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Sauk swimmers top Waunakee


January 17, 2019

While it was focused on maintaining its superiority in the Badger North Conference, two-time defending league champion Sauk Prairie co-op boys’ swimming team had plenty of motivation when league rival Waunakee came to town on Jan. 8.

The Eagles were hosting their final home dual meet of the season and were determined to make it a special evening for their two seniors — co-captains Desmond Sachtjen from Lodi and Karsten Flogel from Wisconsin Heights High Schools — on Senior Night and Youth Night.

What a special evening it was.

Sauk Prairie outscored Waunakee in seven of the 11 events to easily capture the dual 106-64 and remain unbeaten in the Badger North Conference.

The Eagles (3-0 Badger North) then closed out the week with a sixth-place finish at the Cardinal Relay Invitational at Middleton High School last Saturday.

“It’s awful crazy that three years ago, I was getting into this pool and starting this co-op and swimming with all of my buddies,” said Sachtjen, who will compete at the University of Minnesota next year. “It’s crazy how fast time flies.

“I couldn’t have ended it in a better way in this pool than beating an amazing team like Waunakee in such an awesome fashion.”

Sachtjen capped his home pool career, winning the 200-yard individual medley in 2 minutes, 6.74 seconds and the 100-yard butterfly (:52.30).

He swam the second leg on the winning 200-yard medley relay team along with sophomores Zach Guentherman and Adam Stecker and freshman Evan Leece (1:45.55). He also anchored the winning 400-yard freestyle relay with sophomore Sam Beattie, Stecker and sophomore Jordan Chao (3:30.95).

Sachtjen said it meant a lot to both him and Flogel that the underclassmen took their pre-dual talk to heart.

“We said it was going to be a tough meet because Waunakee is a tough team,” Sachtjen said. “You’ve got to come out here and you’ve got to leave everything in the pool, and if you don’t want to do it for yourselves, do it for us, the seniors.

“They all came out here, they all swam amazing and they all stepped up like we knew they could.”

Stecker also won the 100-yard freestyle (:53.19), while Flogel ended his home pool career by winning the 100-yard breaststroke (1:10.73).

“It felt great,” Flogel said of the team victory and his individual title. “The whole team was fired up, and everyone swam their hearts out. So many people had season-best times. I think it was incredible to get one last win in this pool before my swimming days are done.”

The Eagles’ 200-yard freestyle team of Chao, Leece, freshman Matthew Loy and sophomore Sam Beattie also finished first (1:41.21).

“We talked in the pre-meet meeting about how the importance of this night was number one to recognize the youth who will hopefully decide they want to be part of this family,” Sauk Prairie co-op coach Todd Wuerger said. “And number two, it was to recognize the seniors.”

Wuerger said when the co-captains were elected after last season, he asked both Sachthen and Flogel where they wanted Senior Night to be celebrated since neither one attends Sauk Prairie High School.

“They talked about it and they wanted it to be at Sauk Prairie,” Wuerger said. “They said, ‘We swim for Sauk. This our home. This is where it belongs. This is where we want to be recognized.’ ”

Wuerger said what the two co-captains asked for was a huge statement about their character and about their belief in the program as a co-op.

“They have provided great leadership this year,” Wuerger said of Sachtjen and Flogel. “We wouldn’t be where we are without those guys and where they’ve taken us.”

• Cardinal Relays: Sauk Prairie finished sixth with 112 points at the 13-team, all relays meet at Middleton High School. The host Cardinals won the meet with 180 points, while Madison West was second with 168 points. Madison Memorial (157), Verona/Mount Horeb (156) and Hartland Arrowhead (146) rounded out the top five.

“I thought it went great finishing where we did, right about where we should have finished,” coach Wuerger said. “All of the schools that finished ahead of us will all be in the top 10 at state.”

Sauk Prairie recorded three top-six finishes, which earned trips to the podium for the awards ceremonies.

The Eagles’ 800-yard freestyle relay of freshman Ryan Godwin, sophomore Adam Stecker, freshman Matthew Loy and sophomore Jordan Chao took sixth in 8:10.41. Verona/Mount Horeb was first in 7:18.50.

Sauk Prairie’s 300-yard backstroke relay of Loy, Zach Guentherman, Godwin and Desmon Sachtjen finished fifth in 2:47.88. Madison West won the event in 2:24.15.

The Eagles then took fifth in the final event of the day, the 8x50 yard freestyle relay, which included Sachtjen, junior Daniel Bakhchevnikov, Stecker, Sam Beattie, Loy, Guentherman, Godwin and Chao and finished in 3:12.87. Middleton won the relay in 2:56.90.

“I’m glad we had a chance for a small program to make the podium in three races, so that was good,” Wuerger said.

“Overall, we came to do what we accomplished, to continue to audition for the end of the season. So every time you put relays together, we’re looking a little ahead to upcoming meets and what your sectional taper group might end up being. Not that we’ve made any final decisions, but we got a lot of good data out of this meet.”

On deck: Sauk Prairie will compete in a non-conference dual against Verona/Mount Horeb at Verona High School on Friday beginning at 6 p.m. The Eagles will then travel to Lodi to meet Madison Memorial and Hartland Arrowhead in a triangular meet at Lodi High School on Saturday at noon. Sauk Prairie’s final conference dual meet will be at McFarland on Jan. 22 at 6 p.m.

Jan. 8

Sauk Prairie 106, Waunakee 64

200-yard medley relay: 1, Sauk Prairie ‘A’ (Zach Guentherman, Desmon Sachtjen, Adam Stecker, Evan Leece), 1:45.55; 3, Sauk Prairie ‘B’ (Alec Buss, Daniel Bakhchevnikov, Karsten Flogel, Ryan Godwin), 1:55.81; 5, Sauk Prairie ‘C’ (Alex Dunning, Casey Vande Hey, Brayton Fandrich, Mason Gassman), 2:04.66.

200 freestyle: 1, Vinson, W, 1:55.15; 32, Guentherman, SP, 1:59.05; 2, Sam Beattie, SP, 1:58.92; 4, Jordan Chao, SP, 2:01.95; 5, Jackson Shavlik, SP, 2:02.58.

200 individual medley: 1 Sachtjen, SP, 2:06.74; 3, Guentherman, SP, 2:14.21; 4, Godwin, SP, 2:22.45.

50-yard freestyle — 1, Tuschl, W, :23.80; 2, Stecker, SP, :24.07; 3, Matthew Loy, SP, :24.50; 5, Leece, SP, :25.90.

100 butterfly: 1, Sachtjen, SP, :52.30; 4, Flogel, SP, 1:03.69; 5, Buss, SP, 1:05.39.

100-yard freestyle — 1, Stecker, SP, :53.19; 2, Loy, SP, :54.12; 4, Leece, SP, :55.82.

500 freestyle: 1, Busse, W, 5:12.76; 2, Beattie, SP, 5:17.66; 4, Shavlik, SP, 5:33.58; 5, Godwin, SP, 5:35.47.

200 freestyle relay: 1, Sauk Prairie ‘A’ (Chao, Leece, Loy, Beattie), 1:41.21; 2, Sauk Prairie ‘B’ (Flogel, Bakhchevnikov, Vande Hey, Shavlik), 1:44.60.

100 backstroke: 1, Vinson, W, :57.32; 2 Guentherman, SP, :59.79; 4, Chao, SP, 1:05.24; 5, Buss, SP, 1:05.80.

100 breaststroke: 1, Flogel, SP, 1:10.73; 2, Bakhchevnikov, SP, 1:11.40; 3, Vande Hey, SP, 1:14.39.

400 freestyle relay: 1, Sauk Prairie ‘A’ (Beattie, Stecker, Chao, Sachtjen), 3:30.95; 3, Sauk Prairie ‘B’ (Shavlik, Godwin, Loy, Guentherman), 3:43.18; 5, Sauk Prairie ‘C’ (Sam Juckett, Gassman, Brayton, Buss), 4:11.32.*

Saturday, Jan. 11

Middleton Cardinal Relays

Team scores: Middleton 180, Madison West 168, Madison Memorial 157, Verona/Mount Horeb 156, Hartland Arrowhead 146, Sauk Prairie co-op 112, Marquette 98, Stoughton 85, McFarland 83, Janesville Craig 74, Madison East 72, La Crosse 67, Onalaska co-op 40.


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