WAUKESHA

State Champions!

For the first time in program history the Sun Prairie boys swim team stood head and shoulders above the competition, winning the strange-but-true 2021 WIAA Division 1 State Championship.

When all was said and done, the Cardinals’ 232.5 points outdistanced Greenfield Co-op’s 211 and the remainder of the field at Waukesha South High School Natatorium Saturday.

“It feels incredible,” said Sun Prairie head coach Joel Coyne. “I’m at a loss for words. I have such a sense of pride and admiration for this team for what they’ve been able to accomplish and overcome; we had a goal and pushed through all that.”

The WIAA State Meet was just the third true competition of the season for Sun Prairie, which wasn’t allowed in-game competition until Jan. 23 due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Ben Wiegand led the way once again. The senior was responsible for 111 points with a pair of firsts and two runner-up finishes. And like his head coach, Wiegand was at a loss for words trying to explain the incredible day for Sun Prairie athletics.

“I’m extremely proud of this group of guys,” he said. “My freshman year and even my sophomore year, we never thought this was possible. So to be standing here right now, it’s almost surreal.”

Wiegand, who last season became Sun Prairie’s first-ever state champion in boys swimming, took first in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 44.08 seconds. It came after one of the more shocking races of the day.

Favored to repeat as state champion in the 50 freestyle, Wiegand bettered his own state record with a :19.92 finish. However, when he looked up at the scoreboard he was in second place as Greenfield Co-op Emilio Perez won in a record-shattering time of :19.81.

“It was bittersweet. I’ve been stuck at 20-point (seconds) for a while and I think any other time I would have been ecstatic; I was still excited about the time and I think it was cool we both went under 20,” said Wiegand, who admitted he was a bit stunned at the outcome. “Me and Emilio have both been stuck at 20-point for a while.

“I wasn’t disappointed, I just knew we could’ve used those points.”

Wiegand rebounded in a big way, teaming up with junior Ethan Braatz and seniors Avery Lodahl and J.P. Anhalt to win the 200 freestyle relay in a state-record shattering time of 1:22.69.

Sun Prairie and Wiegand’s night was complete as he teamed with Braatz, senior James Werwie and Anhalt to finish second in the 400 freestyle relay (3:06.39) giving the Cardinals enough points to win the state championship.

“I used that (50 freestyle) performance as fuel,” said Wiegand.

Sun Prairie had many other top-notch performances throughout the day.

The 200 medley relay team of junior Nathan Halbach, Werwie, junior Jonathan Schluesche and Lodahl opened the day with a podium finish, placing fifth in 1:34.54.

The Cardinals were well-represented in the 200 IM. Werwie finished eighth (1:55.36), Schluesche was right on his heels in ninth (1:55.97) and freshman Bennett Braatz finished in a tie for 18th (1:59.56).

Wiegand wasn’t the only SP swimmer to qualify in the 50 freestyle as Ethan Braatz finished seventh (:21.10), Lodahl was 14th (:21.62) and Anhalt placed 19th (:21.84).

And in the 100 freestyle, Ethan Braatz (7th, :46.85), Anhalt (9th, :47.56) and Lodahl (14th-tie, :48.16) followed Wiegand’s state title performance.

Other Sun Prairie state performances included Werwie in the 500 freestyle (7th, 4:43.35), sophomore Jonah Gunnink in the 200 freestyle (14th, 1:47.94), Schluesche in the 100 butterfly (13th, :51.47), Bennett Braatz in the 100 breaststroke (12th, 1:00.09), and in the 100 backstroke Halbach (10th, :51.81), Sullivan (14th, :53.46) and Gunnink (16th, :53.71).

“The swimming community in Sun Prairie has been growing and getting stronger and stronger. There were a lot of coaches and a lot of efforts that went into this. To have our first state championship in our sport means a lot,” said Coyne.

“After the first five races Sun Prairie was in third place, 12 points behind Hartland Arrowhead and eight behind Greenfield Co-op.

State Tournament Notes

Greenfield Co-op’s Emilio Perez set Division 1 state records in both the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly. … Both the Division 1 and Division 2 state meets were held in Waukesha South Natatorium, the first time they were not held at the University of Wisconsin Natatorium since 1966. … The state championship was the 16th in school history for Sun Prairie and first since the softball team’s Division 1 title in 2018. Sun Prairie extended the Big Eight Conference’s winning streak to four state titles. Madison West won in both 2018 and 2019 while Middleton won in 2020.

WIAA DIVISION 1

STATE BOYS SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

Team scores: Sun Prairie 232.5; Greenfield Co-op 211, Arrowhead 192, Waukesha North Co-op 139, Brookfield Central/East 135, Hudson 132, Verona Area/Mount Horeb 112, Sheboygan North 108, uskego 105, Middleton 92, D.C. Everest 84, Badger Co-op 83, Eau Claire Memorial/North 76, Marquette University 73, West Bend East/West 55, Waunakee 53, Homestead 51, Wauwatosa East/West 49, Appleton East/North 47.5, Oak Creek 47, Franklin 37, Neenah 36, Bay Port 33, Racine Case 22, Waukesha South/Catholic Memorial 22, Waukesha West/Mukwonago 22, Kenosha Indian Trail 18, Chippewa Falls/McDonell Central 13, Menomonee Falls Co-op 13, Stevens Point 10, Appleton West/Kimberly 9, Oregon 6, Janesville Craig 5, Hartford Union/Slinger 2.

200 medley relay — 1. Waukesha North Co-op, 1:32.50; 2. Greenfield Co-op, 1:33.14; 3. Arrowhead, 1:33.49; 4. Brookfield Central/East, 1:34.30; 5. Sun Prairie (Halbach, Werwie, Schluesche, Lodahl), 1:34.54; 6 Muskego, 1:35.77.

200 freestyle — 1. Chirafisi, Middleton, 1:39.83; 2. Gandaria, Greenfield Co-op, 1:40.96; 3. Long, Brookfield Central/East, 1:42.11; 4. Hanson, Hudson, 1:42.44; 5. Mayer, D.C. Everest, 1:43.62; 6. Ridlehoover, Appleton North/East, 1:44.46. 14. Gunnink, Sun Prairie, 1:47.94.

200 IM — 1. Lustig, Greenfield Co-op, 1:50.63; 2. Testin, Homestead, 1:53.25; 3. Johnson, Arrowhead, 1:53.29; 4. Ketterling, Oak Creek, 1:54.16; 5. Slonac, Muskego, 1:54.22; 6. Fitzgerald, West Bend East/West, 1:54.75; 8. Werwie, Sun Prairie, 1:55.36; 9. Schluesche, Sun Prairie, 1:55.97; 18-tie. B. Braatz, 1:59.56.

50 freestyle — 1. Perez, Greenfield Co-op, :19.81(r); 2. Wiegand, Sun Prairie, :19.92(r); 3. Hayon, Sheboygan North, :20.19; 4. Meulemans, Wauwatosa East/West, :20.65; 5. Michalek, Waukesha North Co-op, :20.78; 6. Biwer, Eau Claire Memorial/North, :20.91; 7. E. Braatz, Sun Prairie, :21.10; 14. Lodahl, Sun Prairie, :21.62; 19. Anhalt, :21.84.

100 butterfly — 1. Perez, Greenfield Co-op, :47.27(r); 2. Hayon, Sheboygan North, :47.56; 3. Best, Verona Area/Mount Horeb, :48.89; 4. Kostov, Bay Port, :50.47; 5. Ketterling, Oak Creek, :50.64; 6. Millette, Waukesha North Co-op :50.81. 13. Schluesche, Sun Prairie, :51.47.

100 freestyle — 1. Wiegand, Sun Prairie, :44.08; 2. Meulemans, Wauwatosa East/West, :44.83; 3. Michalek, Waukesha North Co-op, :45.53; 4. Gandaria, Greenfield Co-op, :45.69; 5. Craig, Franklin, :46.22; 6. Biwer, Eau Claire Memorial/North, :46.67; 7. E. Braatz, Sun Prairie, :46.85; 9. Anhalt, Sun Prairie, :47.56; 14-tie. Lodahl, Sun Prairie, :48.16.

500 freestyle — 1. Lustig, Greenfield Co-op, 4:30.22; 2. Hanson, Hudson, 4:37.14; 3. Foti, Waukesha West/Mukwonago, 4:40.90; 3. Ridlehoover, Appleton East/North, 4:40.95; 5. Chirafisi, Middleton, 4:41.17; 6. Fitzgerald, West Bend East/West, 4:42.76. 7. Werwie, Sun Prairie, 4:43.35.

200 freestyle relay — 1. Sun Prairie (E. Braatz, Lodahl, Anhalt, Wiegand), 1:22.69(r); 2. Badger Co-op, 1:24.74; 3. Waukesha North Co-op, 1:25.29; 4. Sheboygan North, 1:26.00; 5. Verona Area/Mount Horeb, 1:26.36; 6. Arrowhead, 1:27.07.

100 backstroke — 1. Long, Brookfield Central/East, :49.89; 2. Fisher, Muskego, :50.05; 3. Braunschweig, Arrowhead, :50.26; 4. Anderson, Muskego, :50.65; 5. Herman, Waukesha North Co-op, :50.76; 6. Kostov, Bay Port, :51.15; 10. Halbach, Sun Prairie, :51.81; 14. Sullivan, Sun Prairie, :53.46; 16. Gunnink, :53.71.

100 breaststroke — 1. Miller, Marquette University, :55.97; 2. Miller, Brookfield Central/East, :56.03; 3. Johnson, Arrowhead, :56.29; 4. Rozeboom, Verona Area/Mount Horeb, :58.13; 5. Hanson, Hudson, :58.21; 6. Patti, Greenfield Co-op, :58.43; 12. B. Braatz, Sun Prairie, 1:00.09.

400 freestyle relay — 1. Greenfield Co-op, 3:04.39; 2. Sun Prairie (E. Braatz, Werwie, Anhalt, Wiegand), 3:06.39; 3. Sheboygan North, 3:08.26; 4. Hudson, 3:12.08; 5. Middleton, 3:12.80; 6. Brookfield Central/East, 3:13.14.

(r) state record

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