WIAA State Girls Swimming and Diving Championships Preview

~ From the WIAA ~

THE CHAMPIONSHIPS: The 51st Annual Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Girls Swimming and Diving Championships will be held Friday and Saturday, Nov. 13-14, at the Waukesha South High School Natatorium. The price of admission for the limited number of tickets afforded to schools for the championships is $11.

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 Friday at 1:30 p.m., and the swimming finals are scheduled to begin Friday at 6 p.m. The Division 1 diving competition is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. Saturday, with the swimming events to begin at 2:30 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 RelayMEET LIVE ON NFHS NETWORK:  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 four sectionals and the next 12 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 from the one sectional and three combined subsectionals qualified.

LAST YEAR:  Brookfield East won its first girls swimming and diving championship by capturing the Division 1 title with 243 points. Arrowhead  was second, 23 points behind at 220. In Division 2, Edgewood won the title for the fifth straight season by scoring 290 points. McFarland was runner-up for the second straight season, compiling 163.5 points.

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:  Four individual events and one relay feature their 2019 champion returning to defend titles. Among the returning champions is senior Reilly Tiltmann of Brookfield East. She seeks her third straight title in the 100-yard backstroke after placing fourth as a freshman in 2017. Tiltmann enters competition this week with the fastest qualifying time at sectionals at 53.72. She also has the fastest qualifying time in the 200 freestyle at 1:48.64, an event she should challenge defending champion Abby Carlson, a senior from Waukesha South/ Mukwonago for the title. Carlson has the second-fastest qualifying time in the event at 1:49.79. Senior Sydney Stoll of Arrowhead may also contend for the 200 freestyle title after placing third last year and coming in with the third-fastest seed time at 1:51.89. Stoll’s most noteworthy event up to this point has been the 500 freestyle. She returns as the defending champion  after placing fourth in 2018. Stoll enters competition with the second-fastest qualifying time of 5:00.14, behind only Carlson, who has the best time at 4:55.27 after finishing runner-up in the event the past two seasons. The event is cluttered with a plethora of other swimmers possessing State Meet experience with six of the last year’s top 10 returning. Sophomore Lucy Thomas of Brookfield East was the State’s top breaststroker last season, earning the title in the 100 breaststroke as a freshman. She returns to State this season with the second-fastest qualifying time of 1:03.21. Sophomore Victoria Brostowitz of Waukesha West/Catholic Memorial is the quickest qualifier in the event with a sectional time of 1:02.43. Senior Brigid Gwidt of Cedarburg is four seconds off Brostowitz’s pace, but she brings a wealth of State experience in the event. The four-time qualifier placed third the last two seasons and seventh in 2017. Junior Abby Wanezek of Brookfield East is the top returning swimmer in the 50 freestyle. She finished runner-up last season and has qualified for the event this year with the fastest qualifying time of 23.18. Wanezek is also the fastest qualifier in the 100 freestyle with a time of 50.50 after a sixth-place finish in 2018. She is expected to contend for the title in a field of qualifiers that feature four of last season’s top eight finishers, including sophomore Kate Larsen of Muskego, who was fourth; senior Sabina Mrzyglod of Germantown, who was fifth; and sophomore Francesca Smith of Arrowhead, who was eighth. Sophomore Campbell Stoll of Arrowhead has the distinction of being the top returning competitor in the 200 individual medley, as well as having the event’s top seed time at 2:03.12. She was runner-up last year. Among the challengers for the crown are Tiltmann, who was fourth in 2019; Gwidt, who was fifth last season and 10th in 2018; and Thomas, who has the second-swiftest qualifying time at 2:05.04. Stoll may also be considered the favorite to win the 100 butterfly as the event’s fastest qualifier with a time of 55.15. Senior Erin Szczupakiewitz of Muskego is the top returner in the event from last season, finishing fifth after a sixth-place finish in 2018. Junior Sydney Nelson of Arrowhead will again compete for the one-meter diving title after a runner-up finish last season and a top-10 finish in 2018. She enters the event with the second-best sectional qualifying score of 443.75.  Junior Kathryn Kleczka of Divine Savior Holy Angels is the top qualifier with a sectional score of 451.05 after placing seventh last year. The Brookfield East 200 individual medley relay is the lone relay seeking a second straight championship. They have the title in their sights this week with a qualifying time of 1:41.53, which is significantly faster than any other qualifying relay team in the field. Arrowhead is the fastest qualifying team in the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:36.51 after placing third a year ago, and Brookfield East possesses the fastest 400 freestyle relay qualifying time at 3:25.71 after a runner-up finish last season.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES-DIVISION 2:  Four individual  events feature last year’s returning champions. Senior Ella Houwers of Whitewater is the two-time returning champion in the 100 breaststroke, which followed a runner-up finish in 2017. She is considered the clear favorite to win the event again this season based on her sectional qualifying performance of 1:06.87, which ranks best among qualifiers. Junior Malia Francis of Rhinelander is the returning champion in two events, both of which she possesses the top qualifying time. Her time of 55.87 in the 100 backstroke makes her the favorite to retain the title in the event. Seniors Erin Bergman of Medford and Emma Clifford of Wausau East also return to the 100 backstroke after finishing sixth and eighth last season, respectively. Francis posted a time of 56.58 in the 100 butterfly, which is two seconds faster than Clifford’s time, the next fastest qualifier after she placed seventh in the event last season and fifth in 2018. Senior Bella Smith of Whitnall is the defending champion in the diving competition. She enters the State Meet with the best qualifying score of 495.55. The four-time qualifier also finished runner-up in 2018 and was fourth in 2017. Smith’s teammate, junior Kamyla Held, may challenge for the title after finishing second last year and fourth in 2018. Three others that placed in the top eight last year return to the event, including junior Mya Bokerman of New Berlin Eisenhower, who was fourth after an eighth-place standing in 2018; senior Sophia Scolman of Grafton, who has been fifth the past two seasons; and sophomore Maranda Uttke of Grafton, who was sixth in 2019. Houwers is also the top returner in the 200 individual medley after finishing runner-up last year and third in 2018. Junior Amie Barrow of Shorewood swam to the swiftest time in the individual medley at sectionals with a time of 2:10.00, which is less than a second better than junior Rachel Lenz of Whitnall. Junior Faith Forsberg of Rice Lake is both the top returning qualifier and the fastest qualifier in the 50 freestyle. She enters the meet with a seed time of 24.36 after placing fifth last year and ninth in 2018. Senior Maija Carriveau of Marinette/Peshtigo should also contend for the title after placing seventh a year ago. Freshman Abi Winnicki of Rhinelander has the fastest qualifying time in the 100 freestyle at 53.43 in an event relatively free of State Meet experience. Junior Jocelyn Zgola of Greendale turned in the best sectional time in the 200 freestyle at 1:53.65 after she placed seventh a year ago and fourth in 2018. Junior Amelia Kuennen of Shorewood also figures to be in the mix for the title after placing fifth last year. The 500 freestyle features a number of returning competitors. Sophomore Casey Stephens of Whitefish Bay has the best qualifying time of 5:07.52 after a sixth-place finish last season. Zgola finished runner-up in 2019, and she possesses the second-fastest seed time, which is more than six seconds behind Stephens. Senior Makenna Winnicki of Rhinelander is also back after placing fourth last year and seventh in 2018. Shorewood’s 200 medley relay was clocked as the fastest qualifying time from sectionals at 1:49.66, and the Rhinelander 200 freestyle relay has posted the best seed time with a time of 1:39.43 after placing eighth in 2019. Greendale recorded a time of 3:40.70 at sectionals, which is the fastest time in the 400 freestyle relay field this year after finishing third last season.

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 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.

STATE SOUVENIR PROGRAMS ONLINE:  The souvenir programs for the 2020 fall State culminating events are available online and available to download and print at no cost. The State Girls Swimming & Diving Championships program with rosters of qualifiers, history and schedule information can be accessed at: https://www.wiaawi.org/Portals/0/PDF/Publications/Programs/2020girlsswimming.pdf.


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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]