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Exiting in style

Sachtjen has two top-four finishes at state


February 21, 2019

Mary Langenfeld

Desmon Sachtjen, a senior on Sauk Prairie's co-op swimming team, reached the podium at state in two events.

The cream of the state's boys swimmers and divers rose to the top last weekend, and Desmon Sachtjen made sure that he finished his stellar prep career on the podium not once, but twice.

Sachtjen, a senior co-captain from Lodi swimming for the Sauk Prairie co-op program, reached the podium in two of his three events to go out in style at the 93rd annual WIAA Division 1 state swimming and diving meet at the University of Wisconsin Natatorium last Saturday.

"It was an awesome way to end my high school career," said Sachtjen, a University of Minnesota recruit, who capped his prep career with a fourth straight state meet appearance and 10 podium finishes in 15 swims.

"It was a great meet and pretty fun to watch, too. I had a lot of friends swimming on different teams, and every event I had someone to cheer for. It was one of the most exciting state meets ever with state records being broken and a lot of fast swims."

Top-ranked Madison West defended its title and won its 15th overall, second-most in state history, finishing with 314 points. Third-ranked Middleton repeated its runner-up finish of a year ago, taking second with 257 points. Waukesha South/Catholic Memorial (161), Franklin (157) and Brookfield Central/East (131.5) rounded out the top five.

Sachtjen finished third in the 200-yard individual medley (1:53.80) and fourth in the 100-yard backstroke (:49.71), a pair of personal-best performances, to lead a youthful Sauk Prairie co-op squad to a 22nd-place finish out of 36 teams with 31 points.

But it was a record-setting day for Sachtjen, too.

He broke the Sauk Prairie High School record in the 100 backstroke, surpassing the previous record of :50.10 that was set in 2010 by Tyler Lentz, who had a very successful college swimming career at the University of Iowa and competed in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.

All three of the placewinners in front of Sachtjen also surpassed the previous state record of 48.84 seconds in the 100 backstroke set by Hudson's Shane Blinkman in 2017.

"It was a great meet," Sauk Prairie co-op coach Todd Wuerger said. "When you only have three swims, you have to make the most of them. We knew Des was going to have a great meet. I'm just happy with the way his high school swimming career came to an end.

"Everyone strives to get on the podium. It's coveted and very hard to do and especially in Division 1 for a small community like us. Des leaves with being part of two school records, including the 200 medley relay that won state his sophomore year."

Sachtjen was seeded sixth in the 200 individual medley (1:56.50) and fifth in the 100 backstroke (:50.78). But he surpassed his seed times in both events.

However, he said it wasn't business as usual when he got up on the starting blocks.

"This time was definitely, it was a lot more emotional than the first three (years) when I was more nervous," Sachtjen said. "I was just trying to take in the moment and everything that was happening because it was my last time.

"I hung out with my teammates, the ones who were timing and the ones who were competing. I just wanted to take it all in."

Sachtjen finished off his career anchoring the Eagles' 400-yard freestyle relay that had secured the 24th and final state berth with a seventh-place finish in a time of 3:21.65 at the Middleton Sectional.

"I was very impressed with the team with how long they had to wait to compete in the meet, waiting to the last event is especially hard," Sachtjen said. "The three of them definitely showed up. The dudes stayed loose and did awesome, swimming in the last event. I'm so proud of them."

The Eagles' relay of sophomores Adam Stecker and Sam Beattie, freshman Matthew Loy and Sachtjen moved up four spots, taking 20th in 3:20.32 in the final event of the meet.

"They came down from their sectional time, what more could you ask for," Wuerger said. "You can't help but look forward a little to next season when three on that relay are back. They can use that as a springboard for next season."

• Post-season honors: The Sauk Prairie co-op held its season-ending banquet on Sunday night with Desmon Sachtjen earning Most Valuable honors. Matthew Loy received the team's Most Improved award, and senior co-captain Karsten Flogel was recognized with the Erik Krueger Award.

Sachtjen also has earned All-State Honors from the Wisconsin Interscholastic Swim Coaches' Association (WISCA) for his top-six place finishes in the 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard backstroke at the WIAA Division 1 state meet. He has also earned All-American consideration honors in the 100 backstroke from the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches' Association (NISCA).

Flogel also has earned Academic All-State Honors from the Wisconsin Interscholastic Swim Coaches' Association (WISCA).

Saturday, Feb. 16

WIAA Division 1 State Meet

Team scores: Madison West 314, Middleton 257, Waukesha South/Catholic Memorial 161, Franklin 157, Brookfield Central/East 131.50, Sun Prairie 118, Hartland Arrowhead 112, Hudson 106, Verona/Mount Horeb 95, Greenfield co-op 82, Muskego 78, Eau Claire Memorial/North 75, Madison Memorial 59.5, Stevens Point 59, Schofield D.C. Everest 58, Bay Port 55.5, Appleton North/East 49, Sheboygan North 46, Waukesha North co-op 45, Green Bay Southwest co-op 43, Milwaukee Marquette 37, Sauk Prairie co-op 31, Menomonee Falls co-op 20, West Bend East/West 18, Hartford Union/Slinger 14.5, Racine Case 14, Kenosha Indian Trail 13, Waunakee 13, Chippewa Falls 12, Milwaukee King co-op 11, Sheboygan South 11, Homestead 10, Neenah 7, Oshkosh West 6, Appleton West/Kimberly 4, Beloit Memorial 2.

State placewinners

Diving - 1, Rumpit, Brookfield Central, 486.55; 2, Konle, Marquette, 476.65; 3, Bennett, Madison Memorial, 456.05; 4, Kleczka, Franklin, 453.70; 5, McCray, Racine Case, 404.30; 6, St. John, Franklin, 392.05.

200 medley relay - 1, Madison West (Weiss, Miller, Jekel, Feller), 1:30.83 (state meet record); 2, Waukesha South, 1:33.69; 3, Middleton (Parkin, Mondi, Kim, Lamers), 1:33.78; 4, Hudson, 1:34.21; 5, Arrowhead, 1:34.26; 6, Appleton North, 1:35.14.

200 freestyle - 1, Linnihan, Brookfield Central, 1:39; 2, Martin, Middleton, 1:39.75; 3, Blischke, Waukesha South, 1:40.98; 4, Bensch, Madison West, 1:41.10; 5, Harris, Stevens Point, 1:41.27; 6, Peterson, Middleton, 1:42.43.

200 individual medley - 1, Blinkman, Hudson, 1:46.99; 2, Kim, Middleton, 1:50.98; 3, Desmon Sachtjen, Sauk Prairie, 1:52.80; 4, Gabbey, Muskego, 1:53.92; 5, Feller, Madison West, 1:54.71; 6, Miller, Madison West, 1:55.91.

50 freestyle - 1, Hayon, Sheboygan North, :20.76; 2, Kostrzewa, Franklin, :20.82; 3, Neverman, Green Bay Southwest, :20.84; 4, Carlson, Waukesha South, :20.85; 5, Perez, Greenfield, :20.86; 6, Wiegand, Sun Prairie, :20.91.

100 butterfly - 1, Jekel, Madison West, :48.14; 2, Nixdorf, Arrowhead, :48.5; 3, Bensch, Madison West, :48.59; 4, Neverman, Green Bay Southwest, :48.62; 5, Hayon, Sheboygan North, :49.37; 6, Bork, Appleton North, :50.07.

100 freestyle - 1, Linnihan, Brookfield Central, :44.94; 2, Kostrzewa, Franklin, :45.39; 3, Casey, Madison West, :45.61; 4, Craig, Franklin, :46.13; 5, Roggenbauer, Sun Prairie, :46.42; 6, Perez, Greenfield, :46.45.

500 freestyle - 1, Martin, Middleton, 4:31.12; 2, Harris, Stevens Point, 4:33.51; 3, Blischke, Waukesha South, 4:34.04; 4, Updegrove, Verona/Mount Horeb, 4:44.07; 5, Kalafat, Bay Port, 6, Lustig, Greenfield, 4:46.06.

200 freestyle relay - 1, Middleton (Parkin, Lamers, Martin, Peterson), 1:23.12 (state meet record); 2, Madison West (Casey, Fernandez, Bensch, Feller), 1:23.68 (state meet record); 3, Franklin, 1:24.65; 4, Sun Prairie (Roggenbauer, Braatz, Brehmer, Wiegand), 1:24.76; 5, Brookfield Central, 1:26.33; 6, Verona/Mount Horeb (Best, Rozeboom, Hoppe, Updegrove), 1:26.41.

100 backstroke - 1, Jekel, Madison West, :48.09 (state meet record); 2, Blinkman, Hudson, :48.48 (state meet record); 3, Nixdorf, Arrowhead, :48.71 (state meet record); 4, Desmon Sachtjen, Sauk Prairie, :49.71; 5, Carlson, Waukesha South, :49.74; 6, Weiss, Madison West, :51.25.

100 breaststroke - 1, Gabbey, Muskego, :56.04; 2, Feller, Madison West, :56.72; 3, Miller, Madison West, :56.96; 4, Wiegand, Sun Prairie, :57.83; 5, Schuster, Muskego, :57.85; 6, Webb, Hartford Union, :58.73.

400 freestyle relay - 1, Madison West (Casey, Fernandez, Bensch, Jekel), 3:02.24 (state meet record); 2, Middleton (Zillner, Kim, Martin, Peterson), 3:05.33; 3, Franklin, 3:05.42; 4, Waukesha South, 3:07.63; 5, Brookfield Central, 3:10.43; 6, Verona/Mount Horeb (Wellnitz, Best, Updegrove, Rozeboom), 3:11.17; 20, Sauk Prairie co-op (Adam Stecker, Sam Beattie, Matthew Loy, Desmon Sachtjen), 3:20.32.


The Sauk Prairie girls gymnastics team placed seventh out of eight teams at the annual Badger Conference meet hosted by Watertown last Saturday.

Mount Horeb, which had a six-year run of conference titles snapped by five-hundredths of a point to Watertown last year, returned to the top of the league. The Vikings scored 142.0 points, finishing eight points ahead of runner-up Milton (134.0).

Waunakee/DeForest (130.25), Monona Grove (126.1275) and Watertown (125.35) rounded out the top five. Sauk Prairie scored 118.875 points to finish nine-tenths of a point behind sixth-place Baraboo (119.775).

Mount Horeb sophomore Andrea O'Connell swept first place in every event, winning the all-around title with a score of 37.15. She won the balance beam (9.3), floor exercise (9.45), vaulting (9.3) and uneven bars (9.1).

Sauk Prairie's best event performance came in the vault with a sixth-place finish after recording a score of 31.95 points. The Eagles also finished sixth in the floor exercise (30.85) and were seventh in the balance beam (29.40) and on the uneven bars (26.675).

Individually, sophomore Heidi Kuhnau led the way for Sauk Prairie, tying for ninth place on the balance beam with a score of 8.20. She also paced the Eagles in the vault with a tie for 19th place with a score of 8.1 and was a team-best 14th overall in the all-around (30.875).

Senior Audrey Pape topped Sauk Prairie on the uneven bars with a score of 7.425 to finish in 17th place and finished 15th in the all-around (30.825).

Sophomore Carina Meixelsperger led the Eagles in the floor exercise with a tie for 18th place and a score of 8.0. Senior Madison Marshall was 18th in the all-around (28.275).

• On deck: Sauk Prairie will compete at the WIAA Division 2 sectional meet that will be held in Mount Horeb on Friday beginning at 5 p.m.

Badger Conference meet

Saturday, Feb. 16

Team scores: Mount Horeb 142.0, Milton 134.0, Waunakee/DeForest 130.25, Monona Grove 126.1275, Watertown 125.35, Baraboo 119.775, Sauk Prairie 118.875, Reedsburg 107.975.

Vault: 1, O'Connell, MH, 9.3; 2, Stoenner, MH, 9.25; 3, Heistman, Mil, 9.2; 4, Jenks-Recker, MG, 9.0; 5, E. Weier, MH, 8.75.

Uneven bars: 1, O'Connell, MH, 9.1; 2, Goniosrowski, Mil, 8.6; 3, O'Neil, 8.425; 4, Powers, W/D, 8.325; 5, E. Weier, MH, 8.25.

Balance beam: 1, O'Connell, MH, 9.3; 2, Olson, Mil, 9.25; 3, O'Neil, MH, 9.1; 4, Heistman, Mil, 8.9; 5 (tie), Hurtgen, Wat, and E. Weier, MH, 8.7.

Floor exercise: 1, O'Connell, MH, 9.45; 2, L. Weier, MH, 9.15; 3, E. Weier, MH, 9.075; 4 (tie), Domask, W/D, and Peterson, MH, 9.05.

All-around: 1, O'Connell, MH, 37.150; 2, E. Weier, MH, 34.775; 3, Heistman, Milton, 34.75; 4, L. Weier, MH, 34.25; 5, Hurtgen, Wat, 33.45.

Sauk Prairie Varsity individual results

Vault: 19, tie, Heidi Kuhnau, 8.1; 21, tie, Madison Marshall, 8.05; 27, tie, Kyle Wilson, 7.95; 32, tie, Audrey Pape, 7.85; 38, Carina Meixelsperger, 7.5.

Uneven bars: 17, Pape, 7.425; 25, Kuhnau, 7.225; 33, Marshall, 6.251; 35, Samara Estrada, 5.9; 39, Meixelsperger, 4.45.

Balance beam: 9, tie, Kuhnau, 8.2; 19, tie, Pape, 7.6; 24, Meixelsperger, 7.05; 29, tie, Marshall, 6.55; 32, Addie Desroches, 6.5.

Floor exercise: 16, Meixelsperger, 8.0; 18, tie, Pape, 7.95; 27, tie, Marshall, 7.55; 32, Kuhnau, 7.35; 40, Wilson, 6.6.

All-Around: 14, Kuhnau, 30.875; 15, Pape, 30.825; 18, Marshall, 28.275.


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