June 2015

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Boys track team fourth at state

The concept seems somewhat odd.

But when examined closer, it’s completely understandable.

Middleton’s boys track and field team finished fourth at the WIAA Division 1 state track and field meet held at UW-La Crosse last weekend. That finish is believed to be the best in school history.

Afterwards, though, the Cardinals were somewhat disappointed.

Why? Simple. These Cardinals fully believed an even higher finish was possible.

Bay Port won the title with 67 points, while Wisconsin Lutheran was second at 48. Madison West (36), Middleton (26) and Pewaukee (23) rounded out the top five.

“It was interesting to finish so well historically and feel so let down,” Middleton coach Isaac Mezera said. “We were chosen by many to finish in second or third place. Some even went so far to predict us winning the meet. 

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Middleton golfers have big hill to climb

Verona — Middleton’s boys golf team experienced a case of déjà vu at University Ridge on Monday.

And it was the kind of experience the Cardinals could have lived without.

Middleton shot an opening round 320 at the WIAA Division 1 state tournament and sits in third place overall, 14 shots behind first-place Arrowhead.

One year ago, the Cardinals shot a first round 321 and were 13 shots off the lead. Middleton rallied on the second day, tied for the tournament’s lowest score, but finished in fourth place.

Now, Middleton — which had title aspirations when this tournament began — hopes its first-day struggles won’t doom its championship dreams.

“Well, we dug a hole and we’ve got to dig ourselves out,” Cardinals coach Tom Cabalka said. “But the good thing is we know we can do it.

“These kids all know they have a lot better game than they showed today. We just have to come out and play a lot better tomorrow.”

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Van Emburgh makes history for MHS

Middleton’s boys tennis program has a long and storied tradition of excellence.

The Cardinals send multiple players to the individual state tournament most years. Middleton has been to the state team tournament nine times since 2000.

But one thing the Cardinals have never produced was an individual state champion.

Until Saturday, that is.

Cardinals sophomore Jake Van Emburgh made history by rolling past Brookfield East’s David Horneffer, 7-5, 6-1, to claim the WIAA Division 1 state champion.

Van Emburgh became the first player in school history to win a state title. And with his family set to move to Florida in July, it was a memorable ending for Van Emburgh.

“I’m glad I could end like that,” Van Emburgh said. “It’s kind of bittersweet, but it’s something I definitely wanted to accomplish.”

Van Emburgh accomplished it with surprising ease.

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Middleton golfers storm back to state

Joey Levin looked around and saw everyone on their cell phones. Constantly.

No one would tell Levin what was happening. So naturally, Middleton’s standout golfer assumed the worst.

“I had a bad feeling for the majority of the back nine,” Levin said. “I could tell things were tight, but I had no clue because no one would tell me what was going on.”

Here’s what.

Levin and the Cardinals were on the ropes at the WIAA Division 1 Reedsburg Sectional Tuesday afternoon. And with three holes to play, Middleton trailed Waunakee by two shots for the final berth to the state team tournament.

But the Cardinals closed with a bang, outscored the Warriors by four shots in the final three holes, and earned a trip back to the state tournament Monday and Tuesday at University Ridge Golf Course.

Madison Memorial shot a season-low 304 and won the sectional. Middleton was second at 308 and the Warriors were a close third at 310.

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Hagge, Cardinals thinking big

For the majority of his formative years, Perrin Hagge lived roughly four hours north of Middleton in the small town of Lakeland, Wis.

It was there — in the great north — that Hagge developed a love for running. It was also there where Hagge found his first true rival.

“I had a neighbor who I competed a lot with,” Hagge said. “He was one of the fastest people I knew.”

It would be interesting what that neighbor would say about Hagge. Because to the rest of the state, Hagge has quickly become a poster boy for speed.

Hagge, a junior at Middleton, had an unforgettable performance at last Saturday’s WIAA Division 1 Holmen Sectional.

Hagge won the 800-meter run in 1:53.63 and also captured the 1,600 in 4:12.60. Hagge is now the No. 1 seed in both races at this weekend’s state meet at UW-La Crosse.

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Girls track team aiming high at state

The memories will be etched in stone for the rest of Bobbi Patrick’s life.

A pair of top-four finishes in relay events in 2013.

Runner-up finishes in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter relays in 2014.

And several sensational individual performances along the way.

Yes, Patrick — a Middleton High School senior — has left her mark at the WIAA Division 1 girls state track and field meet.

Now, Patrick hopes her swan song is the best yet.

Patrick and 13 of her Middleton teammates will head to the WIAA Division 1 state meet at UW-La Crosse this weekend with extremely high hopes.

Patrick is part of Middleton’s second-seeded 1,600-meter relay team and fourth-seeded 3,200-meter relay team. Patrick is also seeded eighth in the 800-meter run and hopes to go out with a bang.

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Soccer Cards earn No. 1 seed

Middleton’s girls soccer coach Mary Duffy left practice early one day last week and headed to the postseason seeding meeting.

As Duffy walked to her car, her Cardinals had a simple request.

“All weekend long before seeding, the girls were debating and figuring and wondering,” Duffy said referring to the seeding process. “Even as I had to leave practice early, they begged me to let them know a.s.a.p.”

Duffy — and the Cardinals — got some good news.

Middleton received the No. 1 seed in its sectional and won’t have to leave the cozy confines of Firefighter’s Stadium until the state tournament.

Top-seeded Middleton hosts No. 8 Janesville Parker in a regional semifinal Thursday at 7 p.m. If the Cardinals advance, they’ll host either No. 4 Verona or No. 5 Beloit Memorial in a regional final Saturday.