Competing against several WIAA Division 1 boys high school swimming teams throughout the state, the Division 2 McFarland High School with its smaller student population turned in some impressive performances in the Jan. 18 Cardinal Relay Invite at Middleton High School.
The Spartans were seventh in points in the 13-team meet and had six top-10 finishes.
The best outcome came in the 400-yard medley relay as senior Alton Slane, junior Logan Schulz, sophomore Ansel Kreft and freshman Patrick Zabawa ended fourth with a time of 3:55.16.
McFarland pulled off a seventh-place finish in the 800-freestyle relay with senior Truitt Landolt, junior Luke Mandli, senior Bryce Thompson and Slane completing the distance in 7:55.53.
McFarland’s team of Slane, Schulz, Mandli, junior Cooper Hiltbrand, Kreft, Thompson, Zabawa and Landolt took eighth in the 400-freestyle relay with a time of 3:10.72.
The Spartans had a trio of ninth-place finishes including the 200-freestyle relay where Landolt, Zabawa, Thompson and Hiltbrand finished in 1:36.33, the 300-backstroke relay, which included sophomore Jack O’Connor, junior Michael Thorson, Slane and Kreft turning in a time of 2:57.54, and the 300-breaststroke relay with senior Logan Snelling, Mandli, freshman Elias Landolt and Schulz finishing with a time of 3:26.74.
Madison West won five events, but host Middleton had the highest team point total with 189. Madison Memorial was second with 172, Sun Prairie had 171, and Madison West took fourth with 169. In fifth place was Verona/Mount Horeb with 153, sixth went to Arrowhead with 150 and McFarland came in seventh with 114, just one point ahead of eighth-place Sauk Prairie/Wisconsin Heights.
Spartans 106, Baraboo 63
The atmosphere may have resembled a family reunion when the McFarland High School boys swimming team hosted Baraboo in a dual meet Jan. 14.
“We were in the same swimming clubs and have known each other a long time,” Schulz said. “We know each other generally. They are kind of our acquaintances.”
Yet, once the swimming began, the reunion turned into a hard-fought battle as McFarland defeated the Thunderbirds 106-63.
The Spartans captured wins in seven races including Schulz who outreached teammate Zabawa to the finish line by .05 seconds to win the 50-yard freestyle in 24.36. Baraboo’s Ben Beal was a close third with a 24.54.
Slane earned two victories including the 200-freestyle in 1:53.47, better than nine seconds quicker than teammate Thompson, who finished second. Slane also capture the 500-freestyle in 5:09.51 with teammate Mandli taking second in 5:27.81.
Senior Truitt Landolt was the winner of the 100-freestyle as he led a one-two-three McFarland sweep in the race. Landolt’s winning time was 51.49 with Thompson finishing second and Zabawa taking third.
Kreft also provided the Spartans with a win in the 100-butterfly as his time of 55.50 was one second quicker than Jacob Laux of the Thunderbirds.
McFarland’s other wins came in the 200- and 400-freestyle relay races. Schulz, Truitt Landolt, Zabawa and Thompson took the 200 in 1:36.02 and Slane, Kreft, Thompson and Landolt won the 400 with a time of 3:30.40.
Baraboo earned four victories as Aidan Lohr won the 200-individual medley with McFarland’s Truitt Landolt taking second and Thorson third.
Lohr also captured the 100-backstroke with Thorson taking second, Kreft third and Jack O’Connor fourth.
Laux took first in the 100-breaststroke but second, third and fourth places went to McFarland’s Schulz, Mandli and Nathan Dant, respectively.
The Thunderbirds also earned the win in the 200-medley relay.