Milton repeats as Division 2 girls swim champs
The Red Hawks destroyed the state meet field with a two-event blitz Friday night at the UW Natatorium.
Milton was in third place after the eighth of 12 events, 33 points behind meet-leading Shorewood and two points behind DeForest. The leader board changed in a hurry.
After senior Stacey Kincade finished sixth (5:14.14) in the 500 freestyle, the Red Hawks’ Katelyn Holmquist, Abby Holmquist, Chelsea Calhoon and Bridgette Alexander combined to win the 200 freestyle relay in a school-record
1 minute, 37.93 seconds.
Minutes later, Katelyn Holmquist, Bridgette Alexander and Calhoon finished first, second and third, respectively, in the 100 backstroke.
At that point, it was game, set, and match for Milton.
The relay victory and top-three sweep in the 100 backstroke gave Milton 196 points and a 75-point lead on Shorewood with just two events remaining.
“This was the part of the meet that breaks the camel’s back,” Milton coach Tom Lieder said. “We’ve been this way all season. We come back in the 200 free relay. I don’t think they got beat all year in that, and then they come back in that backstroke.’’
The importance of the 200 freestyle relay and the back stroke was not lost on the Red Hawks.
“A teammate said if we were going to win this to win the meet, we had to win the (200) relay,” Katelyn Holmquist said. “We got pumped, and we knew we could do it.
“And the backstroke, we were just so excited from the relay we did it again.’’
Milton finished with 236 points. Shorewood was second with 193 and DeForest third with 159.
The Red Hawks also celebrated Alexander’s repeat championship swim in the 200 individual medley (2:05.30), and Katelyn Holmquist’s championship in the 100 backstroke (56.08).
Milton won the 400 freestyle relay title in a school-record 3:33.17 to repeat as state champs in the event. Calhoon, Katelyn Holmquist, Abby Holmquist and Alexander posted a 3:34.16 last year.
Alexander’s second IM title came over teammate Katelyn Holmquist, who finished fifth (2:07.82). Holmquist edged Alexander at the Baraboo sectional last Saturday. Alexander said competing against her teammate was difficult.
“We’ve been racing against each other since second grade,” Alexander said. “Katelyn is a very strong competitor.’’
Katelyn Holmquist posted a 56.08 for the backstroke title. She finished second last season in 56.05.
“Our team is stacked with backstrokers,” Holmquist said. “We just knew we were going to take it all.’’
In other events, Calhoon finished fifth in the 200 freestyle (1:56), Kincade finished sixth in the 100 butterfly (59.51), and Abby Holmquist finished sixth in the 100 freestyle (53.18) to medal for Milton.
The only smudge on the night was Milton’s 200 medley relay team finishing 16th.
Lieder heads back to Milton with his first state championship team in 41 years as a swimming coach. Lieder stepped in this season for Kristin Lehman, last season’s coach.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Lieder, who shared coaching duties with Jenny Quade. “I’ve had thirds and fourths and fifths before but never first so this is special.’’