Written by Steve Ostermann
Wednesday, 03 November 2010 18:49
Senior’s backstroke victory paces team at conference final; Port gets strong diving effort
A shorthanded lineup didn’t keep the Grafton girls’ swimming and diving team from making the most of its talent in the North Shore Conference meet last Saturday.
Led by Kelsi Chesney’s victory in the 100-yard backstroke and several other top-five performances, the Black Hawks finished sixth at the eight-team meet in Port Washington.
Chesney, a senior, posted a winning time of 1 minute, 3.57 seconds, in the backstroke, upholding a tradition of Grafton strength in the event. In recent years, the Hawks excelled in the same race with Sadie Nennig, who graduated last year.
“It’s an event we’ve dominated in the past, and now it was Kelsi’s time to take over,” said Grafton coach Adan Burgos, whose team scored 238 points, just three behind fifth-place Germantown.
Chesney also finished third in the 100 butterfly (1:04.82).
Grafton stayed near the middle of the pack in the team standings despite having only 14 entries out of a possible 36 in the meet.
Homestead had no trouble repeating as team champion and scored 466 points, well ahead of runner-up Whitefish Bay’s 325.
Rounding out the standing were third-place Cedarburg (321 points), followed by Nicolet (286), Germantown, Grafton, Port Washington (153) and Milwaukee Lutheran (73).
Grafton’s other top-five performances were a second by Caitlin Hanney in the 200 individual medley (2:19.74); thirds by Katelyn Zarem in diving (334.95 points), Stephanie Haebig in the backstroke (1:04.88) and the 200 medley relay team of Haebig, Hanney, Chesney and Lisa Borden (2:00.47); fourths by Hanney in the 500 freestyle (5:31.14) and the 400 freestyle team of Chesney, Hanney, Haebig and Borden (3:54.17); and a fifth by Borden in the 100 freestyle (59.42).
“We were hoping to get in the top five as a team, and we just missed,” Burgos said. “Our main focus was to get good times and prepare for the Division 2 sectionals, which we did.”
Burgos singled out Zarem, a junior, for a strong diving performance in a field that included several Division 1 standouts.
The Hawks received sevenths from Haebig in the 500 freestyle (5:37.11) and the 200 freestyle team of Borden, Anna Hauer, Emma Saunders and Rochelle Schuette (1:55.59). Hauer was eighth in the 100 breaststroke (1:19.57) and ninth in the individual medley (2:31.12).
Port’s best finishes came in diving, where sophomore Hayley Seitz took fourth (322.4 points) and junior Claire Kinzer was fifth (309).
The Pirates received sixths from Alex Anderson in the butterfly (1:07.12), the 200 freestyle team of Mary Nuedling, Dana Grady, Anderson and Tori Klotz (1:54.38) and the 400 freestyle team of Nuedling, Kelsey Zeman, Anderson and Klotz (4:11.73); a seventh from the medley team of Grady, Kelsey Brockman, Zeman and Nora Beppler (2:18.46) and a 10th from Klotz in the 500 freestyle (5:46.08).
This weekend, Grafton and Port will both participate in a WIAA Division 2 sectional at Plymouth High School.
The diving finals will start at 6:30 p.m. Friday, followed by swimming at 2 p.m. Saturday. Winners of each event will qualify for the state meet along with the next 12 top finishes from all sectionals.
The field will include defending state champion Sturgeon Bay/Sevastopol and other perennial powers such as Plymouth and Whitefish Bay.
The state meet will be held Nov. 12 and 13 in Madison.
ALTHOUGH Grafton and Port Washington finished well back in the overall standings at last week’s North Shore Conference girls’ swimming and diving meet, both squads had a number of solid performances. Grafton’s scoring finishers included swimmer Caitlin Hanney (top left), who was second in the individual medley, and Erin Bagatta (top right), who was 15th in diving. Port’s top finishes were in diving, where Hayley Seitz (lower right) took fourth, and Claire Kinzer (right) was fifth. Photos by Sam Arendt
Written by Steve Ostermann
Wednesday, 27 October 2010 16:32
Port girls, boys race to team berths in WIAA final for first time in same year
Big smiles became part of the post-meet protocol for the Port Washington cross-country teams last Saturday.
Not only did the Pirates receive solid performances from both their girls’ and boys’ squads in a WIAA Division 2 sectional meet at Tendick Park in Saukville, those finishes put them in the history books.
Port won the girls’ portion of the meet and took second in the boys’ field — marking the first time the school has had both teams qualify for the state level in the same season.
“It’s excellent. The boys ran very well, and to have the girls qualify, too, is outstanding,” Port boys’ coach Mark Pasten said.
Both Pirate squads went into the meet knowing their toughest competitors would be from Shorewood. True to form, each race for the two state-qualifying spots became a two-team battle.
Led by sophomore Bianca Benkley’s third-place finish, the Port girls scored 45 points, 12 fewer than runner-up Shorewood. Watertown Luther Prep was a distant third with 108 points.
The Shorewood boys finished with 43 points, well ahead of the Pirates (69) and third-place Lakeside Lutheran (130).
Benkley paced her team with a 4,000-meter time of 15 minutes, 51 seconds, edging teammate Diana Seer, a senior who was fourth (15:54).
Most impressive, though, was the collective effort of seven Port girls who all finished in the top 20 of a 79-runner field.
Ashley Hilton was sixth (16:00) for the Pirates, followed by Allison Hilton in 15th (16:40), Bonnie Allen in 17th (16:45), Payton Greisch in 18th (16:47) and Abby Kotecki in 19th (16:48). Kotecki, a freshman, had a
personal-best time in her first varsity race.
“They all did great,” Port girls’ coach Joe Adamak said. “It was a matter of going out and doing what we needed to do to qualify.
“This was really a total team effort.”
Shorewood’s Emily Bachhuber won the individual title with 15:29.
The Port boys nearly matched the girls by having their five scoring runners finish in the top 20.
Senior Jake Verfuerth led the way with a 5,000-meter time of 17:14, good for eighth place. The Pirates’ other scoring finishers were Augie Yates in 13th (17:25), Jason Marhal in 14th (17:27), Justin Fote in 16th
(17:29) and Jared Burris in 18th (17:45).
Also for Port, Jared Sandlin was 26th (18:05) and Brandon Hinneberg was 27th (18:07).
The boys’ individual champion was Lakeside Lutheran’s Grey Davis (16:37).
Pasten said his team focused on placing at least second without trying to stay with Shorewood.
“Timewise, we were not running all out,” he said. “We pack-ran through the first mile and stayed together for another half-mile after that.
“We really weren’t going to go all out with the state meet coming up the next week.”
Although Sandlin and Hinneberg, both seniors, fell off the pace, other Pirates picked up the slack, Pasten noted. He singled out Marhal, a sophomore, for a particularly strong run.
“We showed some depth, which is definitely a strength of our team,” Pasten said.
The strong finishes of both Port teams were decided improvements over last year, when the girls took fifth and the boys were third.
Benkley and Allison Hilton will make return trips to the Division 2 state final this Saturday at the Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids after qualifying as individuals last year.
The Port boys’ only state qualifier last season was Jeff Bartow, then a senior.
Although neither Port team is expected to be in the running for a state title, both coaches expect their squads to be among the front-runners.
“It would be great to finish in the top five,” Adamak said. “We’re capable of that.”
Pasten is hoping for a top-four finish for the boys.
“Pewaukee is the top team, but we could beat Shorewood and finish as high as second if we run well,” he said.
The Division 2 state boys’ final starts at 11:40 a.m., followed by the girls’ race at 1:40 p.m.
THE PORT WASHINGTON girls’ cross-country team raced to a first-place finish in a WIAA Division 2 sectional meet last Saturday at Tendick Park in Saukville. The title qualified the team for this week’s state finals along with the Port boys’ team, which placed second in its portion of the sectional. Photo by Sam Arendt