Milton swimmers eye repeat of Division 2 title
Just the facts
What: 42nd annual WIAA girls swimming and diving championships.
Where: University of Wisconsin Natatorium in Madison
When: Division 2 meet Friday, Nov. 11. 2:30 p.m. diving, 6:30 p.m. event finals. Division 1 meet, Saturday, Nov. 12. Diving, 10 a.m. Swim finals, 3 p.m.
Cost: $6 adults, $1 children 6-years old and under.
MILTON The Milton High School girls swimming team defends its WIAA Division 2 state swimming championship 6:30 p.m. Friday at the University of Wisconsin Natatorium.
Veteran coach Tom Lieder said the Red Hawks are poised to repeat.
“This group of girls has so much confidence and is so focused,” Lieder said. “You can’t coach or teach that.”
Four Red Hawks qualified in seven individual events, and Milton qualified in all three relay events out of last Saturday’s Baraboo sectional. Each was a member of last season’s championship team.
Juniors Katelyn and Abby Holmquist each qualified in two events. Abby Holmquist qualified in the 200 freestyle (1:54.27) and 100 freestyle (53.85). Katelyn Holmquist qualified in the 200 individual medley (2:07.04) and the 100 backstroke (56.88).
The Holmquist twins are drawing attention.
“They have a lot of schools contacting them,” Lieder said. “They both have swimmer’s bodies with strong shoulders.’’
Bridget Alexander, a sophomore, qualified in the 200 individual medley (2:07.58) and the 100 backstroke (57.40). Alexander is the defending 200 IM state champion, but Katelyn Holmquist edged Alexander for first place at Baraboo.
Stacey Kincade qualified in the 500 freestyle (5:12.81) and the 100 butterfly (59.04). Chelsea Calhoon and Meagan Roberts swim on the 200 freestyle relay. Roberts also competes in the 200 medley relay, and Calhoon is on the 400 freestyle relay team.
Kincade, the only senior and team captain, is making her fourth trip to state. Lieder lauded Kincade’s contributions to the Red Hawks.
“Stacey is the one nobody hears about,” Lieder said. “She has made contributions to Milton swimming the last four years, and you can almost call her the most valuable swimmer on our team.’’
Lieder said the Red Hawks have the talent to repeat as state champs, but there several other schools that can challenge Milton.
“Shorewood and Fort Atkinson are strong teams,” Lieder said. “Plymouth and DeForest are young like us.’’
While Milton competes for its second straight state title, Lieder, who has coached swimming for 41 years, has never had a championship team.
Kristin Lehman, last year’s Milton coach, left the program and Lieder returned to the job.
“I’ve never won a state title with a team, and to be able to come back and be a part of this is wonderful,” Lieder said.
Other area Division 2 state individual event qualifiers include:
200 freestyle—Hannah Johnson (Fort Atkinson), Rachel Johnson (Elkhorn). 200 individual medley—Kady Ruemmele (Elkhorn), Alexis Kent (Fort Atkinson), Sara Foucault (Whitewater), Callie Hebert (Whitewater). 50 freestyle—Kaitlyn Hollman (Fort Atkinson), Emma Bare (Fort Atkinson.
100 butterfly—Cori Johnson (Elkhorn), Yukari Itakura (Delavan-Darien), Alexis Kent (Fort Atkinson). 100 freestyle—Anne Blackbourn (Elkhorn), Hannah Johnson (Fort Atkinson), Rachel Johnson (Elkhorn).
Foucault (Whitewater). 100 backstroke—Kady Ruemmele (Elkhorn). 100 breaststroke—Callie Hebert (Whitewater), Emma Bare (Fort Atkinson).