More teams at the 2020 Wisconsin State 12 and Under Short Course State Championship opened the door for the Oregon Community Swim Club to bring home top hardware.
For the first time since 2014, teams were separated into divisions based on club size and previous state meet results.
The Tigersharks won the Division 2 title in the 12 and Under division, thanks in large part to a dominant effort from the 10 and under swimmers.
“It was fun to see the 12 and unders continue the streak of excellence and top-10 overall finishes,” OCSC head coach Jim Lohmeier said. “The swimmers here are so talented, work so hard and have so much fun together.”
The Tigersharks racked up 556 points over the course of the three-day meet, which ended Sunday, March 1, at Walter Schroeder Aquatic Center in Brown Deer.
OCSC was the only Division 2 team to clear the 500-point plateau with 556 points. The club recorded its third consecutive top-10 overall finish at Short Course State and would have finished seventh in the Division 1 standings.
“We just have a really deep talent pool every year,” Lohmeier said. “We have a very systematic approach and hold the kids to high standards. We establish goals and train specific groups together.
The Tigersharks were led by 10-year-old Molly Hoppe, who won five events in the Girls 10 and Under division. She set a new state record in the 50-yard backstroke (29.47), which is currently the second-fastest national time for a 10-and-under swimmer this year.
Hoppe became OCSC’s second state-record setter in the past year and the first High Point Trophy winner at a state meet in the club’s history. She also won the 50 freestyle (26.76), 100 free (1:01.25), 100 backstroke (1:05.45) and 100 individual medley (1:07.47), and placed second in the 50 butterfly (30.25).
“Molly was outstanding, worked hard all year and we are so happy for her,” Lohmeier said. “She has come so far the last few seasons. We knew she was talented, but the mindset and determination she has developed is spectacular. She decided on her own that she wanted and was going to go get that state record. It was not even on the coaches’ radar.”
Other OCSC swimmers who medaled at state were Catherine Arnold (second in 50 free, seventh in 50 breaststroke and eighth in 200 IM); Alyse Block (second in 100 free, third in 50 butterfly, fourth in 50 free and 100 IM and seventh in 50 back); Kennedy Faris (sixth in 50 breast, seventh in 100 IM, 100 breast and 200 breast) and Kyrah Kittleson (fifth in 50 fly).
Block, Kittleson, Faris and Arnold finished third in the Girls 11-12 200 free relay and seventh in the 400 medley relay. Faris, Block, Kittleson and Lauren Konarske placed fifth in the 200 medley relay and sixth in the 400 free relay.
Hoppe, Baya Burke, Kendall Porter and Kate Konarske took fourth in the Girls 10 and Under 200 medley relay. Burke, Hopper, Porter and Ella Kavanaugh claimed sixth in the 200 free relay.
Lohmeier credited associate head coach Sarah Acker, who joined the program in January 2017, for the team’s success in the 12 and Under division.
“She makes me look like a genius,” Lohmeier said. “These kids are all polished by the time they get to me at 13 (years old). She is the best coach in Wisconsin right now as far as I’m concerned. We are so lucky to have her and I’m really happy she got to celebrate her birthday Sunday with the championship.”