The Madison Edgewood girls’ push for a WIAA Division 2 state swimming three-peat took another forward step on Saturday.

The top-ranked Crusaders won seven of 12 events in the Stoughton sectional, sweeping all three relays and crowning a pair of four-event winners to win the title with 400 points.

Crusaders senior Kelly Rodriguez earned the chance to defend her title in the 200 freestyle, winning in 1 minute, 52.97 seconds. She switched this year from the 200 individual medley to the 500 freestyle and won that event in 5:07.18.

Rodriguez also swam on two relay teams that will be back to defend their state titles. The 200 freestyle crew of sophomores Maeve O’Driscoll and DeeDee Walker, junior Kaitlyn Barth and Rodriguez returned intact and won in 1:37.46. The 400 free relay team won in 3:35.18, with Peterson also back from last year.

Senior Jenna Silvestri, who swam for Kohler/Sheboygan Lutheran last year before moving to the area, won the 200 individual medley in 2:06.10 (she took second at state last year), won the 100 breaststroke in 1:06.17 (she tied for the state title last year) and swam on the winning 400 free and 200 medley relay (1:46.09) teams. The medley relay also will return Peterson and O’Driscoll after winning state last year.

McFarland junior Alex Moderski, who won the 50 freestyle last year, won her sectional race in :23.47. She also won the 100 free (:52.06) after taking second in the event in 2016 and setting a Division 2 state-meet record in 2015.

Monona Grove senior Nikki Benedict won diving (445.65 points). Baraboo junior Kirby Tock won the 100 butterfly (:58.11), and Monroe/New Glarus freshman Mekenzie Hammer won the 100 backstroke (:57.80).

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