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State Boys Swimming & Diving Championships Preview

Friday, February 21, 2020

State Boys Swimming & Diving Championships Preview

THE CHAMPIONSHIPS: The 96th Annual Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Boys Swimming and Diving Championships will be held Friday and Saturday, Feb. 21-22, at the Natatorium on the campus of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wis. Ticket prices for the meet are $8 and are sold only at the UW Natatorium each day of the competition.

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., and the swimming finals will follow at 6:30 p.m. The Division 1 diving competition will begin Saturday at 10 a.m., with the swimming events scheduled for 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 WIAA.TV:  Every event of the WIAA State Boys 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 or www.nfhsnetwork.com and click on the subscription image in the middle of the page. Archived streams of the meets will be available on demand on the NFHS Network 72 hours after the tournament without requirement of a subscription.

LAST YEAR:  Madison West won the Division 1 team championship for the second year in a row, amassing 314 points. Middleton finished runner-up for the second straight season, compiling 257 points. In Division 2, Edgewood won the team championship with 289 points, and Monona Grove placed second with 184 points.

MEET HISTORY:  The WIAA began the boys swimming and diving championships in 1925 and moved to a two-division format in 1993. Madison Memorial has won 16 championships to lead all member schools. Waukesha, before it was split into three schools, captured 15 team titles with seven of those coming in succession from 1964-70. Madison West is tied for second on the list of titles with 15. Shorewood and Wauwatosa, before it became two separate schools, have compiled nine championships. Arrowhead and McFarland have each claimed six team championships. All six of McFarland’s Division 2 crowns came in succession from 2007-12. Madison Memorial has produced the most event champions with 89. Waukesha competitors won 77 titles before it split into a multi-school district. Madison West has won 73 events, and Wauwatosa has won 61. Ben McDade of Monona Grove has won the most event championships in a prep career with 15, and Ryan O’Donnell of McFarland is next on the list with 14. Four individuals have won 10 State titles, including Ben Anderson of Arrowhead, Jay Mortenson of Madison West, Tom Wanezek of Brookfield East and Paul DeLakis of Eau Claire Memorial/North.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES-DIVISION 1:  Four events feature their 2019 champions attempting to retain their titles, including one individual event and three relays. Sophomore William Hayon of Sheboygan North is last year’s champion in the 50-yard freestyle as a freshman. He returns to the event this season with the third-fastest qualifying time of 21.06. The top qualifying time in the event belongs to junior Ben Wiegand of Sun Prairie with a seed time of 20.37 after placing sixth last season. Senior Caleb Blischke of Waukesha South/Catholic Memorial claims the top seed time in a of pair events entering the meet, including a time of 1:41.98 in the 200 freestyle and a 4:36.44 in the 500 freestyle. He is the top returning competitor in the 200 freestyle after placing third a year ago. He also placed third in the 500 freestyle in 2019 after finishing fourth in 2018 and sixth in 2017. However, senior Drew Harris of Stevens Point is the top returning finisher in the 500 freestyle after placing a spot above Blischka in second last season. He has qualified with a sectional time of 4:44.12, which ranks fourth in the field. In addition, seven of last year’s top-10 are back to contend for the 500 freestyle title. Blischke’s Waukesha South/Catholic Memorial teammate, senior Jacob Carlson, has posted the quickest time in the 100 freestyle with a sectional performance of 45.45. Senior Isaac Casey-Hrenak of Madison West is a fraction off of Carlson’s seed time with a time of 45.74 after placing third last season, which makes him the top placer returning to the event this season. Senior Nolan Scanlan, also of Waukesha South/Catholic Memorial, is the fastest qualifier in the 200 individual medley with a time of 1:55.07. Among others with State experience in the event, he’ll contend with senior Nathan Kim of Middleton, who returns after placing runner-up last season, eighth in 2018 and 14th in 2017. He is back with the fourth-fastest qualifying time of 1:55.09. Junior Emilio Perez of the Greenfield/ Greendale/Pius XI Catholic Co-op is the top qualifier in the 100 butterfly with a time of 48.81. Senior Kaiser Neverman of Green Bay Southwest/East/Preble/West Co-op is the most experienced and the top returning swimmer from last year’s final, placing fourth after a runner-up finish in 2018 and a third-place outcome in 2017. He has the second-fastest qualifying time this season at 49.86. Junior Ziyad Saleem of the Milwaukee King/North/School of Languages/Washington Co-op has turned in the best sectional time among qualifiers in the 100 backstroke at 49.79. He placed eighth in the event last season and 12th in 2018. Saleem should expect a challenge from Carlson, who has the second-best qualifying time of 50.44 and is the top returner to the event after placing fifth last year to go with a third-place standing in 2018 and fourth-place finish in 2017. Sophomore Brady Miller of Brookfield Central/East claims the swiftest qualifying time in the 100 breaststroke at 56.94. The field features five of the top seven finishers from a year ago, including senior Charlie Feller of Madison West, who was runner-up after an eighth-place finish in 2018. He enters the State meet with the third-fastest qualifying time of 57.53. Senior Michael Konle of Marquette and sophomore Drew Bennett of Madison Memorial are the leading contenders for the diving title. Konle finished runner-up last season and fourth in 2018, and he enters the State competition with the second-best qualifying score of 554.70 at sectionals. Bennett claims the top qualifying performance with a score of 577.65 following a third-place finish last year. Madison West is the two-time defending champion in both the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays. The Regents have posted the third-fastest qualifying time in the medley relay this year with a time of 1:36.06. They have the fifth-quickest time in the 400 freestyle at 3:14.27. The top sectional performance in the 200 medley relay was turned in by Sun Prairie at 1:34.48, and the best seed time in the 400 freestyle relay is the 3:10.23 turned in at sectionals by Waukesha South/Catholic Memorial. The Middleton 200 freestyle relay returns to defend its title with the second-fastest qualifying time in the event at 1:26.00, which is  less than a second off the qualifying pace of Sun Prairie at 1:25.09.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES-DIVISION 2:  Three of last year’s individual events feature the return of its champion, and three relays return in an attempt to win back-to-back titles. Junior Ben Stitgen of Edgewood has won the diving title the last two seasons. He appears poised to win his third title, entering the championships this week with the top qualifying performance at sectionals with a score of 471.15. Senior Truman teDuits of Edgewood is the likely favorite to win his second straight title in the 200 individual medley with a qualifying time of 1:51.30, which is more than four seconds faster than the next-best qualifier. He also finished runner-up in the event in 2018 and fourth in 2017. In the 100 butterfly, teDuits has recorded the fastest seed time at 49.86. He will be challenged by, among others, senior Hunter Johnson of Elkhorn, who finished third last season and comes into the meet with the fourth-fastest time. Edgewood’s Nate Frucht, a senior, attempts to win the 200 freestyle for the second consecutive season. His qualifying time of 1:43.56 leads all other qualifiers in the event. Frucht also returns to the 500 freestyle as the top returning finisher in last year’s race. His qualifying time of 4:52.53 this year ranks fifth in the event. Freshman Evan Schmidt of Stoughton possesses the top seed time in the 500 freestyle at 4:48.43. Senior Travis Phillips of Tomahawk is the top seed in the 50 freestyle with a time of 21.33. The event promises to be one of the more competitive races with five of the top nine finishers from last season returning, including junior Liam Hogan of Lakeland, who finished runner-up. He is seeded third with a time of 21.82. Senior Aidan Lohr of Baraboo is the fastest qualifier in the 100 freestyle with a time of 46.67. He will need to contend with Hogan, who is the second-fastest qualifier at 47.81, and senior Lucas Koepke of Elkhorn, who is the top returning finisher in the event after placing fourth a year ago. Lohr is also the swiftest qualifier in the 100 backstroke with a time of 49.74 after he earned the silver medal last year. He also placed third in the event in 2018 and ninth in 2017. Senior Parker Sonnabend of the Chilton/Brillion/Valders Co-op has clocked in with the top qualifying time in the 100 breaststroke with a sectional time of 57.20 after placing fifth last year. Senior Brock Aune of the Sturgeon Bay/Gibraltar/ Sevastopol/Southern Door Co-op is the top returning swimmer in the 100 breaststroke after finishing runner-up the last two seasons. He comes into the meet with the third-fastest seed time of 58.32. The Edgewood 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays are in pursuit of their second straight titles. The Crusaders’ 200 medley relay is the fastest qualifying quartet with a time of 1:36.88, and their 400 freestyle relay ranks second with a time of 3:14.83, which is slightly behind Elkhorn’s time of 3:13.32. Rhinelander returns to defend its title in the 200 freestyle. The Hodags are the third-fastest qualifiers in the event this season with a time of 1:29.98. Elkhorn is the top seed with a time of 1:27.00.

FOLLOW STATE MEET ON SOCIAL MEDIA:  Receive updates of the State Boys Swimming & Diving Championships on the WIAA State Tournament Twitter account @wiaawistate with the hashtag #wiaaswimdive. Also follow daily recaps on Facebook.

NEED THE QUALIFIERS?: All qualifiers, lane assignments and qualifying standards are available on the boys 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 boys swimming and diving Tournament Information page.

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