MADISON — In his third and final trip to the WIAA Division 2 boys swimming state championships Brenden Polkinghorn led a healthy and talented contingent from Platteville/Lancaster to an 11th place team finish Friday night at the UW Natatorium in Madison.
Polkinghorn and company scored 70 team points in five events. Madison Edgewood claimed the D2 title with 294 points after a runner-up finish a year ago.
“Doing so well at the state meet was the icing on the cake of an amazing season,” said Hillmen first-year head coach Matt Wunderlin. “I’m really proud of all the athletes and how they strove everyday to just improve a little bit. It added up to big things for us.”
Polkinghorn captured a pair of individual medals in the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard freestyle, and just missed out on a third with the 200-yard medley relay.
The Lancaster senior won a silver medal and 17 team points in the 100 free with a season-best 1:42.69, a second behind state champion Jay Hansen of Beaver Dam (47.44).
Earlier in the meet he claimed the bronze medal and 16 team points with a third-place showing in the 50 free (22.05).
Polkinghorn’s state meet began with a seventh-place finish in the medley relay. He was joined by Plattteville senior Ben Bahr, a two-year state qualifier, Platteville junior Sam Iselin and Lancaster sophomore Jack Schaeffer.
The quartet earned 24 team points swimming to a 1:42.69 finish and missed out on the medal stand by 1.03 seconds.
Polkinghorn, Bahr, Iselin and Lancaster junior Ben Smith scored 12 team points with an 11th place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:33.59).
Iselin picked up a point with a 16th place finish in the 100-yard butterfly (57.35).
Platteville senior David Drefcinski and freshman Dan Iselin accompanined their Hillmen teammates Friday as alternates.
“Swimming truly is a team sport where the guys in the back push the guys in the front to improve,” said Wunderlin. “I think Brenden, Sam, Ben Bahr, Jack, Ben Smith, Dan and David would agree that it was every swimmer on the team that made their successes possible.”
“For me, I couldn’t have written a better story for my first year of coaching,” added Wunderlin. “Coach Caccia’s legacy continues through these athletes and the underdog to success tale that seems to define Platteville/Lancaster swimming.”
WIAA Division 2 State Championships
(from Friday, Feb. 21 @ Madison)
Top 10 team scores — 1.Edgewood 294, 2.McFarland 242, 3.Monona Grove 224, 4.Shorewood 205, 5.Ashwaubenon 139, 6.Sauk Prairie/Wisconsin Heights 113, 7.DeForest 104, 8.Whitewater 88, 9.Lakeland 81, 10.Whitefish Bay 80, 11.Platteville/Lancaster 70.
Platteville/Lancaster’s state qualifiers
200 medley relay — 7.Pla/Lan (Jack Schaffer, Ben Bahr, Sam Iselin, Brenden Polkinghorn) 1:42.69. 50 freestyle — 3.Polkinghorn (P/L) 22.05. 100 butterfly — 16.S. Iselin (P/L) 57.35. 100 freestyle — 2.Polkinghorn (P/L) 47.44. 200 freestyle relay — 11.Pla/Lan (Polkinghorn, Bahr, S. Iselin, Ben Smith) 1:33.59.