Will history repeat itself this Saturday? If so, this could be a very good week for the combined varsity boys swim team from Waukesha South/Catholic Memorial.
One year ago, South/CMH hosted the WIAA Division 1 sectional and finished second behind Classic 8 Conference rival Arrowhead. But that didn't get the locals down. The very next Saturday, South/Memorial regrouped and captured the biggest prize of all in state swimming, winning the 2010 Division 1 state championship at the University of Wisconsin Natatorium in Madison.
So, will it be a little déjà vu again this Saturday?
South/Memorial hosted the sectional again last Saturday and guess what happened? Arrowhead won the sectional championship and South/CMH was second.
"That worked pretty good for us last year," joked South/Memorial coach Blaine Carlson. "Actually, we had a good meet. Of course, we would have liked to have won the sectional but we came up a little short. Our goal is to be at our best this week at the state meet. The guys are swimming well.
"The way I see it is that one of four teams could win it on Saturday," Carlson said. "It's close. We could win the championship or finish fourth."
Carlson sees Madison Memorial, Arrowhead, Eau Claire Memorial/North and his own team as the strongest contenders. South/Memorial will have 16 entries at the state meet, including 13 individual swims and three relays. Madison Memorial, ranked No. 1 in the state, has the most entries with 19. Arrowhead will have 17 entries in Madison, and Eau Claire has 15.
At the sectional last Saturday, Arrowhead won the title for the sixth straight year. South/Memorial led by seven points going into the final three events when the Warhawks rallied to finish the day with 342.50 points. The hosts were next with 334 points. Homestead was a distant second in the 11-school meet with 233 points.
South/Memorial has two No. 1 seeds at the state meet, but the greatest strength comes in the 500-yard freestyle. In that event, the trio of junior Noah Potratz (4:37.70), senior Max Evans-Nolan (4:42.95) and senior Ryan Finke (4:43.72) are seeded first, second and third.
If the meet gets as close as expected going into the final event, the 400 freestyle relay, that could bode well for the defending state champions. The team of sophomore Alex Swain, Evans-Nolan, Finke and Potratz is seeded first with a clocking of 3:13.37.
"Like I said before, it really looks close at the state meet," Carlson said. "I see any one of those four teams having the chance to win. Every point will be big because of that. Our goal will be to go up there and swim our best races of the season."
The 200 freestyle also should be a good event for the locals. In that race, Potratz is seeded fourth (1:43.73), Evans Nolan fifth (1:44.22) and Finke sixth (1:44.26).
Swain is seeded second (21.60) in the 50 freestyle and fourth in the 100 freestyle (47.74).
Their final top eight seed belongs to the 200 freestyle relay team of Swain, senior Daniel Streater, Evans-Nolan and Finke (1:29.05).
Waukesha has a good swimming history at the state meet. Waukesha High School (before North, South and West) won 15 state championships, the most of any school in meet history. Waukesha High School swimmers have won 77 total races over the years, more than any other school. Madison West is next with 62 state champs.
Kyle Bubolz of Waukesha North is just one of two swimmers to win the same event at the state meet four straight years. He won the 50 freestyle from 2001-04.
Entries headed to the WIAA Division 1 state meet Saturday:
200 medley relay - Alec Carlson, Derrick Rendon, Daniel Streater, Noah Potratz (1:39.79)
200 freestyle - Potratz (1:43.73), Max Evans-Nolan (1:44.22), Ryan Finke (1:44.26)
50 freestyle - Alex Swain (21.61)
100 butterfly - Streater (52.79)
100 freestyle - Swain (47.74), Carlson (49.34)
500 freestyle - Potratz (4:37.70), Evans-Nolan (4:42.95), Finke (4:43.72)
200 freestyle relay - Swain, Streater, Evans-Nolan, Finke (1:29.05)
100 backstroke - Streater (54.75), Carlson (54.90)
100 breaststroke - Rendon (1:01.50)
400 freestyle relay - Swain, Evans-Nolan, Finke, Potratz (3:13.37)
Waukesha North/Kettle Moraine
200 medley relay - Brandon Stedman, Simon Hensen, Greg Geanon, Chris Stenz (1:43.05)
200 individual medley - Stedman (2:01.67)
100 breaststroke - Stedman (59.86)
Diving - Billy Fank (368.90 points)
200 freestyle - David Wright (1:46.65)
200 individual medley - JJ Melville (1:58.72)
100 freestyle - Wright (49.01)
200 freestyle relay - Wright, Jack Chovanec, Kyle Rust, Melville (1:30.14
100 breaststroke - Melville (1:01.01)
400 freestyle relay - Wright, Chovanec, Rust, Melville (3:19.88)
Diving - Tanner Folvag (351.25 points)
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