Racine County high school boys swimmers were shut out of the winners’ circle Saturday at the WIAA Division 1 Kenosha Tremper Sectional, but a few did well enough to swim next Saturday.
Burlington Co-op senior Bailey Bleser had the best day for swimmers on county teams, taking second twice and adding a third and a fourth place in the 11-team meet held at the Lakeview RecPlex in Pleasant Prairie.
Behind Bleser, who qualified for the WIAA State Championships in the 200-yard individual medley, Burlington Co-op finished fifth with 206 points to lead county teams. Case was sixth (205), Park was eighth (138) and Horlick was 10th (105).
Franklin won the sectional with 430 points and Badger Co-op was second with 307.
Two swimmers from Wind Lake, Ben Gabbey and Adam Fisher of Muskego High School, also qualified for state.
Bleser, a Catholic Central senior, was the only swimming qualifier among county teams.
In the 200 IM, Bleser dropped 3.5 seconds from his seed time to finish second in a lifetime-best 2:01.05. Franklin junior Will Lennertz won the race in 1:59.02.
Bleser led Lennertz by 0.19 seconds after the second (backstroke) leg of the IM, but Lennertz regained a 0.52-second lead after the third (breaststroke) leg.
“He swam well,” Burlington Co-op coach Jake Hanson said of Bleser. “He was not as tired as he was last week (at the Southern Lakes Conference Meet).”
The Demons just missed earning a state berth in two Bleser-led relays.
The second-place 200-yard freestyle relay of Bleser, junior Ethan Brannen, sophomore Jimmy Keeker and junior EJ Wright finished in 1:43.15 (the cutoff was 1:42.67), and the third-place 200 freestyle relay of Bleser, Wright, sophomore Zach Olstinske and Keeker finished in 1:32.57 (the cutoff was 1:31.95).
Bleser finished fourth in the 100 freestyle in 49.73 seconds (the cutoff was 49.07).
As a whole, virtually all the Demons had lifetime bests and Hanson especially praised his seniors.
“There were all-time PRs across the board,” Hanson said. “I couldn’t be more proud of them — they had their heads in the right places, they had the correct amount of rest and it went the way I thought it would go. The seniors had their last hurrah and they did a heck of a job.”
For Case, the only state qualifier is junior diver Jarek Hanna, who finished fourth in the sectional diving competition Friday at Park.
The Eagles’ swimmers had nine season or lifetime bests at Saturday’s meet, led by junior Drew Esson. He had the top finish for Case, taking third in the 100 butterfly in a lifetime-best 56.69 and he also had a lifetime best in the 200 freestyle (seventh, 1:57.70).
Senior Mitchell Krien had a lifetime-best 23.07 in the 50 freestyle to finish sixth.
Park’s top finish was fifth by freshman Josh Abel in the 100 butterfly in a lifetime-best 58.06, putting him within 0.43 seconds of 10th place all-time at Park. Abel also was seventh in the 200 IM (lifetime-best 2:14.00).
Overall, the Panthers had 26 personal bests out of 28 total swims and beat Kenosha Bradford and Horlick, teams Park lost to during the season.
“We were eighth of 11 teams with just 10 swimmers,” Park coach Pete Leslie said. “We had great swims and overall I was pleased.
The top finish for Horlick was fourth by junior Scotty Palmer in the 100 breaststroke (1:04.98).
• At the Waukesha South Sectional, Gabbey qualified in four events and Fisher qualified in two.
Gabbey won the 100 breaststroke in 58.87. He also qualified in the 200 individual medley and in the Warriors' 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays. Fisher qualified in the 100 backstroke and the 400 freestyle relay.
WIAA Division 1 Kenosha Tremper Sectional
At Lakeview RecPlex, Pleasant Prairie
TEAM SCORES: Franklin 430. 2. Badger Co-op 307. 3. Indian Trail 247. 4. Oak Creek 207. 5. Burlington Co-op 206. 6. Case 205. 7. Tremper 191. 8. Park 138. 9. Bradford/Reuther 135. 10. Horlick 105. 11. Milw. Reagan/South 40.
200-yard medley relay — 1. Franklin 1:40.24. 2. Burlington (Bailey Bleser, Ethan Brannen, Jimmy Keeker, EJ Wright) 1:43.15. 200 freestyle — 1. Johnson, IT, 1:47.13. 200 individual medley — 1. Lennertz, Frank, 1:59.02. 2. Bleser, Bur, 2:01. 05. 50 freestyle — 1. Kostrzewa, Frank, 21.79. 6. Mitchell Krien, Case, 23.07. 100 butterfly — 1. Lennertz, Frank, 52.36. 3. Drew Esson, Case, 56.69. 4. Keeker, Bur, 56.70, 5. Josh Abel, Park, 58.06. 100 freestyle — 1. Kostrzewa, Frank, 47.38. 4. Bleser, Bur, 49.73. 500 freestyle — 1. Johnson, IT, 4:55.16. 200 freestyle relay — 1. Franklin 1:30.53. 3. Burlington (Bleser, Wright, Zach Olstinske, Keeker) 1:32.57. 5. Case (Esson, Eric Joiner, Ryan Hart, Krien) 1:35.41. 100 backstroke — 1. Craig, Frank, 53.15. 100 breaststroke — 1. Gardner, Frank, 1:01.73. 4. Scott Palmer, Hor, 1:04.98. 400 freestyle relay — 1. Franklin 3:17.63. 6. Case (Esson, Hart, Maxwell Hidde, Krien) 3:35.57.