a time of 55.11 in the event. Senior Emma Lasecki of Bay Port has possessed the top seed time in the 200 individual medley for the second straight season. She enters the meet this season with a qualifying time 2:02.17. Lasecki has finished runner-up in the event the last two seasons after placing fifth in 2016. Carlson is the only qualifier in the 500 freestyle with a time under five minutes for the second straight year with a sectional time of 4:55.87 this season. She was runner-up in the event last season following a fifth-place showing in 2017. Freshman Lucy Thomas of Brookfield East has burst on the scene in the 100 breaststroke. She enters her first State meet with the best sectional qualifying time this season at 1:03.58. Junior Brigid Gwidt of Cedarburg is the top returning swimmer from last year’s meet, finishing third. She has the fourth-fastest qualifying time this season. The Middleton 200 freestyle relay returns in pursuit of its fourth straight gold medal. The Cardinals enter the meet with the swiftest time of 1:36.20. The Sun Prairie 400 freestyle relay won the championship last year and has qualified this year with the event’s quickest time at 3:27.73. The Verona/Mount Horeb 200 medley relay also seeks to return to the top of the medal stand after being crowned the champion last season. The Wildcats possess the 12th-fastest qualifying time from sectionals at 1:47.97. Brookfield East has the top time in the event at 1:43.69.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES-DIVISION 2:  Four individual  events and all three relays feature last year’s returning champions. Junior Ella Houwers of Whitewater is the returning champion in the 100 breaststroke, which followed a runner-up finish in 2017. She is considered the favorite to win the event again this season based on her sectional qualifying performance of 1:05.87, which ranks best in the event this season. Junior Mekenzie Hammer of Monroe/New Glarus looks to repeat as champion in the 200 IM but will need to shave some time off her qualifying time to do so. She enters the meet with the sectional time of 2:14.39. Houwers possesses the top qualifying time in the 200 IM at 2:06.63 after finishing third last season. Sophomore Mara Freeman of McFarland is back in the event she won a year ago in an attempt to defend her title. She returns to the 100 backstroke with the fastest qualifying time of 56.26. Junior Sofia Bormett of Stoughton is the returning champion in the 200 freestyle. She qualifies this season with the fourth-fastest time in the event at 1:54.93. Freshman Ellery Ottem of River Falls claims the best qualifying time from sectionals, clocking in with a time of 1:52.62. Bormett is also the top returning finisher from last year’s meet in the 100 freestyle, placing third. Her sectional time of 53.37 ranks sixth among the qualifiers. Freshman Bry Bellile of Ashwaubenon has the best qualifying time in the event this season with a 51.52. Bellile also possesses the distinction of being the fastest qualifier in the 50 freestyle this season, recording a time of 23.55 at sectionals. Senior Hannah Kujawa of Greendale was the top finisher last season to be  returning to the field this season after tying for second in 2018. Junior Hallory Domnick of Ashwaubenon is not only the top returning participant in the 500 freestyle with a fourth-place finish a year ago, she is also the fastest qualifier this season with a sectional time of 5:08.51. Sophomore Malia Francis of Rhinelander has the fastest qualifying time of 57.54 in the 100 butterfly. She’ll need to contend with a number of challengers that have qualifying times less than a second off her pace in addition to junior Emma Clifford of Wausau East, who is the top returning finisher back from last year’s meet after placing fifth. Junior Bella Smith of Whitnall owns the top qualifying mark in the diving competition this season with a sectional performance of 468.65. She is the event’s top returner from last year’s meet after placing runner-up last season, which followed a fourth-place standing at State in 2017. The Edgewood 200 freestyle relay attempts to win for the fifth straight time with the event’s fastest sectional performance of 1:38.51. The Crusaders’ 400 freestyle relay seeks its fourth straight crown with the field’s fastest qualifying time of 3:34.49. The McFarland 200 medley relay will attempt to win their second consecutive championship. They have the second swiftest qualifying time at 1:48.64. The distinction of having the fastest time in that relay is Edgewood at 1:48.27.

FOLLOW STATE MEET ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Receive updates of the State Girls Swimming & Diving Championships on the WIAA State Tournament Twitter account @wiaawistate with the hashtag #wiaaswimdive. Also like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram at wiaawi, and add us on Snapchat at wiaawis.

NEED THE QUALIFIERS?: All qualifiers, lane assignments and qualifying standards are available on the girls swimming and diving page on the WIAA website.

NEED RESULTS?:  Results of the State Tournament are available on the WIAA website at www.wiaawi.org by accessing the girls swimming and diving Tournament Information page at https://www.wiaawi.org/Sports/Fall/Girls-Swim-Dive/Tournament.

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