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WIAA Swimming: Hillmen finish strong at state
(From left) Maddie Kieler, Sarah Loring, Elisa Bilderback, Claire Friederick and Melanie Schaefer competed at the WIAA Division 2 girls state swimming and diving championships in Madison.

MADISON — The Platteville/Lancaster girls’ swim team finished the season Friday night with a strong showing at the WIAA Division 2 state championships.

The Hillmen scored 57 points in three events and placed 14th as a team.

Platteville/Lancaster’s 57 points were the most of any Southern Lakes Conference team in the Division 2 field.
Whitewater was 15th with 48 points and Elkhorn was 16th with 40 points.

The meet was won by Shorewood with 255 points, followed by Milton with 217, Grafton with 193, Fort Atkinson with 133.5 and New Berlin Eisenhower rounding out the top 5 with 130.

Lancaster senior Claire Friederick, Platteville/Lancaster’s only individual state qualifier, finished sixth in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 24.70 seconds.

“The 50 was billed in the pre-meet write ups as the most wide open event in the meet,” said Hillmen coach Tom Caccia. “It was a very closely contested event and while Claire didn’t have her best time of the season, I’m thrilled she made it to the medal stand. She truly deserved to be there.”

Friederick then teamed with sophomore Melanie Schaefer, and seniors Elisa Bilderback and Sarah Loring to finish eighth in the 200-yard freestyle relay.

The relay went into the state meet seeded fifth, but even though it cut 0.07 seconds off its sectional time couldn’t move up in the standings and dropped to eighth overall with a time of 1:41.17.

“It takes so much just to get to the meet, if we can even hold our times from sectionals, I’m thrilled,” added Caccia.
The 200 free relay finished only 1.89 seconds out of second.  Less than 5 seconds separated 2nd from 15th place in the event.”

The Hillmen got their revenge in the final event of the meet, the 400-yard feestyle relay with the quartet of Friederick, Schaefer, Loring and junior Maddie Kieler.

The Platteville/Lancaster relay entered the event seeded in 14th place, but took 4.48 seconds off its seed time and broke the varsity team record in the event by 3.94 seconds to swim to a final time of 3:42.85 that earned an eighth-place finish in the event.

“That was a remarkable achievement by that relay,” said Caccia. “Our team swam as well as they could have in that meet and I’m very proud of them. We couldn’t have expected more from them.

“We’ll take a rest and then look at how we’re going to reload for next season.  For now, they all deserve a well earned rest.”

WIAA Division 2
State Championships
(from Friday, Nov. 9 @ Madison)
Top 10 Team scores:
1.Shorewood 255, 2.Milton 217, 3.Grafton 193, 4.Fort Atkinson 133.5, 5.New Berlin Eisenhower 130, 6.DeForest 127, 7.Whitefish Bay 126, 8.Ashwaubenon 122, 9.Sturgeon Bay/Sevastopol 116, 10.McFarland 110...14.Platteville/Lancaster 57.
Platteville/Lancaster state qualifiers
50 freestyle:
6.Friederick (P/L) 24.70. 200 freestyle relay: 8.Pla/Lan (Friederick, Melanie Schaefer, Elisa Bilderback, Sarah Loring) 1:41.17. 400 freestyle relay: 8.Pla/Lan (Loring, Schaefer, Maddie Kieler, Loring) 3:47.63.