The Milton High School girls swim team may just have the perfect balance of returning firepower and incoming swimmers to make some noise in the 2019 season.
“I feel as if our team will do really well this year, we have some awesome new freshman and swimmers that have returned to swimming this season,” Milton head coach Lindsey Hassenfelt said. “I believe we have a chance to send a couple individuals and a couple relays to state this season.”
The Red Hawks return senior Danielle Cramer, who finished fifth in the 100-yard backstroke at the WIAA Division 1 state meet last year.
Cramer has seemed to pick up where she left off from last year.
In Milton’s first meet of the year, Cramer set the Milton High School pool record and reset her own record in the 100-yard butterfly, clocking in at 57.14 seconds.
“It was a great way to start my senior year,” Cramer said. “After swimming in the 200 IM last year, I’m excited to be able to swim the 100 fly this year. It has become one of my favorite events.”
“Going into season Dani set some great goals, and with outstanding results from last season she ended on a high note. To see her start on an even higher note right at the beginning of the season makes me so excited for every meet to come,” Hassenfelt said.
Cramer also placed first in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 58.21.
“I feel like Danielle is ready to make this her best season yet. She has been working extremely hard in and out of the pool this past year, and came ready to rock and roll,” Hassenfelt said.
“I think there’s always things I can improve on, but I was really happy with what my times were this early in the season,” Cramer said.
While Cramer impressed in her return to the pool, freshman Bailey Ratzburg impressed in her debut.
Like Cramer, Ratzburg notched two-first place finishes in the Red Hawks’ first meet of the season.
The freshman won the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard breaststroke with times of 2:09.36 and 1:08.71, respectively.
“I was really impressed with the way Bailey swam Tuesday night,” Hassenfelt said. “I was even more impressed when I looked up at that scoreboard and saw those splits in that final time for each of her events.”
Ratzburg’s was only five seconds short of Bridgette Alexander’s 200-yard individual medley record. Alexander, a former Red Hawk and University of Kentucky swimmer, is currently training for the Olympic Trials.
“Bailey is a great racer and she had an awesome first high school meet,” Cramer said. “She kept her cool against the tough Edgewood competition.”
Senior Caroline Burki, junior Ellie Parker and sophomore Azia Koser return to the Red Hawk roster after the trio swam with Cramer in the 400-yard freestyle relay last year at the state meet.
The four girls teamed up in the same event on Tuesday against Edgewood, finishing with a time of 3:42.91, less than three seconds off the first-place pace.
Burki (57.91) and Koser (5:38.94) both claimed third-place finishes in the first meet of the season in the 100-yard freestyle and 500-yard freestyle, respectively.
Parker had two third-place finishes Tuesday. One in the 200-yard freestyle (2:03.56) and the other in the 50-yard freestyle (26.74).
Koser, Burki, Parker and Jade Fladhammer teamed up for a second-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:47.34.
Cramer, Ratzburg, Koser and Burki had the same placement in the 200-yard medley relay with a 1:53.11.
As far as goals for the season, Hassenfelt said she hopes the Red Hawks can finish third in the Badger South and also wants to send more individuals and relays back to the state meet.
“The first meet that we have had was amazing. As a coach, our first meeting was so impressive and set a high standard for the rest of the season,” Hassenfelt said. “We had so many personal best records and girls reaching their goals that they set for the entire season. These girls are our goal driven and want to succeed. They continue to impress me every day in practice, and will throughout the entire season.”
The first meet of the season was the Red Hawks first since the Milton High School pool renovations.
“It has been so nice to have our pool back and ready for action ever since the first day,” Hassenfelt said. “The pool has a new positive energy to it that it didn’t have before.”
The Red Hawks hosted Monroe in the redone Milton pool on Tuesday, Sept. 3, but results were not available by publication time.
Milton will swim in the Badger South Conference Relays Thursday, Sept. 5, at Stoughton High School at 6 p.m.