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By Jason Nihles, The Platteville Journal
Caroline Gates, Sr., Platteville Summer Swim Team
PLATTEVILLE — Seventeen-year-old Caroline Gates won three individual events and was part of two winning relays to help the Platteville Summer Swim team cap its eight-week season by winning the 9th annual Tom Caccia Platteville Invitational last Saturday at the Platteville Family Aquatic Center.
Gates won the Girls 15–18 200-meter freestyle (2:39.01), the 50 freestyle (31.50), 50 breaststroke (42.40), and was on the winning 200 medley relay (2:33.30) and the 200 freestyle relay (2:12.45). She also finished third in the girls 15–18 50 backstroke (39.10).
Lydia Mack, Elizabeth Pronschinske and Madelyn Sargent teamed with Gates on the two winning Girls 15-18 relays.
Platteville used its superior team depth and home pool advantage to pile up 2,253 points to easily claim the team title ahead of runner-up Sugar River (1,707), Jefferson Area Swim Team (572), Bishops Bay (464) and Monroe Area Swim Team (130).
Swimmers were allowed to compete in four individual events, as well as two relays and a number of Platteville swimmers took advantage of the generous event limits.
Platteville won 35 of the 82 contested events and finished second in 17 other races on the way to the team title.
“This was a fun meet to close the season with,” said Platteville summer swim team coach Matt Wunderlin. “The tweaks we made over the last week or so helped the athletes improve and have some fast swims. It was great to see everyone’s hard work pay off.”
The 2021 season was extra sweet as it was a full return to competitive swimming.
The 2021 summer season was limited to four weeks of team practices, after the 2020 girls’ WIAA high school season and 2020–21 boys WIAA high school season were canceled due to the pandemic.
“For me, and for a lot of the families, this was a great season,” added coach Wunderlin. ‘After not competing for almost two years it was refreshing to get back into a normal rhythm and to be around wonderful people who enjoy this sport.”