Whitefish Bay swimmers earn seven entries in state D2 meet
All three relays will swim in Madison
Whitefish Bay - Even with a disappointing disqualification, there was no holding back the excitement for the Whitefish Bay girls swim team, as the Blue Dukes took third in the WIAA Division 2 sectional at Plymouth on Saturday and advanced four individuals and three relay teams to this Friday's state meet in Madison.
"It was a great meet, an outstanding meet," Blue Dukes coach Jim Davis said. "All year long, we've had our ups and downs and we were coming off what I thought wasn't our greatest conference meet.
"So I just tried to tell the kids this is where we swim well (Plymouth). I told them, I know we can do this, so let's have fun and do like we always do in Plymouth."
The Blue Dukes will send Annelise Sprau in the 100 butterfly and the 50 freestyle, Sarah Olver in the 100 breast stroke and Sabrina Raber in the 100 free. In addition, the 200 medley relay team of Foley Van Lieshout, Olver, Sprau and Hannah Pasterski; the 200 free team of Anna Lauko, Raber, Maggie Colton and Pasterski; and the 400 free crew of Raber, Pasterski, Olver and Sprau, will also take part at the UW-Madison Natatorium at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
The Blue Dukes scored 290 points for their spot in the 13-team sectional as state powers Shorewood (362) and Grafton (353) dominated the event.
Davis said the 200 medley relay team set the tone and the rest of the swimmers followed in line behind that. The crew finished second in a three-plus second season best of 1:51.88). That team state seed of third is the highest the Blue Dukes earned.
"As always, those kids got us going and set the tone for the rest of the meet," Davis said. "They really lifted a weight off our shoulders."
Other relay qualifying efforts included a three-plus second season best for the 200 free team, good for fourth and a five-plus second season best for the 400 free team, good for third.
Davis said that the returning state place-winner Sprau has struggled a bit this fall, but turned in a good sectional, earning her slots in the 50 free with a season best of 24.81, good for fourth and a fourth-place effort of 59.99 in the butterfly.
Raber claimed her spot with a third in the 100 free (55.37) and Olver claimed her individual spot with a fourth in the breast stroke (1:09.62).
The disqualification came early in the meet (Davis did not want to go into detail about it) but the team and the individual involved worked hard to move past it.
He said the rest of the team had a number of personal and seasonal bests.
Other event finishes included the following: 200 free: Raber, sixth (2:03.42); Kate Phillips, 11th (2:09.95); 200 individual medley: Eleanor Hanson, 10th (2:25.76); 50 free: Pasterski, sixth (25.74); Lauko, seventh (25.78). ; Maggie Colton, 10th (26.32); 100 butterfly: Marisa Brudny, seventh (1:02.74); 500 free: Hanson, ninth (5:57.75); 100 backstroke: Van Lieshout, fifth (1:03.89); Brudny, seventh (1:05.58); Annie Vellon, eighth (1:06.52); and 100 breast stroke: Lauko, eighth (1:12.71); Luisa Hoffmann, 11th (1:16.09).
Davis was ecstatic about the efforts.
"We took 12 girls to the meet and all 12 scored points," he said. "All three relays had huge time drops and our new kids got such great experience. It was a fun and phenomenal meet. I was just so impressed with how great the kids swam and how they held up."
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