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Sauk's girls swimmers cruise past Portage

 

October 4, 2018



During a break in the action of its Badger North Conference dual against Portage on Sept. 25, Sauk Prairie’s girls swimming team put the respite to good use on ‘Parents Night.’

After each family was recognized, the girls handed a note to their parents and shared plenty of hugs, thanking them for their support.

Then the Eagles finished off the memorable evening with a solid performance in cruising to a 119-48 victory over Portage to even their league record at 2-2.

“We mixed up the lineup, trying to give the girls a break and give them an opportunity to do try some races that they haven’t had a chance to do so much,” Sauk Prairie coach Melani Guentherman said. “The girls have been working very hard but there were a lot of season-best times tonight.”

After opening the season with duals against the top teams in the league in Waunakee and DeForest, Guentherman said the Eagles posted one of their best performances of the season.

“I don’t know if they were a little more relaxed or if they’re hitting their stride,” Guentherman said. “I can’t attribute it to any particular reason, but it was nice to see a couple of them popping off some decent times.”

Leading the way for the Eagles were senior co-captains Mariah Chao and Grace Williams, who both enjoyed changing up their routines for the meet.

Chao swam on the winning ‘B’ 200-yard freestyle relay team (1 minute, 50.15 seconds) along with freshman Amelia Hunter, senior Emma Breunig and junior Giulia Brickl and the winning ‘B’ 400-yard freestyle relay (4:03.46) with freshman Kassandra Miller and juniors Alexa Judd and Abbey McCumber.

Chao also took second in the 200-yard freestyle (2:08.50) and 100-yard breaststroke (1:21.13).

“I swam the 100 breast, and I also got to swim on the ‘B’ relays with some different girls,” Chao said. “That was a lot of fun. It was a different energy because everyone brings something different to the team.”

Williams swam on the winning ‘A’ 200-yard medley relay (2:01.65) with Miller, Hunter and sophomore Grace Orr and the third-place ‘A’ 400-yard freestyle relay (4:05.53). She also took first in the 50-yard freestyle (:26.19) and second in the 500-yard freestyle (6:05.11).

While she normally swims the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly, Williams said she enjoyed competing in some different events and with different teammates.

“Swimming the 500 free was definitely different,” Williams said. “It was tiring. It was pretty long, but we practice by swimming 500s and 1000s in practice so I was pretty in shape for it today.

“In the 200 medley, I normally swim the 50 butterfly for that, but today I swam 50 free. It was a fun change. I swam a 25.9 and was super excited. It was awesome.”

Speaking of awesome performances, Kassandra Miller has continued the family legacy of her sister, Kaitlyn, a 2018 graduate now at Winona (Minn.) State.

Kassandra Miller recorded four first-place finishes — the 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay and the 200-yard individual medley (2:23.99) and the 100-yard backstroke (1:06.08).

“Kassandra continues to find a way to improve day in and day out,” Guentherman said.

Williams is also impressed with Miller’s contributions to the team.

“She is doing amazing,” Williams said. “You can see some things like her sister would do, like her smile after a race. All of the freshmen are doing really well.

“It’s crazy to think now I’m a senior. I totally remember freshman year and all the positivity and motivation that was brought to me. I’m trying to share that with the freshmen this year.”

The Eagles also got first-place finishes from Judd in the 100 butterfly (1:08.49) and sophomore Cora Dunnum in the 500 freestyle (6:03.21).

Portage’s Brooklyn Miller swept the 200-yard freestyle (2:04.12) and 100-yard freestyle (:56.15) events to pace the Warriors, who also got a first-place finish from Leigha Andraschko in the 100 breaststroke (1:19.72).

But Guentherman said the Eagles got off to a great start in winning the 200 medley relay, which set the tone for the rest of the dual.

“I was real happy with that performance,” Guentherman said. “We were trying some different orders. Grace Orr swam the breaststroke. We tried to divide up the relays so they were more even. It was nice to get the win but it was also nice to see the girls try some different things.

“Kassandra (Miller) led off that relay. Emma Breunig was in the ‘B’ relay and actually had a season-best time in the backstroke. It was fun to mix things up a little bit. It was exciting.”

Chao said with only 15 members on the team, it is important for the two captains to help them keep that in perspective.

“We keep reminding the team that we’re a small team but with a lot of potential,” Chao said. “(Portage) is a small team, but they have good swimmers, too. Even it seems like you’re going to win, swim like you’re not going to win.

“We’re very, very close and I love that. Everyone brings their own special talent to the team. We have a lot of good distance swimmers this year and have a lot of good sprinters. It will be tough competing to get to state on the relays. There is so much competition on the team. I love that.”

Williams agreed.

“We say ‘we’re small but we’re mighty, and we’ve got it’,” Williams said. “We try to make sure we stay positive. If someone has a bad race, we say just brush it off and do it for the team and do it for yourself. We try to stay positive.”

• On deck: Following a Badger North Conference dual against River Valley on Tuesday, Sauk Prairie is off until it hosts Baraboo in a league dual on Senior Night on Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 6 p.m.

Sept. 25

Sauk Prairie 119, Portage 48

200-yard medley relay — 1, Sauk Prairie ‘A’ (Kassandra Miller, Amelia Hunter, Grace Orr, Grace Williams), 2:01.65; 3, Sauk Prairie ‘B’ (Emma Breunig, Lauryn Drager, Abbey McCumber, Emily Vande Hey), 2:08.16.

200-yard freestyle — 1, Brooklyn Miller, P, 2:04.12; 2, Mariah Chao, SP, 2:08.50; 3, Cora Dunnum, SP, 2:10.13; 4, Alexa Judd, SP, 2:12.99.

200-yard individual medley — 1, Williams, SP, 2:23.99; 3, Breunig, SP, 2:37.80; 4, Ashley Pape, SP, 2:38.82.

50-yard freestyle — 1, Williams, SP, :26.19; 2, Drager, SP, :29.03; 3, McCumber, SP, :29.05.

100-yard butterfly — 1, Judd, SP, 1:08.49; 2, Orr, SP, 1:10.20; 4, Hunter, SP, 1:16.19.

100-yard freestyle — 1, Miller, P, :56.15; 2, Giulia Brickl, SP, 1:01.45; 4, Breunig, SP, 1:03.19; 5, Jade Babcock, SP, 1:18.20.

500-yard freestyle — 1, Dunnum, SP, 6:03.21; 2, Williams, SP, 6:05.11; 3, Emily Vande Hey, SP, 6:25.96.

200-yard freestyle relay — 1, Sauk Prairie ‘B’ (Hunter, Breunig, Brickl, Chao), 1:50.15; 2, Sauk Prairie ‘A’ (Judd, Pape, Summer Acker, Dunnum), 1:50.48; 3, Sauk Prairie ‘C’ (Orr, McCumber, Babcock, Vande Hey), 2:05.62.

100-yard backstroke — 1, Miller, SP, 1:06.08; 2, Acker, SP, 1:11.72; 3, Drager, SP, 1:14.20.

100-yard breaststroke — 1, Leigha Andraschko, P, 1:19.72; 2, Chao, SP, 1:21.13; 3, Hunter, SP, 1:21.56; 4, Pape, SP, 1:25.82.

400-yard freestyle relay — 1, Sauk Prairie ‘B’ (Miller, Judd, McCumber, Chao), 4:03.46; 3, Sauk Prairie ‘A’ (Dunnum, Williams, Acker, Brickl), 4:05.53; 4, Sauk Prairie ‘C’ (Orr, Drager, Vande Hey, Babcock), 4:41.03.

 
 

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