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WIAA State Swimming and Division Championships Preview

02/12/2024, 2:45pm CST
By WIAA

From the WIAA -- 

THE CHAMPIONSHIPS: The 100th Annual Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Boys Swimming and Diving Championships will be held Friday and Saturday, Feb. 16-17, at Waukesha South High School in Waukesha, Wis.

TICKET INFORMATION:  Ticket prices for each tournament session are $9 plus online fees, and they are only available to be purchased on-line on the WIAA website through GoFan, the WIAA ticketing partner, at:  https://www.wiaawi.org/Tickets#42691538-boys-swimming.

MEET INFORMATION:  The Division 2 championships will be held Friday, with the Division 1 championships to follow on Saturday. The Division 2 diving competition begins Friday at 1:30 p.m., and the swimming finals will follow at 5:30 p.m. The Division 1 diving competition will begin Saturday at 9:30 a.m., with the swimming events scheduled for 2:30 p.m. The swimming events will run consecutively following the first event's starting time on the respective days. Here is the order of events (all events in yards):

Order of Events

1. Diving
2. 200 Medley Relay 
3. 200 Freestyle 
4. 200 Individual Medley
5. 50 Freestyle 
6. 100 Butterfly 
7. 100 Freestyle
8. 500 Freestyle
9. 200 Freestyle Relay
10. 100 Backstroke
11. 100 Breaststroke
12. 400 Freestyle Relay

CHAMPIONSHIPS LIVE ON WIAA.TV:  Every event of the WIAA State Boys Swimming and Diving Championships will be streamed live on the WIAA.TV portal of the NFHS Network on a subscription basis. To purchase a subscription to the live programming for only $11.99 per month, log-on to www.wiaa.tv or www.nfhsnetwork.com and click on the “Subscribe Now” link located at the top right area of the page. Archived streams of the meets will be available on demand on the NFHS Network 72 hours after the tournament with a subscription.

BY THE NUMBERS:  There are 114 teams in the 2024 Boys Swimming & Diving Tournament Series. The largest 68 programs are in Division 1, with the remaining 46 programs in Division 2.

HOW THEY QUALIFIED:  Schools are assigned directly into sectional competition with six sectionals in Division 1 and four in Division 2. The winners of each event at the sectional meet qualified for the State Meet. Also qualifying are the next 18 (Division 1) and 12 (Division 2) best individuals/relays/divers (not including sectional winners) from all the sectionals combined.

LAST YEAR:  Middleton won the Division 1 team championship by compiling 288 points. Arrowhead was second with 211 points. In Division 2, Rhinelander won the team championship with 256 points, and McFarland placed second in the team standings with 250.5 points.

MEET HISTORY:  The WIAA began the boys swimming and diving championships in 1925 and moved to a two-division format in 1993. Madison Memorial has won 16 championships to lead all member schools. Waukesha, before it was split into three schools, captured 15 team titles with seven of those coming in succession from 1964-70. Madison West is tied for second on the list of titles with 15. Shorewood and Wauwatosa, before it became two separate schools, have compiled nine championships. McFarland has claimed seven team titles, and Arrowhead has earned six team championships. Madison Memorial has produced the most event champions with 90. Waukesha, before splitting into three schools, won 77 titles. Madison West has won 76 events, and Wauwatosa and Whitefish Bay have won 61. Ben McDade of Monona Grove has won the most event championships in a prep career with 15, and Ryan O’Donnell of McFarland is next on the list with 14. Four individuals have won 10 State titles, including Ben Anderson of Arrowhead, Jay Mortenson of Madison West, Tom Wanezek of Brookfield East and Paul DeLakis of Eau Claire Memorial/North.

EVENT NOTES-DIVISION 1:  Two individual events feature their 2023 champion attempting to retain the State title, and all three relays have last year’s champions attempting to win consecutive titles. Senior Andrew Hanson of Hudson is the returning champion and a four-time medalist in the 500-yard freestyle. He placed fourth in the event in 2022 and runner-up in 2021. He qualifies with the second-fastest sectional time of 4:33.71. The quickest qualifying time in the event was recorded by junior Carter Jewell of Muskego at 4:31.88. Another experienced competitor in the 500 freestyle who may contend for the title is senior Anakin Fischer of Arrowhead. He finished third last season, fifth in 2022 and eighth in 2021. Hanson and Jewell will also contend for the title in the 200 freestyle. Hanson has the fastest qualifying time in the event at 1:38.33 after placing third last season and fourth in both 2022 and 2021. Jewell has the second-fastest sectional time, just .14 off Hanson’s pace at sectionals with a time of 1:38.47. Senior Abram Mueller of Madison West is the returning champion in the 100 breaststroke after finishing runner-up in 2022. He is poised to repeat as champion with the top seed time of 54.54.  Mueller also has the swiftest time in the 100 butterfly at 49.22 after a runner-up finish a year ago. Senior Spencer Stluka of Oregon will contend for the gold medal in the 50 freestyle, owning the best sectional time entering the event this week at 20.73. He is also the top returning swimmer in the event after a runner-up finish last season. Senior David Mayer of D.C. Everest and junior Brady Moore of Racine Case/Horlick/Park should be among the top challengers for the championship in the 50 freestyle with times of 20.82 and 20.83, respectively. Mayer is also among the leading contenders for the 100 freestyle title. He finished third in the event last season, which makes him the top returning swimmer from last year’s event entered in the race this season. His qualifying time of 45.64 is second only to sophomore Sam Wolf of Middleton, who has the swiftest 100 freestyle qualifying time at 45.51. Wolf also has the top seeding time in the 200 individual medley at 1:50.47, which is four seconds quicker than the next-fastest competitor. He is also the top returner to the event after a third-place finish in 2023. Sophomore Max Carter of Middleton recorded a time of 50.32 in the 100 backstroke at sectionals to earn the top seed in the event at State this week. Senior Mason Bruhn of Franklin finished third last season and is the top returning competitor in the event with the fourth-fastest seed time of 50.97. Seniors Brady Michaels of Waunakee, who placed 10th in the event last year, and Jerett Maalis of Hudson, who placed ninth, are also among the fastest  competitors at 50.92 and 50.93, respectively. Junior Brady Huettl of Waukesha South/Catholic Memorial has the top qualifying performance in the diving competition, scoring a 501.9 at sectionals, and he is the top returning participant in the event. He placed third last season after finishing 11th in 2022. Another contender among the top diving qualifiers is senior Evan Arneson of Kenosha Tremper, who finished fourth last year and enters action this week with the second-best qualifying performance of 490.20. Middleton has the distinction of having the fastest qualifying time in all three of the relays. The Cardinals are the two-time defending champions in both the 200 and 400 freestyle relays  and appear to be in position to win their third consecutive title in the events with the fastest 1:25.84 and 3:08.72, respectively. They attempt to earn back-to-back titles in the 200 medley relay with a qualifying time of 1:34.07.

EVENT NOTES-DIVISION 2:  Seven of the 12 events feature last year’s returning champion seeking another title, including three individual events and three relays. Senior Jack Sullivan of Nicolet attempts to become just the eighth swimmer in State Tournament history to win the same individual event all four years of participation. The three-time champion in the 200-yard  freestyle enters the meet with the fastest qualifying time of 1:38.76. The next swiftest challenger is more than two seconds slower than his seed time. Sullivan is also attempting to repeat as champion in the 100 freestyle after capturing the crown last season, which came on the heels of a runner-up finish in 2022. His seed time of 45.24 is more than a second faster than the next fastest qualifier. Junior Julian Callender of Stoughton is the returning champion in the 100 breaststroke. The three-time event qualifier also placed fifth his freshman season in 2022. He has more than a second advantage over the next-fastest qualifier with his time of 57.62. Callender is also the top returning swimmer in the 200 individual medley after placing third a year ago. He has the second-fastest qualifying time in the event this season at 1:57.44. The top seed time of 1:56.39 was recorded by freshman Blake TeBeest of McFarland. He also enters competition this week with the best time in the 100 backstroke at 50.91. The event has six of last year’s top 10 finishers returning, including senior Zacha King of Rhinelander, who finished runner-up. He has the event’s second-fastest qualifying time at 51.45. Junior Shane TeBeest of McFarland, the brother of Blake,  attempts to improve on his third-place finish in the 50 freestyle last year after a seventh-place finish in 2022. He is the event’s quickest qualifier with a sectional time of 21.32. Senior Fernando Islas of Brown Deer/University School of Milwaukee also has sights of a return to the medal stand after placing fourth a year ago and eighth in 2022. Shane TeBeest is also the highest finisher in last year’s 100 butterfly returning to the event this season. He placed second last season and is back to challenge for the title. However, he’ll need to contend with senior Jaxon VandenBrook of Edgewood, who enters the event with the best qualifying time of 51.18. Islas may also be in contention after placing third in the 100 butterfly last season and fourth in 2022. Senior Finn Holdredge of Whitefish Bay leads a crowded group of State-experience swimmers in the 500 freestyle. He was runner-up last season after placing fifth in 2022. Holdredge possesses the best qualifying time this season at 4:36.73, which is almost 13 seconds better than the next best qualifier, senior Evan Harrison of Two Rivers/Roncalli. Harrison has a seed time of 4:49.26 after placing third in the event last season. Senior Andrew Hodek of Ashwaubenon is also back in the event after placing fourth a year ago. His seed time of 4:49.95 is the fourth-best at sectionals this season. Junior Sawyer Moore of Kiel/Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah is the top qualifying competitor in the diving competition, scoring a 370.55 at sectionals. He placed seventh in 2023 and eighth in 2022. Sophomore Tyler Emory of Whitefish Bay is the top returning medalist in the diving competition after finishing third last year. He qualifies with a score of 330.05. Senior Carson Donze of Rice Lake, who enters competition with a qualifying score of 320.65, was fourth in 2023 after a sixth-place finish in 2022. The McFarland 400 freestyle relay and 200 medley relay attempt to earn back-to-back titles. The Spartans return with the fastest seed times in both the events with a 3:09.20 and 1:34.57, respectively. Rhinelander is the returning champion in the 200 freestyle relay with the second fastest seed time at 1:29.94. McFarland possesses the best qualifying time at 1:26.98.

ORDER STATE MEET APPAREL ONLINE: WIAA-licensed apparel is available online for the 2024 State Boys Swimming & Diving Championships. To browse and purchase branded merchandise, visit the WIAA Store at: https://tier1sports.com/product/2024-wiaa-boys-swimming-and-diving-state-apparel/. Online purchases made by midnight on Monday, Feb. 12 will be available for pick-up at the venue Feb. 15-17. Apparel will also be available during the championships at Waukesha South High School.

FOLLOW STATE MEET ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Receive updates of the State Boys Swimming & Diving Championships on the WIAA State Tournament Twitter account @wiaawistate with the hashtag #wiaaswimdive. Also follow daily recaps on Facebook.

NEED THE QUALIFIERS?: All qualifiers, lane assignments and qualifying standards are available on the boys swimming and diving page on the WIAA website.

NEED RESULTS?:  Results of the State Tournament are available on the WIAA website at www.wiaawi.org by accessing the Boys Swimming and Diving Tournament Information page. 

Tag(s): News Archive  WIAA