Tankers have fun at opening day Brown Deer swim invitational
Bay and Nicolet also compete well
Brown Deer/University School girls swim coach Bob Van Lieshout was a very busy man last weekend.
On Friday he saw his oldest daughter, Michelle, get married on a cruise out on the lake on a perfect afternoon.
And then the very next day, he hosted some of his friends, including the Whitefish Bay and Nicolet girls swim teams, in the five-school WildFalconCat Invitational.
Remarkably, everything came off without a hitch.
"It was magic," Van Lieshout laughed. "Everything went well on Friday and on Saturday. That was the most fun I've had at a meet in a long, long time."
The meet was the season opener for all three squads as Grafton won with 619 points, Bay was second with 572, Nicolet third with 507 and the host FalconCats fourth with 354.
"I thought our girls came to compete," Blue Dukes coach Jim Davis said. "We knew that Grafton would be tough and we're still putting things together...but it was a good meet to see where we were at in terms of conditioning."
Bay young, but deep
The Blue Dukes have 41 swimmers out this fall, but lost a great deal of talent off the top of a team that finished seventh in the WIAA State Division 2 meet. Three freshmen are going to be contributors including Heather Smallpage, Kate Murphy and Sabrina Fox.
They will work with a still sizable number of returnees.
In the Brown Deer meet, the Blue Dukes were led by seconds from the 200 medley relay team of senior Foley Van Lieshout, junior Anna Lauko, Smallpage and junior Hannah Pasterski (one minute, 56.89 seconds); Smallpage in the 50 free (26.18) and from Pasterski in the 100 free (57.9).
Thirds were taken by junior Marissa Brudny in the 200 individual medley (2:31.2) and the 100 butterfly (1:05.25), Van Lieshout in the 100 backstroke (1:04.2) and the 400 free relay team of Smallpage, senior Morgan Phillips, Brudny and Van Lieshout (4:02.13).
Among those also likely to be big contributors include Anna Lauko and Maggie Colton.
"We were happy with the results," Davis said. "We are going to have a lot of different options this year and it looks like we'll have good leadership. This is a strong start."
Worlton leads Nicolet
For the 39-member Nicolet squad, returning state qualifier sophomore Gwen Worlton set the pace, by breaking a school record with her victorious effort in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.32). She won the race by more than six seconds. Junior sprinter Jamie Kloehn hit the victory stand twice with a 57.24 clocking in the 100 free and a 26.03 time in the 50 free.
Junior Libby Geboy is also off to a good start, Knights coach Dwight Davis said, as is sophomore Sarah Schoenfeldt.
Aside from the three first-place finishes, other top efforts for Nicolet included Geboy taking a third in the 200 free (2:14.17), a third from the 200 free relay team of Aleks Gurneau, Sarah Baker, Hannah Sprung and Geboy (1:57.11); and a second from the 400 free relay team of Grace Wilkie, Kloehn, Worlton and Geboy (4:01.12).
"It was a nice start and a fun meet," Davis said. "It was nice that Bob (Van Lieshout) gave us a ring on this....We're going to be pretty young with our quality, but this is a really fit group of girls, probably the second-best, in-shape group that I've had the beginning of a season in a long time. That'll let us work hard and see some improvement."
For the host FalconCats, Van Lieshout is working with slightly fewer than usual numbers (20) and he took a big hit in the off-season when multitime state-placing distance freestyler Kimberly Roos decided to swim with the Schroeder Club team this winter.
But he is encouraged. His three seniors (Natalie Surfus, Nicole Gross and Hannah Leedom) are co-captains along with sophomore Lily Wilson. He also noted that getting junior Laura Marlin back after she missed all of last year with shoulder surgery is a huge boost. A junior transfer from Cedarburg, Jackie Her, is also a big help.
Others expected to help are sophomores Bianca Morales and Paige Sprink. Van Lieshout only has four freshmen out, but they are all high-caliber individuals.
"A lot of kids are really into it," Van Lieshout said. "We don't have any superstars but we're like the Miami 'no-name' defense of the 1970s (that helped the Dolphins win a Super Bowl). We have eight girls fighting for spots on all three of our relays."
Top finishes for the FalconCats included a second by the 200 free relay team of Wilson, Marlin, Gross and Surfus (1:55.63) and a fourth by the 400 free relay team of Wilson, Her, Gross and Surfus (4;16.58). Fifths went to Surfus in the 200 free (2:17.27) and Wilson in the 200 individual medley (2:34.96).
As noted, Van Lieshout had fun at this meet.
"The kids swam with a real passion," he said, "...and the meet just flew by. Boom, boom, boom. It was like a dual meet on steroids."
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