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Exceeding expectations
Hillmen swimmers finish 14th at state
pla swim state
Platteville/Lancasters state swimming qualifiers were (front, from left) Sam Iselin, Ben Bahr, and Wade Roberts, (back) Brenden Polkinghorn, Jordan Kress, Ryan Heberlein, and Nicholas Volkmann.

     MADISON — The Platteville/Lancaster boys’ swim team entered Friday’s WIAA Division 2 State Championships seeded no higher than 10th in any of their five qualifying events.
     But the Hillmen exceeded expectations several times over.
     Monona Grove (258 points) easily outscored Madison Edgewood (209) and Milton (198) to win the team title.
     The Platteville co-op, which entered the meet seeded 18th, scored 66 team points to finish 14th.
     “We had a simply outstanding meet,” said Hillmen coach Tom Caccia. “I was a little concerned after having such great drops at sectionals. I wasn’t sure we had anything left in the tank, but every swim at state was faster than the times that qualified us.” 
     Platteville/Lancaster’s 200-yard medley relay team of Jordan Kress, Ben Bahr, Sam Iselin, and Brenden Polkinghorn moved from 12th seed to eighth place with a time of 1:43.26. 
     Polkinghorn moved from 10th seed to eighth with a time of 50.11 seconds in the 100 freestyle.
     The 200 freestyle relay team of Ryan Heberlein, Kress, Nicholas Volkmann and Polkinghorn improved its time to 1:31.88, but slipped from the 10th seed to 12th place.
     Bahr also improved his time in the 100 breaststroke to 1:03.63, but fell from the 15th seed to 16th place.
     The 400 freestyle relay team of Heberlein, Wade Roberts, Volkmann, and Polkinghorn improved its time to 3:22.58 and moved from 12th seed to eighth place.
     Both the 200 medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay missed achieving all-state honors by exactly 1.0 second.  The 200 freestyle relay missed by 1.3 seconds. 
     “I could not possibly be happier or more proud of our guys,” added Caccia. “Every swimmer we had in the meet placed in the top eight somewhere in the meet.
     “In a meet as competitive as this one was, coming from a sectional as strong as ours is, to expect more than our guys did would be unrealistic. They exceeded every expectation I had of them back in November here at the state meet and throughout the season. Our communities have a lot to be proud of with this bunch. I’m certainly going to miss our graduating seniors, but I look forward to our returning swimmers being ready to go again.”
     Kress, Heberlein, Volkmann and Roberts are all seniors.
     Polkinhorn and Bahr are juniors, and Iselin is a sophomore.

WIAA Division 2 State Championships
(from Friday, Feb. 15 @ UW Natatorium)
Top 5 Team Scores: 1.Monona Grove 258, 2.Edgewood 209, 3.Milton 198, 4.McFarland 190.5, 5.Fort Atkinson 159, 6.Grafton 156, 7.Shorewood 126, 8.Whitefish Bay 103, 9.Plymouth 98.5, 10.Sauk Prairie/Wisconsin Heights 98.... 14.Platteville/Lancaster 66.

Platteville/Lancaster’s state qualifiers
200 medley relay — 8.Pla/Lan (Jordan Kress, Ben Bahr, Sam Iselin, Brenden Polkinghorn) 1:43.26. 100 freestyle — 8.Polkinghorn (P/L) 50.11. 200 freestyle relay — 12.Pla/Lan (Ryan Heberlein, Kress, Nicholas Volkmann, Polkinghorn) 1:31.88. 100 breaststroke — 16.Bahr (P/L) 1:03.63. 400 freestyle — 8.Pla/Lan (Heberlein, Wade Roberts, Volkmann, Polkinghorn) 3:22.60.