Muskego - Although multiple state championship winners Sami Pochowski and Emma Szczupakiewicz have moved on to college, the Muskego girls swimming team will still enjoy a strong presence at this week's WIAA Division 1 State Meet.
The Warriors will have 11 qualifiers to the state event, which will take place at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Natatorium this Saturday. Diving begins at 10 a.m. and swimming at 3 p.m.
Seniors Megan Liebl and Kristen Kaiser and freshman Katie Taylor all will compete in a pair of individual events, while sophomore Kari Balson will take part in one swimming event and freshman Erin Scholz will participate in diving.
In addition, the Warriors will have swimmers in each of the three relays at state.
All the qualifiers earned their state berths with their performances in a sectional Saturday at Waukesha South.
"Every year, the state meet gets faster," head coach Ed Hallett said. "We have qualified eight individuals and three relays, which in Division 1 swimming, is a great accomplishment."
In fact, the total of 11 entries is just one off the number for last season's team, which featured Pochowski and Szczupakiewicz.
In this year's state meet, Liebl will swim in both the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke, having finished fifth in the sectional with 59.24 seconds in the butterfly and seventh with 59.55 seconds in the backstroke.
Kaiser will take part in the 500 freestyle and 100 backstroke, as she placed eighth in the freestyle with 5 minutes, 15.31 seconds and ninth in the backstroke at 1:00.18.
Taylor will make her state debut in the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke after capturing fourth in the IM at 2:09.84 and fifth in the backstroke with 58.8.
With Taylor, Liebl and Kaiser, the Warriors grabbed three of the top nine places in the backstroke at the sectional.
Balson qualified in the 100 breaststroke by claiming third in the sectional with 1:07.69 and diver Scholz came in third in the sectional with 322.05 points.
All three relay teams finished third in the sectional to advance. The 200 medley relay squad of Kaiser, Balson, Liebl and sophomore Sara Biro finished in 1:49.89, while the 200 freestyle unit of sophomore Jessica Pollack, Balson, Biro and Taylor posted 1:40.21 and the 400 freestyle group of Taylor, Pollack, Liebl and Kaiser notched 3:38.71.
Also at the sectional, Muskego diver Jessie Keiser finished fourth (321.85 points) and Casey Balson seventh in the 100 breaststroke (1:10.48).
The Warriors tallied 266 points for third place as a team, behind only Waukesha South/Mukwonago (396) and Hartland Arrowhead (381).
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