Lake Geneva swimmers bring higher goal to weekend’s state meet
The attitude has changed for the Lake Geneva Badger/Walworth Big Foot/Williams Bay girls high school co-op swim team.
Last year, the Badgers were happy to have a couple of qualifiers for the WIAA Division 1 state swimming and diving. This year, coach Sam Clausen’s team has a bigger agenda—load up on medals.
Badger/Big Foot/Williams Bay, led by super sophomore Emily Russart, qualified in six individual events along with all three relay teams.
“We’re definitely coming back with some hardware,” Clausen said. “We know we’re not going to win the state (Division 1) team title, but we’re taking up some very good swimmers.
“Last year, we told them to go up there and have fun. This year, it’s a matter of seeing how high we can place in a number of events.”
Russart was fifth a year ago in the 100 breaststroke in Division 1, but she enters Saturday’s state meet with the fastest time in the event in 1:04.69. She also is entered in the 200 individual medley and is a member of 200 medley relay team and the 200 freestyle relay.
The Badgers’ 200 medley relay team has the fastest qualifying time in Division 1 at 1:49.82. Other members of the team are sophomores Ellie Lorenzi, Lindsey Mikrut and Maddie Clark.
“Emily has the fastest time in the state in the 100 breaststroke, and that is despite battling an ear infection leading up to the sectional meet,” Clausen said. “She swam at the YMCA National Meet over the summer and missed qualifying for the Olympic trials by 3/10th’s of a second.
“I think her ear infection is behind her now, and so I expect her time to come down even more at the state meet.”
Badger/Big Foot/Williams Bay is not the only local team with a vested interest in the this weekend’s 38th annual state meet.
Milton, led by defending state champion Jennah Haney in the 100 breaststroke, will be looking to improve upon last year’s fourth-place finish in Division 2. Haney, a sophomore, has the second-fastest time in the 100 breaststroke (1:07.39) in Division 2 and will be up against a strong field.
The top eight finishers in the 100 breaststroke in 2006 return, led by junior Liz Bishop of Whitnall—third last year—who had the fastest qualifying time at 1:06.87.
Haney also won a sectional title in the 200 IM and is seeded third in the event with a qualifying time of 2:11.78.
“Jennah will be all tapered this week, and that will definitely make a difference at state,” Milton coach Tom Lieder said. “She dropped two seconds off her time at state last year in the breaststroke, and I’m assuming she’ll drop this year, too.
“What separates Jennah is that she is so mentally strong. There are swimmers with equally ability, but Jennah has the advantage because of her mental toughness and her approach.”
Milton senior Jennifer Schober hopes to cap am oustanding career with a couple of medals. She is seeded fifth in the 200 indiividual medley and seventh in the 100 backstroke.
Schober will also join Haney, Hailey Foss and Kaitlyn Kincade in the 200 medley relay. Foss qualified in the 500 freestyle and also is on the Milton’s 400 freestyle relay team along with Haney, Schober and senior Heather Wecker.
“For the seniors, this is frosting on the cake,” Lieder said. “Anytime you can end your high school career swimming at state, it’s pretty special.”
Janesville Craig’s Hailey Schneider will swim in two events in Division 1. The sophomore is seeded eighth in the 200 individual medley and 10th in the 100 breaststroke.
“The more pressure, the better Hailey swims,” Craig coach Jeremy Meserole said of Schneider. “That’s why I think she’ll have a great meet at state.
“She put up great times at the sectional meet, and ours was the toughest sectional in the state. There were a lot of extra qualifiers out of our (Middleton) sectional.”
Fort Atkinson’s Hilary Hancy, who won two events at the Division 2 Cudahy Sectional, is seeded 16th in both the 200 and 500 freestyle, while Delavan-Darien’s Emily McClellan is seeded 16th in the 200 individual medley.
Just the facts
What: WIAA girls state swim meet.
When: Friday—Division 2: Diving, 2:30 p.m.; Swim finals, 6:30. Saturday—Diving, 10 a.m.; Swim finals, 3 p.m.
Where: University of Wisconsin Natatorium, Madison.
Traffic note: Because of the UW football game against Michigan at 11 a.m., spectators for Saturday’s session should be aware of major traffic congestion and extremely limited parking.
Tickets: Student and adults tickets are $6, available at the door.
Janesville Craig—Extra qualifier: Hailey Schneider, soph, 100 breaststroke, 1:08.67; 200 individual medley, 2:12.08.
Badger/Big Foot/Williams Bay—Sectional champions: Emily Russart, soph., 200 individual medley, 2:13.35; 100 breaststroke, 1:04.69. Maddie Clark, fr., 50 freestyle, 24.86.
200 medley relay (Ellie Lorenzi, soph.; Emily Russart; Lindsey Mikrut, soph.; Maddie Clark), 1:49.82.
Extra qualifiers: Amy Russart, sr., 500 freestyle, 5:19.5. Maddie Clark, 100 freestyle, 54.16. Lindsey Mikrut, 100 butterfly, 1:00.58.
200 freestyle relay (Lindsey Mikrut; Amanda Bergesen, sr.; Emily Russart; Amy Russart), 1:41.96. 400 freestyle relay (Maddie Clark, Ellie Lorenzi, Lindsey Mikrut, Amy Russart), 3:42.56.
Milton—Sectional champion: Jennah Haney, soph., 200 individual medley, 2:11.78; 100 breaststroke, 1:07.39.
Extra qualifiers: Jennifer Schober, sr., 200 individual medley, 2:13.55; 100 backstroke, 1:01.58; Hailey Foss, jr., 500 freestyle, 5:26.63.
200 medley relay (Hailey Foss; Jennah Haney; Kaitlyn Kincade, jr.; Jennifer Schober), 1:54.63. 400 freestyle relay (Jennifer Schober; Hailey Foss; Heather Wecker, sr.; Jennah Haney), 3:45.65.
Fort Atkinson—Sectional champion: Hilary Hancy, jr., 200 freestyle, 2:04.5; 500 freestyle, 5:35.35.
Extra qualifier: 200 freestyle relay (Meghan Green, sr.; Abby Spata, sr.; Hilary Hancy; Makenzie Foerster, soph.), 1:45.31.
Delavan-Darien—Sectional champion: Emily McClellan, soph., 200 individual medley, 2:19.43.
Extra qualifier: Emily McClellan, 100 breaststroke, 1:11.18.
Elkhorn—Extra qualifier: Terrin Seaver, soph., 100 backstroke, 1:02.09; 100 butterfly, 1:02.01.
Whitewater—Extra qualifier: Megan Theune, sr., 50 freestyle, 25.94.