Victory lap for Craig senior swimmer
The senior will leave Craig holding six individual school records plus school marks in all three relays.
“No one has done it better on the girls side,” Craig coach Brian Kitzman said. “It’s very safe to say she is the most decorated female swimmer.’’
Schneider has one last hurrah. She will make her fourth straight appearance in the WIAA Division 1 state meet Saturday at the University of Wisconsin Natatorium in Madison.
Schneider is seeded sixth in the 100 breastroke and is entered in the 200 individual medley relay as an extra qualifier.
In her past three state meets, Schneider has finished eighth and fifth twice in the breastroke. In the individual medley, she was a third (2:06.87) last season and fourth as a sophomore.
“Hailey has always finished higher than her seed at state,” Kitzman said. “We are expecting another good swim this time, too.’’
Schneider swam the breastroke in 1:06.77 to win the Middleton sectional championship, and a 2:10.1 in the sectional individual medley for second place.
Schneider’s best time in the breastroke is 1:05.5.
“I’d like to lower that,” said Schneider, who will be shooting for a top-three finish in the breastroke.
Freshman Leah Pronschinske of Eau Claire Memorial is the top seed with a 1:03.22 mark. But two-time defending champion Emily Russart of Lake Geneva/Big Foot/Williams Bay is the No. 2 at 1:03.78 and the favorite to win the event.
Schneider is well-acquainted with Russart, but claims she is not concerned about her.
“We have been swimming with each other a long time,” Schneider said. “What I’m going to do is swim as fast as I can and keep ahead of the person who is next to me.’’
Kitzman said Schneider should have no problem dealing with any pressure at state.
“She just has to keep her eye on the prize,” Kitzman said. “She has been to a thousand big meets in her life before, and she is prepared as well as could be, but so are the other girls. It’s who has the best taper and who feels the best.’’
Schneider will be leaving competition at Craig with a smile and a tear.
“I guess it’s kind of exciting and not sad, but sad because it has to come to an end, and I enjoy swimming with the girls on the team,’’ Schneider said.
Schneider is hoping her last hurrah will end with her wearing a smile.