Boys make a splash at conference

(Olivia Wycklendt) The boys swim team swims laps for practice in preparation for state. As the state meet approaches, the team hopes to surpass their previous season’s success.
(Olivia Wycklendt) The boys swim team swims laps for practice in preparation for state. As the state meet approaches, the team hopes to surpass their previous season’s success.

Boys swimming started on November 17, with coaches Rob McCabe and Sophia Schmidt, and captains Devon Brusnahan and Joe Stephenson, seniors, leading the way.

“I like coaching boys; boys’ and girls’ personalities are a little different, so I can coach more to my natural habitat.” McCabe said.

The team is strong in numbers and talent this year.

“A good number of them are in shape, a strong core of them are willing to work and are willing to do what it takes to get better; I think that came with maturity.” McCabe said.

The team has grown since the current seniors were freshmen.

“We had 17 people total on the team.” Brusnahan said.

Schmidt says the JV side of the team shows a strong promise as well.

“We have a lot of new blood, so I think there will be a few standouts from the underclassmen,” Schmidt said.

The boys were the conference and sectional champions last season and placed fourth at state. This season McCabe is expecting the same. Madison Edgewood, Monona Grove, McFarland and Shorewood remain the strongest teams in the state according to McCabe.

McCabe believes that the team did well holding themselves accountable in the pool.

“They’re not afraid to tell a guy in the lane next to them that they are not training the way they need to be doing to get better,” McCabe said. “They have found that if they work hard in practice their end of season goals become more attainable,” McCabe said.

Schmidt hopes the team will develop not only as swimmers, but as people as well throughout the season.

“I personally hope for the boys to develop as friends and, as a group, to support each other and have each other’s backs,” Schmidt said. “[I hope they continue] encouraging each other and competing against each other in a positive way that makes them better swimmers.”

According to JV swimmer, Eric Mueller, sophomore, the team is not far from the goal Schmidt hoped for.

“[I like] how combined JV and varsity is as a team, how much we do stuff together, we’re not separated,” Mueller said.

Looking back on goals set at the beginning of the season, McCabe was pleased.

“We were on par for our end of season goals. We achieved our goals … we were undefeated in conference dual meets, we won the conference relay meet, and we’re the favorites to win conference.” McCabe said.

Competing in the conference championship February 7, the varsity team placed first and JV placed second. Contributing to the victory on the varsity side was Michael Perry, junior, with second place finishes in the 200 freestyle and 100 fly. Stephenson placed third in the 50 and 100 freestyle. Henri Carrigan, junior, grabbed third place finishes in the 100 fly and 100 back. Zach Hammond and Joe Lock, juniors, placed second and third respectively in the 100 breaststroke. The boys were second and third in the 200 medley relay, third in the 200 freestyle relay and second and fourth in the 400 freestyle relay.

The JV team’s runner up finish was highlighted two victories in the 50 and 100 freestyle by Calvin Snyder, sophomore. Mueller placed third in the 100 freestyle, and won the 100 backstroke. Will Jacobus, sophomore, won the 100 breaststroke. The JV team swept the relays, earning first place in the 200 and 400 freestyle and 200 medley relays.

The team is in the final stretch of the season. They compete in the sectional meet February 14 and February 20 is the state meet in Madison.

by Erin Szablewski and Leah Jorn, with reporting from Maya Schneider

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