Medford girls swimming coach Anne Berghaus had a good feeling after last week’s Division 2 sectional meet at Stevens Point.
Even through none of her girls finished as sectional champions, the four runner-up finishes — in all three relays and one individual event — gave Berghaus and her girls optimism that they would have some speical qualifers reach the state meet.
The Medford girls didn’t have to wait long to see how its times held up against the rest of the state, as they were informed on the bus ride home that the 200 medley relay made the cut, along with senior Katie Homeyer in the 100 breaststroke. The contingent is the first to compete in the state meet for Medford since 2005.
“I got a call from my husband on the way home and he told me all the qualifing times were up and we made it in two events,” said Burghaus, whose girls will compete tonight in the Division 2 competition at the UW-Natatorium in Madison. “We placed second in all the relays, but I felt our best shot was in the 200 medley.”
Sophomore Mara Schumacher and seniors Abbie Bergman, Alyssa Loertscher and Homeyer make up the state-bound relay team that posted a time of 1 minute, 54.54 seconds at the sectional meet.
That time is good for a 10th seed in the race, while Homeyer is the sixth seed in the 100 breaststroke with a sectional time of 1:08.70.
“This group of seniors has been with me since fifth grade,” Berghaus said. “They came up through the middle school program with me and when the opportunity came up to coach at the high school last year, I took it.
“This was one of their goals, to make it ton the deck at the Nat,” Burghaus added. “The girls were second in the conference this year so this is the icing on the cake.”
Fort Atkinson has the top seed in the 200 medley (1:51.32), while Samantha Senczyszyn of Granfton has the fastest qualifying time in the breaststroke (1:04.51).
With the girls’ seeds, Burghaus is optimistic about the podium chances for her girls.
“Everybody’s goal is to shoot for a sport on the podium and my hope for them is to take in this experience and swim well,” Burghaus said. “Hopefully them move up from their seed times and if they do, anything is possible.”