Monday, February 13, 2017

WIAA State Boys Swimming & Diving Preview

THE CHAMPIONSHIPS:  The 93rd Annual Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Boys Swimming and Diving Championships will be held Friday and Saturday, Feb. 17-18, 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

WATCH 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 games will be available on demand on the NFHS Network 72 hours after the tournament without requirement of a subscription. 

LAST YEAR:  Madison Memorial won its sixth consecutive team championship and its 16th title overall, claiming the Division 1 championship with 314 points. Madison West finished runner-up for the fourth consecutive season, compiling 202 points. In Division 2, Monona Grove won its second straight championship by compiling 296 points, and Shorewood placed second with 251 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 88. 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. Three individuals have won 10 State titles, including Ben Anderson of Arrowhead, Jay Mortenson of Madison West and Tom Wanezek of Brookfield East. 

INDIVIDUAL NOTES-DIVISION 1:  Seven events feature its 2016 champion attempting to retain the title, including four individual events and three relays. Senior Paul DeLakis of Eau Claire Memorial/North is the three-time defending champion in the 100-yard breaststroke. He’s the favorite to win his fourth title with the top qualifying sectional time of 56.99. DeLakis is State record-holder in the 200 individual medley, and he’s the fastest qualifier this season with a time of 1:49.69, which is just under five seconds faster than the next quickest qualifier, sophomore Shane Blinkman of Hudson, who won the event last year. DeLakis won the individual medley in 2014 and 2015 but didn’t compete in the event last year. Blinkman should also compete for the title in the 100 backstroke. He finished runner-up last season and enters the State finals this week with the top qualifying time of 51.26. Junior Brandon Spencer of Kenosha Tremper is the returning champion in the diving competition. He will challenge for his second title after qualifying with a sectional score of 490.85, which is second only to senior Matt Wilke of Appleton North/East, who scored a 516.25 at sectionals after placing fourth at State a year ago. Senior Danny Larson of Wauwatosa West/East returns to the 100 freestyle after capturing gold in the event last year. He will challenge for the title again this year with the second-fastest seed time of 46.75. Larson is also the top returner to the 200 freestyle after a runner-up finish in 2016. He qualifies this year with the third-fastest sectional time of 1:43.19. He should expect formidable challenges in both 100 and 200 freestyles this year. The top qualifying time in the 100 freestyle belongs to junior Lucas Farrar of Arrowhead at 46.64, and the best 200 freestyle entry time recorded last week at sectionals was by junior John Acevedo of Waukesha South/Catholic Memorial at 1:40.51. Farrar is also the swiftest qualifier in the 50 freestyle at 21.12. Acevedo also lays claim to the best qualifying time in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:33.99 after placing sixth last season. His entry time is nearly five seconds faster than the time of the next-fastest qualifier, junior Michael Draves of Middleton, who was runner-up last season. Junior Lain Weaver of Madison West, is the top returner in the 100 butterfly, having placed runner-up last year. He enters the event this season with the fastest qualifying time of 50.71. Incidently, Weaver is also the top returning competitor in the 50 freestyle with his fourth-place finish in the State meet a year ago. The Madison Memorial 200 medley and 200 freestyle relay teams aim to extend their run of titles to seven and six in a row, respectively. The Spartans have the fifth-fastest qualifying time in the 200 medley relay at 1:37.43. Madison West owns the quickest qualifying time at 1:34.75. The Spartans are more than two seconds off the qualifying pace of last year’s 200 freestyle relay runner-up Eau Claire Memorial/North, which has turned in a seed time of 1:26.32 this season.  In addition, the Spartans’ 400 freestyle relay attempts to win its second consecutive title; however, it is Arrowhead that is the projected favorite with a top qualifying time of 3:11.31.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES-DIVISION 2:  Nine events return their champions from last season, including six individual events and three relays. Junior Ben McDade of Monona Grove is the two-time returning champion in both the 200 and 500 freestyles, and he returns to those events with top qualifying times by a significant margin. He has posted sectional times of 1:43.15 and 4:42.13, respectively. In addition, McDade is the Division 2 record-holder in the 500 freestyle, setting the mark last season. Senior Noah Larson of Baraboo possesses the top time entering the meet in the 50 and 100 freestyles after capturing gold in both those events a season ago. He enters the State meet with qualifying times of 21.34 and 47.65 in those events, respectively. Seniors Riccardo Romersi of Nicolet, Will Hobbs of Cedarburg and Erik Doll of Monona Grove appear to be the top challengers to Larson based on qualifying times and previous State meet performances. Senior Sean O’Connor of Grafton is the returning champion in the 100 butterfly after placing fourth in 2015. He returns to the event with the second-fastest seed time of 51.41. The fastest sectional time in the event was clocked by junior Eric Storms of Monona Grove with a time of 51.14 after placing sixth last year. Storms is a returning champion as well, having attained gold in the 100 backstroke last season. He is considered the one to beat in the event again this year, having earned the top qualifying time with a 51.70 performance at sectionals. Junior Ben Hayes of Brown Deer/University School has his sights on the crown in both the 200 IM and the 100 breaststroke. He enters the State meet with the fastest qualifying time in both the events. He turned in a 1:53.96 in the IM, which is more than four seconds faster than the next-fastest qualifier, and he is the only swimmer in the breaststroke that has qualified with a time under one minute at 58.53. Hayes finished third in the IM last season and was runner-up in the breaststroke. Senior Henry Carman of Monona Grove has been the runner-up in the diving competition the past three seasons. He returns in pursuit of his elusive first title with the best qualifying score of 563.9. Senior Spencer Peronto of Cudahy should challenge Carman for the title after placing third in 2016 and by possessing the second-best qualifying performance at 535.0. The Monona Grove 200 and 400 freestyle relays look to win their third straight championships. The Silver Eagles own the top qualifying time in the 200 relay at 1:28.43, and they have the second-fastest time in the 400 relay, .69 of a second behind the top qualifying time recorded by Grafton at 3:13.22. The Grafton 200 medley relay is the returning champion and enters the meet with the third-best qualifying time of 1:38.94. Ashwaubenon’s 1:37.37 at sectionals is the top seed time in the event with Monona Grove a fraction of second off the pace at 1:37.54. 

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.

# WIAA #

Release by WIAA Communications


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