Menomonee Falls girls swimmers look to soak in memories at state
Team advances seven individuals and three relays
Menomonee Falls - There's no telling when another group like this one will cycle through the Menomonee Falls/Hamilton girls swim program again, so coach Jim Weitzer and the rest of the senior-dominated Indians are going to enjoy their time together Saturday at the WIAA State Meet in Madison.
"We'll be taking in every minute," multi-time butterfly qualifier Haley Lucas said. "A lot of family and teammates will be there and there will be a lot of pictures taken."
The group is going out with a bang, as the Indians advanced seven individuals and three relays to Saturday's meet at the UW-Madison Natatorium.
They included seniors Grace Devine in the 200 free (18th seed) and the 100 free (22nd seed), Lucas in the 100 butterfly (third seed), and Amanda Siehs in the 50 free (10th seed) and the 100 free (16th seed) and divers Kate Haznaw (junior) and Cassidy Pilo (sophomore).
Also advancing were three all-senior relays, including the 200 medley relay team of Sommer Semanek, Hannah Mast, Lucas and Emmorie Jossie (23rd seed); the 200 free relay of Siehs, Jossie, Lucas and Devine (12th seed) and the school-record breaking 400 free team of Devine, Semanek, Lucas and Siehs (seventh seed).
"We're excited about this," Lucas said. "It feels great because it's the first time we had six swimmers and two divers going. It's our senior year, we've been working hard for four years and we're going to try and make the best of it."
Diving starts at 10 a.m. Saturday with swimming at 3 p.m. The qualifying efforts came out of the runner-up finish the Indians turned in at the WIAA sectional meet at Cedarburg on Saturday.
Trying a new taper
"It was a pretty decent meet," Indians coach Jim Weitzer said. "We just needed to be able to relax and get in the water and do what we needed to do, and this year we're doing something a little different (with the taper). We've waited a little longer, worked them a little harder for a little longer, so they'll be pretty strong heading into this meet."
Falls/Hamilton scored 279 points for its spot in the 12-school sectional as host Cedarburg won with 389.
Lucas, of whom Weitzer said she still wasn't at her best in the sectional, won the butterfly by more than a second in an impressive 57.84.
As were the three relays.
The medley earned its spot with a fifth place time of 1:54.49. Weitzer said he was extremely happy for someone like Jossie, who worked very hard to earn a state berth.
The 200 free team turned in an impressive three-second season best with a runner-up time of 1:40.54 as did the 400 free team, which broke the school record set by a group from last year with a 3:34.51 time.
Cedarburg won that 400 race, with a state best 3:30.43.
"That was a nice effort, and a great way to close the meet," Weitzer said. "We just got stronger as the meet went along and that was a good example of that."
"I was excited to be on all three relays," Lucas said, "and that last one (the 400 free) was a lot of fun. We even beat (state power) Arrowhead (which was swimming at a different sectional), which, to us, is a big deal."
Siehs earned her slots with a second in the 50 free (24.41) and a third in the 100 free (53.24), while Devine claimed her spots with a fourth in the 200 free (1:56.68) and a fourth in the 100 free (54.21).
Haznaw was sixth in diving (338.5 points) and Cassidy Pilo was seventh (327.7) to earn their spots at state.
A mental game
"After a certain point (of training and rest), it all becomes mental," Weitzer said, "and I thought we handled that quite well. There were a few disappointments but overall, we were ready to go."
Other places by event for the Indians included the following: diving: Ali Kornberger, ninth (317.0); 100 butterfly: Semanek, seventh (1:03.97); Claire Youngquist, 16th (1:11.88); 100 free: Jossie, 12th (58.18); 100 backstroke: Semanek, eighth (1:02.88); Youngquist, 14th (1:07.04); and, 100 breast stroke: Mast, seventh (1:10.97); and Morgan Nienow, 15th (1:17.07).
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