The DeForest girls swim team had a great ending to the 2019 season at the WIAA Division 2 state meet at the UW-Madison Natatorium last Friday.
The Lady Norskies finished the night with 114 team points to place seventh overall.
“We had a really solid state meet and it was a great way to end the season for us,” DeForest coach Matt Engelhardt said. “We were not projected to finish in the top ten heading into the season, so to finish seventh overall and get a couple girls on the podium was huge for us. We had a handful of girls really step up and make some huge improvements this season.”
Madison Edgewood easily claimed the team title with 290 points, followed in the top five by McFarland (163.5), Ashwaubenon (141.5), Shorewood (125) and Rhinelander (118).
The first in the pool for the Norskies was Haley Willis. She missed out on a medal by one spot after finishing in seventh place in the 200-yard individual medley with her time of 2 minutes, 12.70 seconds.
Edgewood’s Anna teDuits (2:06.28) claimed the 200 individual medley title, while Whitewater’s Ella Houwers (2:06.99) was second.
The Norskies’ Ava Boehning then made the medal stand after placing sixth (:24.65) in the 50 freestyle.
Edgewood’s duo of Maeve O’Driscoll (:23.30) and Abby Reid (:23.49) claimed the top two spots in the 50 freestyle.
DeForest had Carly Oosterhof (:54.65) and Ava Boehning (:54.69) compete in the 100 freestyle. They finished back-to-back in 12th and 13th place, respectively.
“Carly Oosterhof and Ava Boehning both added slightly in their individual swims, but both swam incredibly well at sectionals to even qualify in events that were significantly faster than last year,” Engelhardt said. “I was very happy with the improvements both of them made this year to qualify.”
River Falls’ Ellery Ottem (:50.70) swam to the 100 freestyle title, while Reid (:51.59) was second.
Haley Willis was next up for the Lady Norskies in the 500 freestyle. She touched the wall in 5:2.39 to place 12th.
“Haley Willis had a great night in her final state meet,” Engelhardt said. “Four weeks ago, we weren’t sure if she was going to be able to swim this meet at all with some injuries she was dealing with. She raced so tough mentally and physically all night and I was proud of what she was able to do.”
Ashwaubenon’s Hallory Domnick (5:04.85) and Greendale’s Jocelyn Zgola (5:11.47) claimed the top two spots in the 500 freestyle.
The Norskies made their way onto the medal podium in the 200 freestyle relay, as Oosterhof, Olivia Miller, Haley Willis and Boehning were the runner-ups (1:39.62) behind Edgewood’s foursome Maeve O’Driscoll, DeeDee Walker, Sophie Reed and Abby Reid (1:34.76).
Oosterhof was back in the pool in the 100 backstroke. She clocked in at 1:01.54 to place 15th.
Rhinelander’s Malia Francis (:54.72) topped the field in the 100 backstroke, while McFarland’s Mara Freeman (:55.68) was second.
Jenna Willis had the final individual medal for DeForest. She garnered sixth place in the 100 breaststroke (1:07.04).
“Jenna Willis improved slightly on her sectional time, which had previously been a lifetime-best,” Engelhardt said. “I was very happy with how aggressive she was early on in that race. To finish on the podium in her first high school state meet was a great accomplishment.”
Houwers (1:05.07) took the crown in the 100 breaststroke, while McFarland’s Emily Landwehr (1:05.89) was the runner-up.
The Lady Norskies ended the meet by earning a sixth-place medal in the 400 freestyle relay. Boehning, Haley Willis, Miller and Oosterhof had a combined time of 3:40.16.
Edgewood’s foursome of Izzy Enz, teDuits, Reed and Walker earned the title in the 400 freestyle relay (3:29.54), while Ashwaubenon’s Hallory Domnick, Sydney Popp, Evelyn Geurts and Bry Bellile were second (3:36.75).
Also winning titles on Friday were Whitnall’s Bella Smith (diving), River Falls’ Ellery Ottem (200 freestyle, 1:49.54) and Rhinelander’s Malia Francis (100 butterfly, :56.23). Edgewood’s teDuits, Reid, Enz and O’Driscoll won the 200 medley relay (1:44.51).
Engelhardt is happy with how the 2019 season went.
“Overall, this season was very impressive for us as a team,” Engelhardt said. “I don’t know that anyone was expecting us to be where we finished after losing some very talented seniors last year. It took a lot of our younger girls to take a big step forward and we certainly did that. I would just like to give one final shout out to our seniors, Haley Willis and Kenzi Matson. They both were huge contributors all season in meets but also in practice. Their leadership and experienced will certainly be missed.”