One week into the season, the Verona Area/Mount Horeb boys swimming team already has seen where it stacks up against two of the state’s top-ranked Division 1 teams – Madison West and Middleton.
The Wildcats lost a season-opening dual to defending WIAA Division 1 state champion Madison West on Friday and then finished second to Middleton on Saturday at the 19-team Nicolet Invitational. The Cardinals were the Division 1 state runner-up last year.
“The boys swam well in both meets against the top two teams in the state,” coach Bill Wuerger said. “Obviously it’s early in the season, and it will take a few weeks to see where everyone fits in the lineup.”
Senior Shane Rozeboom had a hand in three wins to lead the Wildcats to a second-place finish Saturday at the Nicolet Invitational.
Middleton outdueled Verona Area/Mount Horeb for the title, 468.5-387.5.
Rozeboom won the 50-yard freestyle (21.61 seconds) and the 100 free (47.49).
Each of the relays were sprint relays, with four or eight swimmers each going 25 or 50 meters.
In the 200 free relay, eight swimmers swam 25 meters. Rozeboom teamed with freshman Oscar Best, senior Aidan Updegrove, senior Jack Zheng, junior Gabe Piscitelli, sophomore Conner Arneson and sophomore Ben Wellnitz to win the event with a time of 1:27.14.
Wuerger said Rozeboom swam well, contributing to three wins.
In the 400 medley relay, Arneson teamed with junior Kyle Hoppe, freshman Luke Bennin, freshman Nathan Rozeboom, Best, freshman Owen Rothamer, Shane Rozeboom and Updegrove to take second (3:.23.42).
Best tied Middleton junior Nate Lamers for second in the 100 butterfly (24.18) and placed fourth in the 50 free (22.51). Updegrove took third in the 200 free (1:49.56) and fourth in the 100 free (49.91).
The Wildcats had three of the top six in the 200 IM. Wellnitz finished fourth in 2:12.02, followed by Rothamer (2:12.40) in fifth and Bennin (2:13.08) in sixth. Hoppe added a fifth-place finish in the 100 IM (57.56).
Madison West 107, Verona 63
Madison West won 10 of the 11 events Friday and rolled to a 107-63 win over the host Wildcats in a season-opening Big Eight Conference dual.
The Regents swept the top two spots in the 200 medley relay, 200 individual medley, 100 backstroke and 400 free relay.
The lone win for the Wildcats came from Updegrove, who finished first in the 400 free with a time of 4:25.97. The Wildcats swept the top two spots in the 400 free with Arneson taking second (4:29.73). Updegrove added a second-place finish in the 200 free (2:04.16).
Madison West senior Wes Jekel won the 50 free (24.37) and 100 backstroke (1:03.69). Rozeboom took second in the 50 free (24.55) behind Jekel, who is the defending state champion in the 100 back. He also posted a second-place finish in the 100 free (54.13).
Best took second in the 100 fly (59.82), which was 0.52 of a second away from West’s Constantin Bensch.
“The freshmen swam well in their first high school meets and look like they will be strong contributors to the team this year,” Wuerger said.