Streak ends for MHS swimmers

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Ally Silversti (above) and Middleton’s girls swimming team fell to Madison West on Sept. 6./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Middleton’s girls swimming and diving coach Lauren Cabalka tried to spin a negative into a positive.

She did her best to turn disappointment into opportunity.

But there’s no doubt, this one stung.

The Cardinals fell to Madison West, 89-81, in a dual meet last Friday night. That marked the first time in seven years that Middleton has lost a Big Eight Conference dual meet.

“Look, this was bound to happen at some point and it’s probably a good thing that it happened now,” Cabalka said. “The girls came back and crushed their practice on Saturday morning and I know they will have a new mindset moving forward. I have seen this team work through adversity many times — and they always, always come out stronger because of it.”

Middleton, which has won three straight WIAA Division 1 state championships, faced plenty of adversity from the upstart Regents.

West finished first in six of the 11 events and was also second in seven of the 11 races.

“This was a tough meet for us,” Cabalka said. “West is a very strong team with some incredible talent and we knew we needed to swim at our best in order to come out with a win. 

“In the end, the team who showed up, won. We did not swim to win and, as a result, didn’t. We missed some close finishes and didn’t look like the team that I know we are. That has nothing to do with talent and everything to do with who wanted it more.”

Middleton did have several terrific swims.

Gabriela Pierobon Mays, Ally Silvestri, Kaitlyn Peters and Ella Needham were first in the 200-yard medley relay, while Norah Martin, Alex Anagnostopoulos, Brianna Acker and Eva Anagnostopoulos were third.

Middleton’s Maddy Lawn, Abby Utter, Eva Anagnostopoulos and Pierobon Mays won the 200-yard freestyle relay. And in the 400-yard freestyle relay, Utter, Lawn, Sophie Benson and Ella Needham were second.

Pierobon Mays won the 200-yard IM and Lawn was third. Pierobon Mays also won the 100-yard butterfly.

Alex Anagnostopoulos won the 100-yard breaststroke and Silvestri was second.

Utter was second in the 50-yard freestyle and Needham was second in the 100 yard freestyle.

Amanda George was third in the 200-yard freestyle, Kaitlyn Peters was third in the 100 yard backstroke and Alex Anagnostopoulos was third in the 500-yard freestyle.

“I underestimated West’s depth and overestimated our readiness to take on a challenging lineup,” Cabalka said. “We just weren’t ready. 

“It’s hard to go through each season under a microscope and with a target on your back, but the girls have always handled it very well. Tonight, though, we lost focus. It was a tough loss, especially for our seniors who have not lost a meet in their three-plus years.   

“Our senior leaders stepped up big time and did everything they could, both in the water an on the deck, but it takes more than a few to want to win. We needed a team effort and just didn’t have it.”

While the loss was tough to swallow, Cabalka remains optimistic it could be the jolt her team needed.

“We will pick ourselves up and continue to write one amazing story,” Cabalka said. “As long as we are willing to move forward and understand that this does not define us, we will come out of it a much stronger team.”



200 medley relay: Mid (Pierobon Mays, Silvestri, Peters, Needham), 1:50.82. 200 freestyle: Laursen, MW, 1:57.91. 200 individual medley: Pierobon Mays, Mid, 2:11.51. 50 freestyle: Sullivan, MW, :25.49. 100 butterfly: Pierobon Mays, Mid, :58.21. 100 freestyle: Granetzke, MW, :55.01. 500 freestyle: Weygandt, MW, 5:16.63. 200 freestyle relay: Mid (Lawn, Utter, Anagnostopoulos, Pierobon Mays), 1:40.26. 100 backstroke: Schick, MW, 1:00.60. 100 breaststroke: Anagnostopoulos, Mid, 1:08.46. 400 freestyle relay: MW (Granetzke, Messner, Laursen, Schick), 3:39.41.



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