Rhinelander Wins First State Title at WIAA Division 2 Championships

2020 WIAA Girls Division 2 State Swimming and Diving Championships

Rhinelander took home their first state championship title over the weekend with the help of Malia Francis, who won both individual events she swam and helped the school’s 200 and 400 free relays to state titles as well.

Top 5 Teams

  1. Rhinelander – 255
  2. Shorewood – 228
  3. Greendale – 202
  4. Whitnall – 167
  5. Rice Lake – 140

On the diving board, fourth-place team Whitnall had a strong showing, taking the top two places. Senior Bella Smith finished with the top score of 519.15. The state champion in the event last year as well, Smith now holds the second-highest score in state history. She was followed by Kamyla Held, who finished second with 465.15 points.

Shorewood started the swimming portion of the meet off strong, winning the 200 medley relay in 1:47.45. They beat out Wassau East by almost three seconds in the event.

The first individual event of the meet went to Greendale junior Jocelyn Zgola. She led the field by over two seconds to take first in 1:52.27.

In the 200 IM, Ella Houwers won the first of her two events. The Whitewater senior and Northern Michigan commit took home the state title in 2:06.90. Later in the meet she added a second title, winning the 100 breast for the third straight year. She won the event by three seconds, touching in 1:05.27.

Faith Forsberg posted the top time in the 50 free, winning in 24.13. A junior at Rice Lake, Forsberg’s win marks the school’s first state title for swimming and diving in school history.

Defending both of her state titles from last year, Malia Francis, a junior at Rhinelander, took home the title in the 100 fly and 100 back. In her first event, the 100 fly, she won by almost two seconds, touching in 55.96. This time made her the 5th fastest swimmer in the event in state history.

Francis’ second win came in the 100 back. While she was slightly faster last year, her time of 55.13 still ranks as the 4th fastest performance in state history. She’s committed to swim at Liberty University after her graduation in 2022.

Francis also played a key role in Rhinelander’s two-state championship winning relays. She anchored the school’s 200 free relay in a 23.51, the fastest split in the event. She also had the event’s fastest split in the 400 free, anchoring Rhinelander’s relay in 51.53. The event came down to a race between Rhineland and Greendale, with Greendale finishing just .20 behind Rhinelander.

After entering the event as the fourth seed, Greendale junior Katarina Stanic swam to a state title in the 100 free. Stanic was the only swimmer under 53.0 in the event, finishing at 52.95.

Despite trailing Jocelyn Zgola early in the race, Whitefish Bay sophomore Casey Stephens came back fast in the 500 free to win the event in 5:05.77.

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