Middleton swimmers notch two big wins

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Middleton freshman Tait Haag won the 200-yard freestyle and the 500-yard freestyle in a meet against Sun Prairie last week./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Amazingly, the postseason is quickly approaching in girls swimming.

And once again, Middleton appears like it will be a force.

Middleton edged Sun Prairie, 92-78, on March 16 in what was its toughest dual meet of the season. The Cardinals also rolled past Verona/Mount Horeb, 130-40, last Saturday.

Now, Middleton will travel to the Verona Sectional on March 30. The state championship is April 6 at Waukesha South High School.

“A few girls definitely turned some heads … and made a statement of where they want to be at the end of the season,” Middleton coach Lauren Cabalka said of the Cardinals’ performance last week. “All in all, we executed well and swam at our best this season.”

Sun Prairie has one of the state’s top teams in this alternate-fall season. But Middleton got the best of Sun Prairie after a lengthy delay in its schedule.

“This was a solid meet for us, coming off a week without any meets and a cancelled practice the day before due to weather,” Cabalka said. “As swimmers, we tend to like routine and when that routine changes, it can throw us off. The girls did a really nice job of adjusting and stepping up against a really strong Sun Prairie team.” 

Middleton’s 200-yard freestyle team of senior Kaitlyn Peters, junior Ryanne Woodall, junior Molly Haag and junior Ella Needham finished first. The quartet of junior Abby Utter, sophomore Natalie Charles, Peters and Woodall were second. And Middleton’s 400-freestyle relay team of Peters, sophomore Sophie Benson, Utter and Haag were second.

Middleton freshman Tait Haag won the 200-yard freestyle and the 500-yard freestyle. Junior Molly Haag was second in the 500-yard freestyle and junior Amanda George was third.

Peters won the 100-yard butterfly and sophomore Eva Anagnostopoulos was third. Sophomore Natalie Charles was second in the 200-yard IM and sophomore Sophie Benson was third.

Needham was second in the 50-yard freestyle and third in the 100-yard freestyle. Senior Norah Martin was second in the 100-yard backstroke and Utter was third. And Charles was also second in the 100-yard breaststroke and junior Serena Haack was third.

“We knew this would be our toughest Big Eight matchup and that we would have to swim our best in order to come out on top — and the girls did just that,” Cabalka said. “We had some really great individual swims and our relays are definitely starting to come together. 

“We lost some major players on our relays from last year's senior class and we've been trying a lot of different combinations to find what works best. We're definitely getting there.”

Middleton also notched an impressive win over a solid Verona/Mount Horeb team.

The Cardinals’ quartet of Martin, Charles, Peters and Needham won the 200-yard medley relay. Middleton’s 200-yard freestyle relay team of senior Maddy Lawn, Woodall, Haag and Needham was first.

And the Cardinals’ 400-yard freestyle relay team of Needham, Benson, Peters and Utter was first.

Tait Haag, Utter and Molly Haag went 1-2-3 in the 200-yard freestyle, while Charles, sophomore Abby Ensenberger and Benson were first, second and third, respectively in the 200-yard IM.

Tait Haag also won the 500-yard freestyle, while Benson was second and George was third. Martin won the 100-yard backstroke, while Peters was second and freshman Lily Mair was third.

Peters, Molly Haag and senior Brianna Acker went 1-2-3 in the 100-yard butterfly, while Utter was first in the 100-yard freestyle and Needham was third. Charles won the 100-yard breaststroke and Haack was second.

Anagnostopoulos and Woodall were also second and third, respectively, in the 50-yard freestyle.

This was our best meet of the season and our final chance to test relay combinations and see which team of girls will move on to our postseason meets next week,” Cabalka said. “The girls really stepped up and took advantage of a beautiful and fast new pool at Verona and used each other level up their races.”


March 19


200-yard medley relay: Middleton (Martin, Charles, Peters, Needham), 1:51.58. 200 freestyle: Haag, M, 1:57.94. 200 individual medley: Charles, M, 2:14.70 . 50 freestyle: Zuehl, V/MH, :25.11. 100 butterfly: Peters, M, :59.79. 100 freestyle: Utter, M, :54.11. 500 freestyle: Haag, M, 5:14.79. 200 freestyle relay: Middleton (Lawn, Woodall, Haag, Needham), 1:41.03. 100 backstroke: Martin, M, 1:01.32. 100 breaststroke: Charles, M, 1:09.84. 400 freestyle relay: Middleton (Needham, Benson, Peters, Utter), 3:39.94. At Verona.


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