BROOKFIELD — For the first time in program history the Sun Prairie girls swim team captured the title at the 2019 Spartan Invitational at Brookfield East.
Behind four first-place swims and a plethora of Top 10 performance, the Cardinals torpedoed the field with 413.5 points, finishing ahead of Big Eight Conference rivals Madison West (2nd, 349). Middleton (3rd, 347) and Verona/Mount Horeb (6th, 247.5).
“Winning the Spartan Invite is very telling for the season,” said Sun Prairie head coach Nancy Harms. “Obviously we beat the state’s powerhouses by over 60 points. Beating Madison West and Middleton in this meet speaks volumes for us and it is always a good feeling to beat the D2 State champions (Edgewood). The team I am most impressed by is Brookfield East. When it comes time for state, I believe they will be the toughest contenders.”
Junior Sophie Fiske had three of those wins. The defending state champion won the 50 freestyle in a new meet and pool record time of 23.67 seconds, and followed that up winning the 100 freestyle in :51.20.
“Sophie Fiske had a great day including breaking her own 50-yard freestyle pool and meet record, and just missed by .01 breaking the 100 free record set by Beata Nelson in 2014,” said Harms.
Fiske then swam anchor leg in Sun Prairie’s winning 400 freestyle relay. Along with Bree Moericke, Hannah Marshall and Janelle Schulz, Fiske swam a 3:31.52 to top the field.
Schulz brought home the other gold medal, winning the 200 IM in 2:08.58. Schulz also finished third in the 100 breastsroke (1:07.69).
“Janelle Schulz is really stepping up her game with her win in the 200 IM and her third-place finish in the breaststroke,” Harms said of the junior.
Freshman Olivia Sala showed her competitive drive by taking second in the 500 free with one of the fastest times in the state at 5:12.84, just 0.2 out of first.
Sun Prairie’s depth was evident in the meet as four of the team’s six relays medaled. The 200 medley team of Sala, Schulz, Cassidy Carey and Tori Barnet finished second in 1:48.70; the 200 freestyle relay of Moericke, Grace Sala, Barnet and Fiske was second in 1:38.78; and the 400 freestyle B relay of Carey, Paige Rundahl, Ruth Pavelski and Grace Sala was sixth in 3:41.98.
“Our depth is huge by scoring 19 of our individual events and scoring all six of our relay entries. These athletes are proving how strong they really are. We have work to do and they have the work ethic to get it done. This should continue to be a great season,” said Harms.
Team scores: Sun Prairie 413.5, Madison West 349, Middleton 347, Madison Edgewood 303, Brookfield East 302, Verona Area/Mount Horeb 247, Brookfield Central 144, Waunakee 103, Homestead 57, Waukesha West 30, Madison Memorial 29.
SUN PRAIRIE 129
JANESVILLE CRAIG 41
Sun Prairie improved to 4-0 in Big Eight Conference duals following yet another impressive win on Friday at home.
The Cardinals took first in all but one event and were first, second and third in three others.
“The Craig dual was an opportunity to get the kids in events they hadn’t swum this season,” said Harms.
Earning firsts were Abbie Krejcha (200 IM, 2:25.52), Sophie Fiske (200 free, 2:00.02), Bree Moericke (50 free, :25:05), Olivia Sala (100 fly, 1:02.43), Janelle Schulz (100 free, :54.11), Tori Barnet (100 back, 1:04.08) and Grace Sala (100 breast, 1:11.87).
All three relays also took first. The 200 medley team of Cassidy Carey, Schulz, Olivia Sala and Barnet won in 1:51.13, the 200 freestyle team of Hannah Marshall, Grace Sala, Carey and Schulz took first in 1:41.42, and the 400 freestyle quartet of Fiske, Ruth Pavelski, Barnet and Olivia Sala outdistanced the field in 3:43.42.
Sun Prairie hosts Verona Friday. The Big Eight Conference dual begins at 5 p.m.
The Cardinals then host the Sun Prairie Invitational on Saturday, beginning at 1 p.m.