State Girls Swimming and Diving Championships Preview

THE CHAMPIONSHIPS: The 52nd Annual Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Girls Swimming and Diving Championships will be held Friday and Saturday, Nov. 12-13, at the Waukesha South High School Natatorium.

WIAA Swimming and Diving State Championships Information

Complete Girls Swimming and Diving Sectional Results

ADMISSION TICKETS: The WIAA uses GoFan Ticketing for all digital and cashless tickets. Admission is $9 plus online fees for adults and students. All tickets must be redeemed on a mobile device. To purchase tickets, visit the WIAA website at:  https://www.wiaawi.org/Tickets.

MEET INFORMATION: The Division 2 championships will be held Friday, with the Division 1 championships to follow on Saturday. The Division 2 diving competition begins at 2 p.m., and the swimming finals are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. The Division 1 diving competition is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. Saturday, with the swimming events to begin at 3:30 p.m. The swimming events will run consecutively following the first event’s starting time on the respective days. Here is the order of events (all events in yards):

Order of Events

1. Diving
2. 200 Medley Relay
3. 200 Freestyle
4. 200 Individual Medley
5. 50 Freestyle
6. 100 Butterfly
7. 100 Freestyle
8. 500 Freestyle
9. 200 Freestyle Relay
10. 100 Backstroke
11. 100 Breaststroke
12. 400 Freestyle Relay

MEET LIVE ON WIAA.TV:  Every event of the WIAA State Girls Swimming and Diving Championships will be streamed live on the WIAA.TV portal of the NFHS Network on a consumer subscription basis. To purchase a subscription to the live programming for $10.99 per month, log-on to www.wiaa.tv and click on the subscription link. Archived streams of the events will be available on demand on the NFHS Network 72 hours after the tournament.

HOW THEY QUALIFIED:  In Division 1, each event winner from six sectionals and the next 18 fastest times or scores in the events from all sectionals combined will be added to the heats in each event. In Division 2, each event winner and the next 12 fastest times or scores from all the four sectionals combined qualified.

BY THE NUMBERS:  There were 137 teams sponsoring girls swimming & diving this fall with 83 participating in the tournament series, including 50 in Division 1 and 33 in Division 2.

LAST YEAR:  Brookfield East won its second girls swimming and diving championship in a row by capturing the Division 1 title with 340 points. Arrowhead was second, 17 points behind at 323. In Division 2, Rhinelander won its first title in program history by scoring 255 points. Shorewood was runner-up, compiling 163.5 points. During the 2020-21 alternate season last spring, Edgewood captured the team championship with 350 points, and Middleton was second with 286.

MEET HISTORY:  The WIAA began girls swimming and diving championships in 1970 and moved to a two-division format in 1992. Madison area schools have dominated the championships through the years. Either Madison West or Madison Memorial won all the championships through 1983 and all but one of the Division 1 titles since the inception of the two-division format in 1992 up until 2002. Overall, Madison West has won 15 titles, and Madison Memorial has won 14. Arrowhead has captured 11 titles, and Shorewood has seven championships.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES-DIVISION 1:  Six individual events and all three relays feature former champions returning to the State Meet, including three with multiple champions with consideration of the alternate season in 2020-21. Among the returning champions is senior Abby Wanezek of Brookfield East, who is the returning champion in the 50- and 100-yard freestyles. She also was runner-up in the 50 freestyle in 2019 and sixth in the 100 freestyle in 2018. She enters action with the swiftest qualifying times in each of those events with a time of 22.88 in the 50 freestyle and a 50.20 in the 100 freestyle. An experienced field of swimmers are back to challenge her for the 50 freestyle, including her sister, Maggie, who was runner-up as a freshman last year. Six others placed in the top nine either last season or in the alternate season. Wanezek’s competition for the title in the 100 freestyle will most likely come from five individuals who placed in the top six either last season or during the alternate season, including junior Francesca Smith of Arrowhead, who has the second-fastest qualifying time in the event at 50.30 after placing fifth last season and eighth in 2019. Junior Campbell Stoll of Arrowhead is another two-time champion returning to her events. She won both the 100 butterfly and the 200 individual medley in 2020. She is considered the favorite to win those events again based on her qualifying times. Stoll’s time of 52.94 in the butterfly and her 2:01.11 in the 200 I.M. are more than two seconds faster than the next qualifying time. However, in each of those events, she’ll need to contend with senior Brigitta Neverman of Green Bay Southwest/East/Preble/West. She was the champion in both events during the alternate season. In addition, she placed third in the 200 I.M. in 2019 and eighth in 2018. She has the second-fastest qualifying time in the 200 I.M. with a time of 2:03.47 and the third quickest time in the 100 butterfly at 55.37. Junior Lucy Thomas of Brookfield East has been the State’s top breaststroker the past two seasons, earning the title in the 100 breaststroke as a freshman in 2019 and again last season. She returns to State this season with the fastest qualifying time of 1:00.85. Junior Victoria Brostowitz of Waukesha West/Catholic Memorial may be the stiffest challenge to a third straight title. She has the second-fastest qualifying time at 1:02.05 after finishing second to Thomas last year. Senior Sydney Aird of Bay Port won the 100 breaststroke during the alternate season, but would most likely need to shave off more than five seconds from her sectional qualifying time to contend for the title. Thomas also enters the 200 freestyle with the fastest qualifying time at 1:48.23, which is the more than a second faster than Francesca Smith’s time of 1:49.70 from the sectionals. The top returning swimmers to the 200 freestyle are junior Kate Larsen of Muskego, who placed fourth a year ago, and senior Molly Haag of Middleton, who was fourth during the alternate season. Senior Kathryn Kleczka of Divine Savior Holy Angels won the diving competition last fall after placing seventh in 2019. She’ll need to contend with, among other top-six finishers last year or during the alternate season, senior Sydney Nelson of Arrowhead. Nelson qualifies for the fourth time after a runner-up finish the past two seasons and placed 10th in 2018. Senior Rian Wells of Madison West posted the top qualifying performance with a score of 482.50 in the diving competition at sectionals. Junior Reese Tiltmann of Brookfield East possesses the fastest qualifying time and is the top returning swimmer in the 500 freestyle. Her seed time of 4:56.65 is almost five seconds faster than the next fastest qualifying time after she finished runner-up last season. Maggie Wanezek is in the same scenario as Tiltmann, but in the 100 backstroke. She turned in the quickest qualifying time at 52.44 after placing second at State in the event last year. She’ll contend with nine other individuals that placed in the top 10 in either the traditional season last fall or during the alternate season last spring. Two of the most notable are senior Faith Johnson of Menomonee Falls/Hamilton, who has the third-fastest qualifying time of 54.66 after placing third last year, seventh in 2019 and eighth in 2018, and junior Hailey Tierney of Arrowhead with the second-fastest qualifying time of 54.21 following a fourth-place finish last season. Brookfield East is the returning champion in each of the relays. The Spartans won the past two titles in the 200 medley relay and the 2020 crown in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES-DIVISION 2:  Three relays and six individual events feature former champions returning in quests for additional gold medals. Senior Malia Francis of Rhinelander is the two-time champion in the 100 backstroke returning in an attempt to win for the third time. She is the fastest qualifier in the event with the seed time of 55.28. She’ll need to contend with two other challengers that have won the gold medal in the event as well. Senior Mara Freeman of McFarland is seeded second with her qualifying time of 56.17 after winning the title as a freshman in 2018 and placing runner-up in 2019. Senior Anna teDuits of Edgewood won the event in the alternate season after placing third in 2019 and runner-up in 2018. She enters the meet with a time of 57.87, which ranks sixth among qualifiers in the event. Francis also possesses the fastest qualifying time in the 200 individual medley at 2:06.85. She will attempt to fend off six swimmers that placed in the top eight in either the fall or alternate season last year as well as teDuits, who won the event in 2019 and placed fifth in 2018. She’ll need to cut her time in order to contend with Francis for the title with the eighth-swiftest time in the event at 2:11.21. Senior Abby Reid of Edgewood is another two-time champion in the meet. She won both the 50 freestyle and the 100 freestyle at the alternate season championships last spring. She also placed runner-up in the 100 freestyle in 2019 and seventh in 2018. Reid comes into the meet with the seventh-best times in both of those events. In one of those events, the 50 freestyle, senior Faith Forsberg of Rice Lake is the 2020 champion returning with the second-fastest seed time of 24.30. She also placed fifth in the event in 2019. Freshman Payton Flowers of DeForest actually has the best qualifying performance in the event with a time of 24.06. In 100 freestyle, Reid will be challenged by a field filled with quality experience as six individuals return from either the fall or alternate season that placed in the top five. Add to that, junior Bry Bellile of Ashwaubenon, who has the fastest qualifying time in the 100 freestyle at 51.79 after tying for third place in 2019, and Freeman, who has the third-best seed time of 52.19 after placing sixth in 2019 and fifth in 2018. Another Edgewood competitor, junior Izzy Enz, was also a two-time winner in the alternate season. She won the 200 freestyle after placing runner-up in 2019, and she earned the gold in the 500 freestyle. Her time of 1:53.47 in the 200 freestyle ranks fourth among this year’s qualifiers, and her time of 5:07.12 in the 500 freestyle ranks second. The 2020 fall season champions for both the 200 and 500 freestyles are back to contend with Enz for another title as well. In the 200 freestyle, Senior Jocelyn Zgola of Greendale won the title in 2020 after placing seventh in 2019 and fourth in 2018. Despite two champions in the event with Enz and Zgola, it’s senior Lauren Malinowski of Wauwatosa West has the best sectional time in the 200 freestyle at 1:51.51. She is a three-time State qualifier in Division 1 in other events. Enz will need to keep pace with junior Casey Stephens of Whitefish Bay in the 500 freestyle. She has the fastest qualifying time in the 500 freestyle this year at 5:04.61 after winning the event last fall. Several other State-experience swimmers could also contend for the championship, including junior Katherine Turner of Greendale, who placed third last season and eighth in 2019, and junior Brynn Stacey of Edgewood, who was fourth in the alternate season and sixth in 2019. Malinowski also enters competition with the fastest seed time in the 100 butterfly at 55.79 after placing third in the event in Division 1 in 2019 and ninth in 2018. Her stiffest competition for the title will come from four swimmers that placed in the top 10 either last year or in 2019. The race for the gold in the 100 breaststroke should be hotly contested with nine qualifiers that placed in the top eight in either of the two seasons last year or in 2019. Senior Jenna Willis of DeForest is the fastest qualifier with a time of 1:05.65, and junior Amber Winter of Merrill is the top finisher from last season returning to the event with a third-place showing last fall. Senior Kamyla Held of Whitnall will again contend for the diving title. She has been runner-up the past two seasons after finishing fourth in 2018. She has the top qualifying score from the sectionals at 477.75. Junior Maranda Uttke of Grafton, who was third last season and sixth in 2019 is among the others that are capable of winning the title based on experience, qualifying with a score of 441.80. Senior Mya Bokerman of New Berlin Eisenhower has the second-best score coming into the State meet at 473.85. The Edgewood 200 freestyle relay seeks its seventh consecutive championship, including the alternate season. The Crusaders have the top time entering the meet at 1:37.77. Rhinelander is also a returning champion in the event, winning the gold in the fall. The Hodags have the third-best qualifying time in the event at 1:39.51. The Edgewood 400 freestyle relay is attempting to win its sixth straight title after winning the alternate season title and the four previous titles. The Crusaders have the top time in the event at 3:34.16. Rhinelander has the second-best qualifying time of 3:37.32 after winning the 2020 championship in the event. The Shorewood 200 medley relay is back after capturing the crown last season. The Greyhounds rank sixth among the qualifying field with a time of 1:49.62. Baraboo has the best time in the event at 1:46.24.

FOLLOW STATE MEET ON SOCIAL MEDIA:  Receive updates of the State Girls Swimming & Diving Championships on the WIAA State Tournament Twitter account @wiaawistate with the hashtag #wiaaswimdive. Also like us on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram at wiaawi.

NEED THE QUALIFIERS?: All qualifiers, lane assignments and qualifying standards are available on the girls swimming and diving tournament page on the WIAA website.

NEED RESULTS?:  Results of the State Tournament are available on the WIAA website at www.wiaawi.org by accessing the girls swimming and diving tournament information page.

ORDER STATE MEET APPAREL ONLINE: WIAA licensed apparel is available online for the 2021 State Girls Swimming & Diving Championships. To pre-order and customize apparel for pick-up at the State Meet, visit the WIAA store at https://tier1sports.com/product/wiaa-girls-swimming-and-diving-state-apparel/. Apparel will also be available for purchase and customization onsite.

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David Keech
Author: David Keech

David Keech is a math teacher in Wisconsin Rapids and public address announcer for Abbotsord High School. He officiates basketball, baseball, and softball in central Wisconsin. He has reported on amateur sports since 2011, known as 'KeechDaVoice.' David can be reached at [email protected]