The Verona Area/Mount Horeb boys swimming team had three top-three finishes at the Cardinal Relays on Saturday, Jan. 18, in Middleton.

The relay meet featured several of the state’s top-ranked teams in the latest Division 1 Wisconsin Swim Coaches Association Poll, including Sun Prairie (No. 2), Madison West (No. 3) and Middleton (No. 4).

Verona Area/Mount Horeb, ranked ninth, dropped a Big Eight Conference road dual to Madison West 112-58 on Friday, Jan. 17.

“Sun Prairie competed in the Cardinal Relays for the first time, making an already competitive meet even more so,” VA/MH coach Bill Wuerger said. “The guys swam with more energy than the previous night.”

Cardinal Relays

Sophomore Luke Bennin had a hand in all three of the Wildcats’ third-place relays.

Bennin, sophomore Nathan Rozeboom and seniors Kyle Hoppe and Gabe Piscitelli were a little more than three seconds off of Madison West’s winning time in the 200-yard medley relay (1:42.23).

Bennin and Hoppe teamed with junior Christopher Lofts and senior Owen Rothamer in the 300 butterfly relay (2:39.45).

The butterfly relay and the medley relay exceeded expectations,” Wuerger said. “Every swimmer on those relays had season-best times. We were happy to edge out Arrowhead.”

Bennin and Rozeboom teamed with senior Parker Jones and sophomore Avery Blas in the Wildcats’ 300 breaststroke relay (3:05.66).

Lofts, sophomore Max McCartney and juniors Ben Wellnitz and Conner Arneson placed fourth in the 800 free relay (7:29.86). McCartney, Hoppe, Arenson and Rothamer finished fifth in the 400 free relay (3:05.12).

The Wildcats’ 500 free relay team of Jones, McCartney, Arneson and Wellnitz placed fifth (4:32.13). Arneson, McCartney, Hoppe and Rozeboom took fifth in the 100 free relay (44.32).

Middleton captured the team title with 189 points. Madison Memorial claimed second (172), Sun Prairie was third (171), West placed fourth (169) and VA/MH rounded out the top five (153).

Madison West 112, VA/MH 58

The Regents won 10 of 11 events and swept the top two spots in six events — the 200-yard freestyle, 200 individual medley, 100 free, 200 free relay, 100 breaststroke and 400 free relay.

Wellnitz won the 500 free with a time of 5:03.97.

“We didn’t swim with a lot of energy,” Wuerger said. “Preparing and taking semester exams may have had something to do with that.”

Lofts posted a season-best time in the 200 IM (2:13.66), and a lifetime-best time anchoring the 400 free relay. Rothamer posted a season-best time in the 100 butterfly (55.39).

West’s Isaac Casey broke the pool record in the 50 free (21.07) and was a member of the school-record-setting 200 free relay along with Charlie Feller, Ethan Dong and Andrew Fernandez (1:27.53).