The season-long winning streak of Muskego's boys swimming team continued on Saturday at a WIAA Division 1 sectional meet, and the Warriors are also set up for a strong finish at this week's state meet.
Muskego won the sectional at Waukesha South with 384 points, easily beating Waukesha North/Kettle Moraine's 313 points, and sent 11 qualifiers to the state meet Saturday at Madison.
"This has been a whirlwind type of year," said head coach Larry Milton, whose team won every meet but one this season. "The kids kept improving and the team kept winning. Now it's a question of how strong can we finish."
The Warriors' state contingent will compete at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Natatorium at 3 p.m. Saturday, hoping for a high team place.
Qualifying for two individual events each were Joe Szczupakiewicz in the 200-yard freestyle and 500 freestyle, Patrick Walsh in the 200 individual medley and 500 freestyle, Jon Roberts in the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle, and Joe Paquette in the 200 IM and 100 butterfly.
Thomas Stigler qualified in the 100 breaststroke to close out the individual entrants for Muskego.
The 200 medley relay team of Szczupakiewicz, Stigler, Walsh and Roberts qualified, as did the 400 freestyle group of Walsh, Allan Prichard, Szczupakiewicz and Roberts.
"The boys swam well," Milton said. "I just wish we could have sneaked a few more through."
The sectional presented its own challenges.
"That meet went quickly," Prichard said, "and there was little time to recover."
The Warriors won five events at the sectional, each by a different individual.
Szczupakiewicz claimed the 500 freestyle at 4 minutes, 38.54 seconds, a full six seconds ahead of teammate Walsh with 4:44.7. Szczupakiewicz will hold the top seed in the event at state.
"Joe can't wait until the state meet," Milton said. "If he is pushed, he feels he can go faster than 4:38."
Other winners were Walsh in the 200 IM with 1:58.01, Roberts in the 50 freestyle at 21.59 seconds, Paquette in the 100 butterfly with 54.29, and the 200 medley unit at 1:39.07.
Taking second were Paquette in the 200 IM (2:00.02), Roberts in the 100 freestyle (47.06), and the 400 freestyle team (3:14.99).
Stigler took third in the 200 IM (2:03.52) and 100 breaststroke (1:01.99).
Claiming fourth were diver Liam Klotzbach (292.6 points), Szczupakiewicz in the 200 freestyle (1:44.78), Drew Borland in the 500 freestyle (5:03.68), and the 200 freestyle squad of Paquette, Prichard, Stigler and Clayton Cesarz (1:32.33).
Prichard was fifth in the 100 butterfly (56.24), while sixths were taken by Matt Gilson in the 100 backstroke (56.59) and Cesarz in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.04).
Prichard was seventh in the 100 backstroke (57.51) and Tyler Schrank eighth in that event (57.69).
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