MIDDLETON — The Sun Prairie boys swim team has been riding a huge wave of success this season, but that wave was a bit wiped out following Friday’s loss to Middleton.
The top-ranked SP Cardinals dropped a 94.5-85.5 decision to the No. 3 host Cardinals, suffering their first defeat of the season in the Big Eight Conference tripledual.
Sun Prairie was able to salvage one win, beating Janesville Parker, 137-33. Middleton also topped the Vikings, 139-31.
“It stings a little bit,” said Sun Prairie head coach Joel Coyne. “We knew ahead of time that they have both top speed and depth: I think we saw both.”
Coming into the weekend Sun Prairie had won all four of its Big Eight duals and took first in all three invitational it had participated in, drawing the No. 1 ranking in the Wisconsin Swim Coaches Association Division 1 poll.
“We also have some top-speed swimmers, but they were able to take third place in all of the relays and their second-and-third swimmers were always neck-and-neck with our swimmers; any close race they were able to get us,” Coyne said. “It was just their day.”
Ben Wiegand continued to perform at a top level to lead the Cardinals. The junior won the 50-yard freestyle, setting a pool record with a 20.55-second performance.
Wiegand also won the 100 breaststroke (:58.21) and anchored both the winning 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams that finished first. Along with Cade Roggenbauer, Jonathan Schluesche and Ethan Braatz Wiegan won the 200 in 1:25.89. He then joined Braatz, Roggenbauer and James Werwie in winning the 400 in 3:11.41.
Roggenbauer and Werwie each earned a pair of runner-up performances. Roggenbauer was second in the 200 freestyle (1:48.26) and 100 freestyle (:48.46), while Werwie finished second in both the 200 IM (1:59.94) and 500 freestyle (4:55.73).
Also placing second were Schluesche (:55.23, 100 butterfly), Braatz (:22.15, 50 freestyle) and Jonah Gunnink (:55.23, 100 backstroke).
The 200 medley relay of Gunnink, Schluesche, Werwie and Braatz also finished second in 1:39.33.
Schluesche (1:04.99, 100 breastroke) and senior Chris Plagge (5:13.55, 500 freestyle) added third-place swims.
“At the end of the season is where we want to be at our best: while Jan. 9 was important, Feb. 22 is more important,” said Coyne.
Sun Prairie returns to the Middleton pool Saturday to compete in the Middleton Invitational at 11 a.m.
Before that the Cardinals host Beloit Memorial Friday in a 5:30 p.m. Big Eight start.