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State Boys Swimming & Diving Championships Preview

Monday, February 1, 2021

State Boys Swimming & Diving Championships Preview

THE CHAMPIONSHIPS: The 97th Annual Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Boys Swimming and Diving Championships will be held Friday and Saturday, Feb. 5-6, at Waukesha South High School in Waukesha, Wis. Ticket prices for the meet are $11 per session and only available to competing schools.

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 1:30 p.m., and the swimming finals will follow at 6 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

CHAMPIONSHIPS 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 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 “Subscribe Now” link located at the top right area of the page. Archived streams of the meets will be available on demand on the NFHS Network 72 hours after the tournament with a subscription.

BY THE NUMBERS:  There are 99 teams in the 2021 boys swimming & diving tournament series. The largest 59 programs are in Division 1, with the remaining 40 programs in Division 2.

HOW THEY QUALIFIED:  Schools are assigned directly into sectional competition, with six sectionals in Division 1 and four in Division 2. The winners of each event at the sectional meet qualified for the State Meet. Also qualifying are the next 18 (Division 1) and 12 (Division 2) best individuals/relays/divers (not including sectional winners) from all the sectionals combined.

LAST YEAR:  Middleton won the Division 1 team championship after finishing runner-up the two prior seasons. The Cardinals compiled 228 points. Waukesha South/Catholic Memorial was runner-up with 222 points. In Division 2, Edgewood won the team championship for the second consecutive year, compiling 293 points. Cedarburg finished second with 265 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 75 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 2020 champions attempting to retain their titles, including one individual event and three relays. Senior Ben Wiegand of Sun Prairie is the returning champion in the 50-yard freestyle. He is in position to retain the title based on his qualifying time of 20.33, which leads the field. Wiegand also finished sixth in the event in 2019. He should expect a formidable challenge for the title from junior William Hayon of Sheboygan North, who won the event in 2019 and placed third a year ago, and senior Emilio Perez of Greenfield/Greendale/Pius XI Catholic, who was fifth in 2019 and has the second-fastest qualifying time this season at 20.65. Senior Travis Craig of Franklin is a four-time qualifier in the 50 freestyle, finishing fifth last season, 13th in 2019 and 20th in 2018. Wiegand also has the swiftest qualifying time in the 100 freestyle at 45.64. Craig is the top returning swimmer with a fourth-place finish last year. He also was fourth in 2019 and 10th in 2018. Senior Cory Michalek of Waukesha North/Kettle Moraine/Pewaukee could also be in contention for the title in the 100 freestyle with the second-fastest seed time of 46.05 after placing sixth in 2020 and 16th in 2019. Sophomore Nick Chirafisi of Middleton has the fastest sectional time in the 200 freestyle at 1:42.73 after placing sixth last year. Senior Leo Gandaria of Greenfield/Greendale/Pius XI Catholic is the top returning finisher in the event from a year ago with a third-place finish. Seven of last year’s top-10 finishers return in the 500 freestyle. Senior Jackson Lustig of Greenfield/Greendale/Pius XI Catholic could be considered the favorite to win the event this season with the fastest qualifying time of 4:38.02, which is two seconds faster than the time of the next-best competitor. He is also the top returning finisher from last season after placing third to go with sixth-place result in 2019. Among the other experienced challengers for the title are senior Kevin Fitzgerald of West Bend West/East, who was fourth last year and eighth in 2019; Chriafisi, who was fifth last season; senior Alex Foti of Waukesha West/Mukwonago, who was sixth a year ago and 17th in 2019; senior James Werwie of Sun Prairie, who was seventh the past two seasons; and senior Sam Lanham of Waukesha South/Catholic Memorial, who was eight in 2020, ninth in 2019 and 15th in 2018. Sophomore Lance Johnson leads a trio of Arrowhead swimmers in the fast heat of the 200 individual medley. He enters the meet with the event’s top qualifying time of 1:52.63 after placing 11th last season. Werwie, with his sixth-place finish last year, is the top returning competitor in the event with the seventh-fastest seed time of 1:57.03. Perez is the top returning swimmer and the fastest qualifier in the 100 butterfly. He placed runner-up last year and turned in a time of 48.60 at sectionals. Junior Oscar Best of Verona/Mount Horeb and William Hayon should also contend for the title. Hayon has the second-fastest qualifying time at 48.77 after placing fifth in 2019, and Best placed third in the event last year and 12th in 2019. The 100 backstroke should be hotly contested. Senior Adam Braunschweig of Arrowhead leads a tight field of qualifiers with a time of 50.81 after placing third last year, seventh in 2019 and 14th in 2018. Senior Adam Fisher of Muskego is the second-fastest qualifier at 51.22 with a wealth of experience in the event, placing fourth in 2020, 11th in 2019 and 15th in 2018. Junior Brady Miller of Brookfield Central/East is the fastest qualifier in the 100 breaststroke with a seed time of 56.23. He is also the top finisher returning from a year ago after placing fourth. Lance Johnson will challenge Miller for the title with a qualifying time .03 behind the frontrunner after he placed eighth in 2020. Junior Jan Lanser of West Bend West/East is the top retuning competitor in the dives after placing third last year. He enters competition with the best qualifying score of 529, well ahead of the next-best qualifying score of 472.20 recorded by junior Azaan McCray of Racine Case, who placed fourth last year and fifth in 2019. The Greenfield/Greendale/Pius XI Catholic 200 medley relay returns to defend its title with a time of 1:33.21, but Arrowhead has the top seed time this year at 1:33.12. The Sun Prairie 200 freestyle relay is the defending champion with the fastest qualifying time of 1:24.28 in pursuit of a repeat title this season. The Waukesha South/Catholic Memorial 400 freestyle relay returns after winning the championship in the event last year, but it will need to shave time off its qualifying time of 3:18.43 to catch the top qualifier in the event, Sun Prairie, which enters with a time of 3:09.13.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES-DIVISION 2:  Two of last year’s individual events feature the return of its champion, and two relays return in an attempt to win back-to-back titles. Senior Ben Stitgen of Edgewood is looking to become just the third diver to win four State championships and just the seventh competitor to win four times in any event. He enters competition with the second-best qualifying score of 437.15. Freshman Noah Turner of Cedarburg compiled a sectional tally of 470.80 to lead all divers. The other individual pursuing a repeat title is sophomore Isaac Fleig of Cedarburg in the 500-yard freestyle. He comes into the championships with the second-fastest qualifying time of 4:46.15. Junior Jackson Hodek of Ashwaubenon has the top time of 4:44.95 after placing sixth last season and 13th in 2019. Fleig is also one of the favorites in the 200 individual medley. He is the event’s quickest qualifier with a time of 1:57.28 coming off a runner-up performance at last year’s championships. Junior Kyle Griswold of Shorewood should contend with Fleig for the title after placing sixth last year and possessing a seed time less than a second behind Fleig’s at 1:57.98. Sophomore Matt Dedering of Cedarburg is the fastest qualifier and the top returning finisher in both the 50 and 100 freestyles. He clocked in at 21.34 at sectionals in the 50 freestyle after placing third a year ago, and he registered a time of 46. 83 in the 100 freestyle after a runner-up performance last season. Seniors Peter McMahon of Whitefish Bay and senior Liam Hogan of Lakeland could also contend for the 50 freestyle title. McMahon has the second fastest time at 21.81, and Hogan the third-fastest at 21.91 after placing fourth last year and runner-up in 2019. Hogan may also challenge Dedering in the 100 freestyle with the second-fastest seed time of 47.90 after placing fourth in the event in 2020. Sophomore Aiden Strath of Shorewood was fourth in the 200 freestyle last season, which is the highest finish of any of the returning competitors in the event. He has the second-fastest qualifying time of 1:44.18 this season, behind only the 1:42.06 turned in by Nicolet freshman Jack Sullivan. Junior Cameron Tejeda of Monona Grove may be the leading contender in the 100 butterfly. His fifth-place finish last season and his sectional qualifying time of 50.46 are tops in the event. Junior Colin Senke of Edgewood also has sights on a title in the event with the second-fastest qualifying time of 50.88. Senke should also be among the earliest finishers in the 100 backstroke, an event he was runner-up in last season and fifth in 2019. He owns the top qualifying time at 50.57, less than a second faster than Tejeda, who qualified with the second-fastest time of 51.33 after placing fifth last year and seventh in 2019. Sophomore Sam King of Sauk Prairie/Wisconsin Heights is the swiftest qualifier by over a second in the 100 breaststroke at 58.25 after placing fifth in the event a year ago. He finished just behind senior Jacob Laux of Baraboo, who was fourth and is the next-fastest qualifier behind King this season at 59.49. The Edgewood 200 medley relay is pursuing its third straight championship. It enters the championships with the third-fastest seed time of 1:39.73, which is less than a second slower than the times of Whitefish Bay at 1:38.57 and Cedarburg at 1:39.44. The Edgewood 400 freestyle relay team is also a two-time defending champion. The quartet will challenge to win its third in a row with the second-fastest qualifying time of 3:17.68, behind only Cedarburg with a time of 3:16.90. The Whitewater 200 freestyle relay is the top qualifier with a time of 1:28.51, coming off a third-place finish from a year ago, which is the highest finish of any other returning relay in the event.

STATE SOUVENIR PROGRAMS ONLINE:  The souvenir programs for the 2021 winter State culminating events are available online and available to download and print at no cost. The State Boys Swimming & Diving Championships program with rosters of qualifiers, history and schedule information can be accessed at: https://www.wiaawi.org/Portals/0/PDF/Publications/Programs/2021boyswimming.pdf

ORDER STATE MEET APPAREL ONLINE: WIAA licensed apparel is available online for the 2021 State Boys Swimming & Diving Championships. To browse and purchase branded merchandise, visit the WIAA Store at: https://wiaaswimdive21.itemorder.com. Online purchases will be shipped after the online store closes on Wednesday, Feb. 10.

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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Release by WIAA Communications

 

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