BELOIT — Big Eight Conference Champions!
Those words have never been spoken by the Sun Prairie girls swim team … until now.
For the first time in program history the Cardinals won the Big Eight Conference Meet.
“It’s pretty exciting, especially when you know it’s the dual meet and the tournament,” said Sun Prairie head coach Nancy Harms, referring to the Cardinals sweeping the events for the first time. “Those kids came on a mission.”
The Cardinals’ 539 points could not be match as they finished well ahead of Madison West (490) and defending champion Middleton (464.5).
“They have not had a bad meet,” Harms said of her team. “They have come to show what they’re made of … I didn’t see one kid not come with what they’re made of. They were ready to roll.”
Two record-setting performances set the tone.
Junior Janelle Schulz broke the school record in the 200-meter individual medley with a 2 minute, 6.54 second performance. Meanwhile, junior Sophie Fiske broke the Beloit pool record in the 100 freestyle in :51.77.
Schulz and Fiske each had perfect meets, winning two individual titles along with being part of two first-place relay teams. Schulz added the 100 breaststroke title (1:06.44) to her 200 IM championship, while Fiske torpedoed the 50 freestyle field with a winning sprint of :23.94.
Schulz helped Sun Prairie earn its first title of the day joining junior Olivia Sala, senior Cassidy Carey and sophomore Paige Rundahl for the 200 medley relay win. Their time was 1:47.81. Fiske, senior Bree Moericke, Rundahl and senior Hannah Marshall took first in the 200 freestyle relay in 1:38.37.
Schulz and Fiske then teamed up and were joined by Moericke and Marshall to win the 400 freestyle relay in the time of 3:32.62.
The Cardinal have been nothing short of spectacular in sprints, and that continued to be the case Saturday. Following Fiske in the 50 freestyle were Rundahl (3rd, :25.00), freshman Tori Barnet (4th, :25.02) and Moericke (7th, :25.11). In the 100 freestyle, Fiske was followed by Moericke (5th, :54.37), Marshall (6th, :54.44) and Barnet (7th, :54.62).
“We’re always pretty good in sprints, but this year we’re just so well-rounded across the board,” Harms said. “We scored in every event.”
Not only did Sun Prairie sweep all three relay titles, its B relays all managed top-6 finishes. Both the 200 freestyle relay of juniors Brooke Crosby and Ella Gunnink and freshmen Ruthie Pavelski and Barnet (1:40.04) and 400 freestyle relay of Rundahl, Carey, Olivia Sala and junior Grace Sala (3:39.63) placed fourth, while the 200 medley quartet of Grace Sala, Gunnink, Pavelski and Barnet (1:52.36) finished sixth.
“They made a statement,” Harms said.
Sun Prairie will return to the Beloit pool Saturday to participate in the WIAA Division 1 Beloit Sectional. Swimming begins at 1 p.m.
BIG EIGHT MEET
Team scores: Sun Prairie 539, Madison West 490, Middleton 464.5, Madison Memorial 387.5, Verona/Mount Horeb 306, Beloit Memorial 40, Janesville Craig 32, Madison East 26, Janesville Parker/Evansville 22, Madison La Follette 12.