A year ago, two points was all that separated the Waunakee boys’ swim team from the Norskies of DeForest.
The Warriors knew the battle against the Norskies would once again be a close one and came out ready to race in DeForest on Tuesday.
“Every point matters,” said Waunakee’s Captain Tyler Schey. “We had some of the guys that finished fourth or fifth: that’s one or two points DeForest didn’t get.”
Waunakee got big contributions from their depth, particularly in the relay races. Waunakee’s second relay team bested DeForest’s second relay team in each of the three relays, giving the Warriors a significant boost on the scoreboard.
The Warriors started the meet with a big win in the 200 medley relay. The quartet of Luke Kobza, Nolan Wallace, Zach Vinson and Paul Busse beat DeForest’s relay by just a half-second, giving Waunakee the early momentum.
“It gave us the boost we needed,” Schey said of the early win. “It gave us the drive that we can do it.”
Kobza and Busse led the way, each winning a pair of individual events. Kobza took the 100 freestyle (51.31) and 200 freestyle (1:55.96), while Busse won the 200 individual medley (2:07.30) and the 500 freestyle (5:14.75).
Waunakee’s final victory of the day came in the 400 freestyle relay; the team of Kobza, Busse, Vinson and Wallace touched the wall in 3:31.24 to get the win, while Ben Madonia, Elliot Wilcox, Isaac Fliearman and Sean Shrader took third in 4:11.27.
Three Warrior swimmers combined to finish second five times in the meet. Ollie McCook and Vinson each did so twice; McCook in the 200 freestyle (2:02.25) and 100 breaststroke (1:12.15) and Vinson in the 100 butterfly (55.51) and 100 backstroke (54.93). Wallace was the final second-place finisher in the 50 freestyle (23.40).
Sam Calkins, Shrader and Jack Kashuk each tacked on third-place finishes for the Warriors, as well. Calkins took third in the 50 freestyle (25.04), Kashuk in the 100 breaststroke (1:18.33), and Shrader in the 100 freestyle (55.57) and 100 backstroke (1:04.25).
It all added up to a 26-point win for the Warriors as they kept pace in the Badger North.
“That win is critical for our chances at conference champs this year…” added Schey. “We keep shooting for that conference title; that’s our main goal for this season.”
Waunakee’s swimmers will travel to Fond du Lac on Saturday for an invitational meet. Start time at the Fond du Lac Aquatic Center is scheduled for 9 a.m.