Middleton swimmers win Cardinal Relays

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Sam Larsen and Middleton's boys swimming team won the Cardinal Relays on Jan. 12./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

One sign of a great team is how it rebounds from adversity.

Using that as a barometer, it’s more than fair to use the word “great” with Middleton’s boys swimming and diving team.

The Cardinals, ranked No. 2 in the state, fell to top-ranked Madison West, 104-66, in a Big Eight Conference dual meet Friday.

Less than 24 hours later, though, Middleton won the highly-competitive 13-team Cardinal Relays — an event that included No. 1 Madison West.

Middleton finished with 180 points and outdistanced the second-place Regents (168). Madison Memorial (157), Verona/Mount Horeb (156) and Arrowhead (146) rounded out the top five.

“The win against West on Saturday was a big morale booster for the guys,” Middleton coach Dan Lynam said. “Friday was a tough meet for us.”

Fortunately for the Cardinals, Saturday went much better.

Middleton opened the day with a second place finish from Archer Parkin, Jack Mondi, Jay Sullivan and Calvin Roberts in the 200-yard medley. The Cardinals’ quartet of Blake Zillner, Mathew Gutzmer, Jack Murray and Andrew Martin was third in the 800-yard freestyle relay.

Then Middleton’s foursome of Mondi, Venden Berge, Sullivan and Nathan Kim was third in the 400-yard medley relay.

“Our first three relays got us off to a good start,” Lynam said. “But the momentum really started to swing our way at the 200 freestyle relay.”

It sure did.

That’s where Parkin, Roberts, Ben Collier and Nate Lamers combined to win the 200-yard freestyle relay and set a meet record in the process. The Cardinals finished the relay in 1:27.73 to break the old meet record of 1:28.12.

“We had four guys have season best swims and it ended up being almost our fastest 200 free relay of the season,” Lynam said.

Sullivan, Peterson, Berge and Kim followed with a second place finish in the 300-yard butterfly relay. Middleton’s quartet of Nick Hinz, Gutzmer, Lamers and Martin then won the 500-yard freestyle relay.

“From there we knew if we kept getting second place we could keep it close for the last relay,” Lynam said.

Collier, Hinz, Wesley Carpenter and Sam Gessler were second in the 100-yard freestyle relay. Parkin, Zillner, Sam Larsen and Peterson were also second in the 300-yard backstroke relay.

Middleton picked up a huge win in the 300-yard breaststroke relay, where Gessler, Mondi, Carpenter and Kim finished first.

“Nathan Kim managed to touch out (West’s) Henry Miller and the guys went wild,” Lynam said.

Middleton then capped its big day by winning the 400-yard freestyle relay. The group of Zillner, Roberts, Hinz, Collier, Carpenter, Peterson, Lamers and Martin finished in 2:56.90 and edged Madison West by 0.06 seconds.

“The guys were so fired up they swam all out,” Lynam said. “We had at least four guys set new PR's. It was great to see.”

The win was a terrific morale booster for Middleton, which had struggled against the Regents one night earlier.

“I think (West coach) Amanda (Ellmaker) knew it was going to be a close meet,” Lynam said. “She is a talented coach as proven the night before, but in the end we had more depth that allowed us to spread out our top end speed more.

“The lowest any of our ‘A’ relays placed was third, which combined with some key wins kept us just out of reach. Plus there were a few relay fast swims from some of the other teams, which made it an exciting meet to be a part of.”

The Cardinal Relays provided the perfect cure for Middleton’s rough night at Madison West.

“West is an incredibly talented team and to go swim them at their home pool only adds to the challenge,” Lynam said. “We were pretty hyped up for the dual meet, but once we started racing everyone was feeling pretty flat. It was a meet that could have been decided by races of less than half a second, but West was swimming much faster than us.”

Martin won the 200-yard freestyle and the 500-yard freestyle, while Kim won the 200-yard IM.

Parkin was second in the 50-yard freestyle, Lamers was second in the 100-yard butterfly and Kim was second in the 100-yard breaststroke.

Peterson was third in the 100-yard freestyle and the 100-yard backstroke.

Middleton’s 200-yard medley relay team of Parkin, Mondi, Peterson and Lamers was second. Parkin, Kim, Lamers and Martin were second in the 200-yard freestyle relay. And the quartet of Zillner, Kim, Martin and Peterson were second in the 400-yard freestyle relay.

“Even in the events we won, they got second, third and fourth, which still outscores us,” Lynam said of West. “After the meet we focused on regrouping and coming at them fresh the next day.

“I think the guys really took it to heart that we had another chance to swim against them and didn't want to take it for granted. It was great to see everyone swimming for the team. There is a lot more at stake when you are on a relay with three other guys, and they understood that.”


Jan. 12


Team scores: Middleton 180, Madison West 168, Madison Memorial 157, Verona/Mount Horeb 156, Hartland Arrowhead 146, Sauk Prairie co-op 112, Marquette 98, Stoughton 85, McFarland 83, Janesville Craig 74, Madison East 72, La Crosse 67, Onalaska co-op 40.

Top finishers

200-yard medley relay: 1, Madison West (Weiss, Nordmeyer, Bulat, Dong), 1:39.80. 2, Middleton (Parkin, Mondi, Sullivan, Roberts), 1:40.47. 3, Hartland Arrowhead (Nixdorf, Murphy, Balogh,, Englebert), 1:42.84.

800 freestyle relay: 1, Verona/Mount Horeb (Rozeboom, Wellnitz, Arneson, Updegrove), 7:18.50. 2, Madison West (Weygandt, Casey, Barber, Bensch), 7:20.05. 3, Middleton (Zillner, Gutzmer, Murray, Martin), 7:29.91.

400 medley relay: 1, Hartland Arrowhead (Braunschweig, Murphy, Nixdorf, Balogh), 3:47.74. 2, Madison Memorial (Drake, Kaldor, McKinnon, Bell), 3:51.01. 3, Middleton (Mondi, Berge, Sullivan, Kim), 3:51.38.

200 freestyle relay: 1, Middleton (Parkin, Roberts, Collier, Lamers), 1:27.73. 2, Madison West (Fernandez, Weygandt, Bradt, Jekel), 1:29.47. 3, Madison Memorial (Gillman, Ketarkus, Tucker-Jones, Gonring), 1:31.35.

300 butterfly relay: 1, Verona/Mount Horeb (Rothamer, Best, Hoppe, Rozeboom), 2:33.81. 2, Middleton (Sullivan, Peterson, Berge, Kim), 2:33.93. 3, Madison West (Laursen, Bulat, Schaak, Bensch), 2:37.91.

500 freestyle relay: 1, Middleton (Hinz, Gutzmer, Lamers, Martin), 4:15.54. 2, Madison West (Dong, Fernandez, Weygandt, Casey), 4:16.64. 3, Madison Memorial (Gonring, Tucker-Jones, Gillman, McKinnon), 4:25.08.

300 backstroke relay: 1, Madison West (Barber, Weiss, Jin, Jekel), 2:34.15. 2, Middleton (Parkin, Zillner, Larsen, Peterson), 2:36.73. 3, Hartland Arrowhead (Balogh, Braunschweig, Parkinson, Nixdorf), 2:39.84.

300 breaststroke relay: 1, Middleton (Gessler, Mondi, Carpenter, Kim), 3:02.98. 2, Madison West (Schaak, Nordmeyer, Richmond, Miller), 3:03.42. 3, Madison Memorial (Chen, Gartland, Kaldor, Bell), 3:05.78.

8x50 yard freestyle relay: 1, Middleton (Zillner, Roberts, Hinz, Collier, Carpenter, Peterson, Lamers, Martin), 2:56.90. 2, Madison West (Casey, Fernandez, Bulat, Bensch, Schaak, Miller, Weiss, Jekel), 2:56.96. 3, Madison Memorial (Strong, Drake, Weller, Plautz, Bennett, Kaldor, Chen, Bell), 3:10.30.


Jan. 11


200 medley relay: Madison West (Weiss, Miller, Jekel, Feller), 1:35.57. 200 freestyle: Martin, MI, 1:44.29; 200 individual medley: Kim, MI, 1:58.96. 50 freestyle: Jekel, MW, :21.94. 100 butterfly: Bensch, MW, 51.91. 100 freestyle: Casey, MW, :48.38. 500 freestyle: Martin, MI, 4:59.56. 200 freestyle relay: Madison West (Casey, Feller, Bensch, Fernandez), 1:28.51. 100 backstroke: Jekel, MW, :50.39. 100 breaststroke: Miller, MW, 1:00.55. 400 freestyle relay: Madison West (Casey, Fernandez, Bensch, Jekel), 3:15.24.




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