The tune-ups are over. The tweaks have been made. The regular season is completed for the Waunakee boys’ swim team.
Waunakee swam in two meets last week. One was a conference dual against McFarland, the other an invite in Middleton.
Despite winning nine of 11 races on Tuesday, Waunakee fell just short of upsetting host McFarland.
“Our team did a lot better than I thought we would. McFarland’s usually super good; we were going in as underdogs,” said Waunakee’s Zach Vinson. “Only losing by two – it still sucks – but being able to get that close was kind of a win in my book.”
Individually, Vinson, Luke Kobza and Paul Busse each won a pair of races. Vinson took the 100 butterfly (54.26) and 100 backstroke (55.49), Kobza won the 200 freestyle (1:53.35) and 100 freestyle (51.18), and Busse took first in the 200 individual medley (2:06.40) and 500 freestyle (5:02.34).
Nolan Wallace was the final Warrior swimmer to win an individual event, placing first in the 50 freestyle with a time of 23.63.
Waunakee also won two of three relays. The 200 medley relay team of Vinson, Wallace, Kobza and Busse took first in 1:43.28, while the same quartet won the 400 freestyle relay in 3:25.44.
McFarland’s depth allowed them to steal points in nearly every race, despite only winning two. Waunakee had just one second-place finish on the day, and recorded only a pair of third-place swims.
Waunakee then headed to Middleton on Saturday for an invitational meet.
Among some of the state’s best competition, the Warriors placed eighth out of 11 teams, scoring a total of 90 points.
“It really shows us what we’re looking at towards sectionals and state,” Vinson said of the competition Waunakee saw in Middleton. “A lot of those teams send at least a couple guys to state each year.”
Vinson and Kobza each recorded a sixth-place finish: Vinson in the 200 individual medley (2:02.59) and Kobza in the 500 freestyle (5:01.52).
Waunakee’s three relays each placed in the top nine. The 200 freestyle relay team of Wallace, Kobza, Vinson and John King took seventh in 1:36.25, the 200 medley relay quartet of Vinson, Wallace, Kobza and Tyler Schey placed eight in 1:45.65, and the 400 freestyle relay group of Vinson, Sean Shrader, Wallace and Kobza took ninth in 3:31.47.
Waunakee will now host Friday’s Badger North Conference Meet.
“My mentality is just to do what I do; I think the other guys on the team are also going to do that,” Vinson said of the team’s mentality heading into the conference meet. “We’ve been working hard.”
Start time at the Waunakee High School Aquatic Center is scheduled for 6 p.m.