The University of Wisconsin’s main campus in Madison will play host this weekend to the state’s fastest male high school swimmers. The 2015 WIAA Wisconsin State Championship Meets will be held on Friday, February 20th and Saturday, February 21st in a timed final format to determine the best high school team in the state.
The weekend is boys only – the girls competed in November – and the smaller schools from Division II will take the stage first on Friday before ceding the stage to the bigger Division I schools on Saturday.
Division I Preview
The team from Madison’s Memorial High School dominated this meet last season, winning by over 100 points ahead of their cross-town rivals from Madison West. While those two dominated the team story, the individual accolades were spread well around, as the two teams combined for only three event wins out of 12 events at the meet.
All three of those wins came from Madison Memorial, and all three came from swimmers who will be back this year.
- Then-sophomore Ben Gebhart won the 100 fly in 50.03 (no underclassman last year was within a second of him);
- Madison Memorial’s 200 free relay won in 1:25.42, though they graduated half of that relay
- Sophomore Justin Temprano won the boys’ 100 back in 51.13
This highlights that the team battle at this meet, with a lot of geographical parity, is won by depth. That’s what’s going to hurt the team from Cedarburg, though they could still be the team of the meet with top seeds in both free relays, and defending 200 free champion Nick Plachinski on their roster.
While they’re in line to perhaps win more state event titles than any other team in the field, they probably don’t have enough fire power to contend overall.
One other name to watch at this meet is Eau Claire Memorial/North’s Paul DeLakis. He won the State Championship in the 100 breaststroke last year as just a freshman but will face an even deeper field this year if he hopes to repeat.
Division II Preview
Last year’s Division II meet saw a narrower, but significant, gap from the winners Edgewood to runners-up McFarland – 52 points to be exact.
Those two remain the teams to beat this season, and McFarland might even be considered the favorite after Edgewood graduated two of the best sprinters in the state: defending 50 free champion Zack Parkin and Jack McLaughlin.
McFarland’s only graduation off of its state championship roster was Tony Donagan. he was the state champion in the 100 breaststroke, but his then-junior teammate Sam Mischio was the runner-up.