Caitlyn Hiveley, head coach of the McFarland High School boys swimming team, is looking very optimistically at the Friday Feb. 5 Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Division 2 state tournament at Waukesha South High School. The Spartans finished fourth in team points and sent at least one qualifier to every event in the Jan. 30 sectionals at Baraboo/Fort Atkinson. The top 16 finishers qualify for state.

Hiveley said the team adjusted to modifications in practices due to the restrictions set by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The swimmers performed incredibly well. I was very impressed with how the boys adapted to a different training and having little to no competition all season,” she said. “Almost all swimmers improved their swims from the week prior.”

McFarland’s best finish was in the 200-yard freestyle relay where the foursome of freshmen Luke Morrison and Lyon Hall, senior Luke Mandli and sophomore Patrick Zabawa took third place behind winner Sauk Prairie/Wisconsin Heights and second place Baraboo.

The 400-freestyle relay team of Morrison, junior Ansel Kreft, Mandli and Hall placed fourth behind winner Madison Edgewood, second place Monona Grove and third place Sauk Prairie/Wisconsin Heights.

McFarland grabbed fifth place in the 200-medley relay with senior Michael Thorson, Mandli, Kreft and Zabawa.

In individual events, Hall was third, Thorson sixth and sophomore Elias Landolt eighth in the 200-individual medley, Kreft took fourth in the 100-butterfly and fifth in the 100-backstroke, Mandli was fourth and Landolt 10th in the 100-breaststroke, Morrison finished eighth in the 200-freestyle and Zabawa was seventh in 50-freestyle.

The 100-freestyle included two qualifiers with Zabawa taking 10th and Morrison, 11th while Thorson was fifth and freshman Spencer Phillips took eighth in the 500-freestyle. Other qualifiers include Hall who was eighth and junior Jack O’Connor, 14th, in the 100-backstroke.

Hiveley believes the Spartans will be strong competition at state.

“I can see all of the swimmers moving up in their rankings and have a great end of the season championship meet,” she said.

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