State Boys Swimming & Diving Championships Preview

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

State Boys Swimming & Diving Championships Preview

THE CHAMPIONSHIPS: The 94th Annual Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Boys Swimming and Diving Championships will be held Friday and Saturday, Feb. 16-17, at the Natatorium on the campus of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wis. Ticket prices for the meet are $6 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 Saturday. The Division 2 diving competition begins Friday at 2:30 p.m., with the swimming finals scheduled 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

MEETS LIVE ON NFHS NETWORK.COM:  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 $9.95 per month, log-on to or 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:  Waukesha South/Catholic Memorial won its second team championship, claiming the Division 1 championship with 246 points. Madison Memorial had a string of six straight titles snapped, finishing runner-up with 216 points. In Division 2, Monona Grove won its third straight championship by compiling 381 points, the most by a Division 2 champion since 2005. Ashwaubenon placed second with 232 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 third on the list of titles with 13. Wauwatosa, before it became two separate schools, and Shorewood 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 64 events, and Wauwatosa has won 61. Ryan O’Donnell of McFarland has won the most State event titles in a prep career with 14. Ben McDade of Monona Grove has won 11, and three 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:  Seven events feature their 2017 champions attempting to retain their titles, including four individual events and three relays. Senior Brandon Spencer of Kenosha Tremper is the two-time returning champion in the diving competition. Based on his qualifying performance, he is the favorite to win his third straight title with the top qualifying score of 521.15. Junior Braden Rumpit of Brookfield Central/East may challenge Spencer for the title after placing fourth a year ago and record the second-best qualifying score at sectionals with a 508.00. Senior Ryan Linnihan of Brookfield Central/East returns to defend his title in the 50 freestyle. He enters the State meet with the third-fastest qualifying time at 21.00. The top qualifying time in the event belongs to senior Lucas Farrar of Arrowhead at 20.54, who placed third last year. Sophomore Jacob Carlson of Waukesha South/Catholic Memorial may also be in the mix for the title with a qualifying time of 20.60 after placing sixth last year. Farrar also possesses the best qualifying time in the 100 freestyle with a time of 44.91 after tying for fifth last year. Linnihan and senior Conrad Farrell of Waukesha South/Catholic Memorial, who tied Farrar for fifth last season, are the next fastest qualifiers. Their qualifying times are more than a second behind Farrar’s. Senior Alex Wowk of Madison Memorial is the returning champion in the 100 butterfly. He attempts to retain the title after qualifying from sectionals with the fourth-fastest time of 50.55. Sophomore Kaiser Neverman of the Green Bay Southwest co-op is the fastest qualifier in the event with a time of 50.17 after placing third last season, and senior Lain Weaver of Madison West, the runner-up the last two seasons, is the second swiftest qualifier at 50.42. Senior John Acevedo of Waukesha South/Catholic Memorial is the returning champion in the 500 freestyle to go with a sixth-place finish in 2016. He has the top qualifying time in the event this year at 4:31.46. Senior Bryan Fitzgerald of West Bend East/West placed third last year and is the second-fastest competitor to qualify this season with a time more that five seconds off Acevedo’s pace. Seniors Michael Draves of Middleton, the runner-up the past two seasons, and Ben Davis of the Greenfield co-op, who was fifth last year, could challenge for the title as well. Acevedo also has the distinction of being the top returning finisher in the 200 freestyle after placing third last season. He is the top qualifier in the event this year following a 1:40.22 performance in the sectionals last week. Draves and Davis should provide a stiff challenge to Acevedo after placing fourth and fifth, respectively, in the event last year. Junior Wes Jekel of Madison West is the fastest qualifier in the 200 individual medley at 1:53.27 after placing fifth in 2017. His qualifying time is less than a second quicker than those of Fitzgerald, who is the top returning qualifier after placing third last year, and Neverman. Carlson is the fastest qualifier in the 100 backstroke with a time of 50.32 following a fourth-place finish last year. He’ll need to contend with a trio of swimmers that also placed in the top five a year ago. Jekel was runner-up; Wowk was third; and junior Drew Nixdorf of Arrowhead was fifth. The three challengers represent the next three fastest qualifying times in the event. Junior Henry Miller of Madison West turned in the best qualifying time in the 100 breaststroke at sectionals at 57.90 after placing third last season, which represents the highest-placing returning competitor in the event. The Sauk Prairie co-op 200 medley will attempt to retain its title from 2017 with the third-fastest qualifying time in the event. The Madison West 200 medley team has the quickest seed time in the event at 1:35.02. Madison West also has the fastest time entering the 400 freestyle relay at 3:08.40 after placing third last season. Eau Claire Memorial/North is the returning champion and has qualified again this season with a time of 3:17.83. The Waukesha South/Catholic Memorial relay enters action as the top-seeded team in the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:25.21 following its second-place finish a year ago. Eau Claire Memorial/North is the returning champion in the event with a seed time six seconds behind the top seed.
INDIVIDUAL NOTES-DIVISION 2:  Seven events return their champions from last season, including four individual events and three relays. Senior Ben McDade of Monona Grove has won 11 State titles in his prep career, three short of the 14 won by Ryan O’Donnell of McFarland from 2009-12 for the most in State history. With wins in his four events, he can move to the top of the list. He is the three-time returning champion in both the 200 and 500 freestyles, and he returns as the overwhelming favorite to win those events again with top qualifying times by significant margins. He has posted sectional times of 1:42.02 and 4:36.29, respectively, in those two events. In addition, McDade is the Division 2 record-holder in the 500 freestyle. Senior Eric Storms of Monona Grove is the two-time defending champion in the 100 backstroke. His qualifying time of 53.70 in the event ranks third among the contenders  entering action. Sophomore Aidan Lohr of Baraboo, who placed ninth a year ago, possesses the top time in the event from sectionals at 52.93. Senior Joe Stone of Ashwaubenon could also contend with the second-best seed time of 53.22 after placing fifth last year and 10th in 2016. Senior Ben Hayes of Brown Deer/University School is the defending champion in the 200 IM after a third-place finish in 2016. He has posted the swiftest qualifying time in the event at 1:52.57, which is almost five seconds quicker than the next fastest challenger. Hayes is also the fastest qualifier in the 100 butterfly with a seed time of 50.56. He’ll contend with Storms, who was runner-up in the event last season and sixth in 2016. Storms has the second-best seed time at 53.36. Senior Max McHugh of the Sturgeon Bay co-op is the fastest qualifier in the 50 freestyle by more than a second at 20.57. Senior Shane Sackett of Monona Grove has the second-fastest time at 22.12 after placing fifth in 2017, which represents the top returning swimmer to the event. It appears the 100 freestyle will be a hotly contested event. Junior Jeremiah Mansavage of Fort Atkinson leads the field with a seed time of 48.48. Sophomore Truman teDuits of Edgewood and senior Grant Gibson of Lakeland are fractions of a second off Mansavage’s time at 48.50 and 48.85, respectively. The leading qualifier in the diving competition is freshman Ben Stitgen of Edgewood. He enters competition with the best qualifying score of 447.08. All three of the Monona Grove relays seek to repeat as champions. The 200 and 400 freestyle relays are in pursuit of their fourth straight championships. The Silver Eagles own the fastest qualifying time in the 400 relay with a time of 3:17.64 and the second-fastest qualifying time in the 200 relay at 1:29.24, which is less than a half of a second behind the 1:28.99 turned in by the Sturgeon Bay co-op. The Monona Grove 200 medley relay enters the meet with the second-best qualifying time of 1:39.75, just .14 of a second behind the Sturgeon Bay co-op’s seed time. 

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 by accessing the boys swimming and diving Tournament Information page.

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