WHAT: The 93rd annual WIAA state boys swimming and diving championships.
WHEN: Friday and Saturday.
WHERE: University of Wisconsin Natatorium, 2000 Observatory Drive.
TICKETS: All-day admission is $6. Tickets will be available on-site only.
PARKING: Until 4:30 p.m. Friday, parking costs $8 for the day at Lots 43 and 62. After 4:30 p.m. Friday and all day Saturday, parking is free in Lots 57, 60, 62 and 64 and Ramp 76.
SCHEDULE: Friday — Division 2 diving, 2:30 p.m.; Division 2 swimming, 6:30 p.m. Saturday — Division 1 diving, 10 a.m.; Division 1 swimming, 3 p.m.
ON THE WEB: All events will be streamed live on a subscription basis ($9.95 per month0 by WIAA.TV, a portal of the NFHS Network. Archived streams will be available at no cost 72 hours after the competition. For results, qualifiers, lane assignments, meet history and other data, visit https://www.wiaawi.org/Sports/BoysSwimmingDiving.aspx.
DEFENDING CHAMPIONS: Last year, Madison Memorial won its sixth consecutive Division 1 team title and 16th overall, and Madison West finished second for the fourth straight year. In Division 2, Monona Grove won its second straight title and Shorewood was second.
TEAMS TO WATCH
In a “mock meet” comparison of sectional performances conducted by WISCA.net, top-ranked Waukesha South/Catholic Memorial was a solid favorite to win its first team title since 2010. The Blackshirts have qualifiers in every event except diving. Second-ranked Hartland Arrowhead came in second in the mock meet, followed by fifth-ranked Eau Claire Memorial/North, fourth-ranked Madison West, third-ranked Madison Memorial and seventh-ranked Middleton.
INDIVIDUALS TO WATCH
Paul DeLakis, sr., Eau Claire Memorial/North: The Ohio State recruit has never lost a race at state and seeks a fourth title in the 100-yard breaststroke. Hhe was the top qualifier, with a sectional time of 56.99 seconds. DeLakis also will swim in the 200 individual medley as the top qualifier (1:49.69) — he won the event in 2014 and 2015 and holds the state-meet record, but did not compete in the event last year. He’ll also swim on the top-seeded 200 medley relay (1:26.32).
John Acevedo, jr., Waukesha South/Catholic Memorial: Earned the top seeding in the 200 freestyle (1:40.51) and 500 freestyle (4:33.99) as the Blackshirts qualified 17 of their 18 sectional competitors, plus all three relays. Acevedo also swam on the 200 and 400 freestyle relays, and both enter with the No. 2 seeding (behind Hartland Arrowhead).
Michael Draves, jr., Middleton: Expected to be Acevedo’s top challenger, as last year’s runner-up in the 500 free qualified second this year (4:38.55). Draves also qualified second in the 200 free (1:41.90)..
Shane Blinkman, so., Hudson: Blinkman filled the void opened by DeLakis’ switch last year, winning the 200 individual medley. He returns this year, seeded second (1:54.47). Blinkman also finished second in the 100 backstroke last year and returns this year with the top seeding (:51.26).
Lain Weaver, jr., Madison West: The son of West coach Bill Weaver was the top qualifier in the 100 butterfly (:50.71) and swims on the Regents’ top-seeded 200 medley relay (1:34.75). He just missed on making the final heat (eight fastest qualifiers) in the 50 freestyle.
Lucas Farrar, jr., Hartland Arrowhead: Turned in a blistering time of 21.12 seconds in the sectional 50 freestyle to qualify first by .36 of a second. Also qualified first in the 100 freestyle (:46.64) and swam on the Warhawks’ top-seeded 200 freestyle relay (1:26.94) and 400 free relay (3:11.31).
Brandon Spencer, jr., Kenosha Tremper: The defending champion in diving qualified second this year with 490.85 points, trailing Matt Wilke of Appleton North/East (516.25 points).
Danny Larson, Wauwatosa East/West: The defending champion in the 100 freestyle will be challenged by Farrar after qualifying second (:46.75). Larson also is the third-fastest qualifier in the 200 free (1:43.19).
Madison Memorial, relays: The Spartans have won the last six state titles in the 200 medley relay and the last five titles in the 200 freestyle relay. However, this year’s teams qualified fifth in the 200 medley (1:37.43) and ninth in the 200 free (1:28.86).
TEAMS TO WATCH
With 23 entries and an immense amount of previous state experience and success, coach Kelly Chadesh’s top-ranked Monona Grove team is a heavy favorite on paper. If sectional times hold up at state, Monona Grove would beat projected runner-up Ashwaubenon by almost 100 points. Grafton came in third and a young Madison Edgewood team came in fourth in the mock meet.
INDIVIDUALS TO WATCH
Ben McDade, jr., Monona Grove: He’s the the two-time defending state champion in the 200 freestyle (1:43.15) and 500 freestyle (4:42.13), and he holds the Division 2 state-meet record in the 500 free. McDade has been the gold standard of swimmers in Division 2, just as DeLakis has emerged as the star of Division 1 over the last couple of years.
Eric Storms, jr., Monona Grove: Storms has made steady progress this season to become an elite swimmer, entering with the No. 1 seeding in the 100 butterfly (:51.14) and the 100 backstroke (:51.70).
Noah Larson, sr., Baraboo: Larson played hockey during his first two years of high school, then switched to swimming last year and won state titles in the 50 and 100 freestyle races. The North Dakota football recruit enters seeded first in the 50 free (:21.34) and second in the 100 free (:47.65). Will Hobbs, a senior from Cedarburg, qualified first in the 100 freestyle (:46.86).
Henry Carman, sr., Monona Grove: The diver, state runner-up each of the last two years, was the top qualifier by a healthy margin (563.9 points). He also would have qualified first in Division 1. The next-best qualifier in Division 2 is Cudahy senior Spencer Peronto (535.0).
Sean O’Connor, sr., Grafton: The returning champion in the 100 butterfly returns with the second-best qualifying time (:51.41), behind Storms. O’Connor also qualified second behind McDade in the 200 free (1:45.83).
Ben Hayes, jr., Brown Deer/University School of Milwaukee: Hayes was the top qualifier by wide margins in both the 200 individual medley (1:53.96) and 100 breaststroke (:58.53), after finishing third and second (respectively) in those events last year.
Monona Grove, relays: Chadesh is allowed to recalibrate the relay lineups after sectionals, but it’s notable that McDade did not compete in the sectional 200 freestyle relay even though he is part of a state-record crew in the event. The team of juniors Shane Sackett and Jacob Lippiatt and seniors Connor Keith and Erik Doll qualified first (1:28.43). McDade and Storms each swam on the second-seeded 200 medley relay (1:37.54) and 400 freestyle relay (3:13.91), joined by Keith and Sackett in the medley and Doll and Lippiatt in the 400 free relay. Last year, MG won the 200 and 400 free relays and took second behind Grafton in the 200 medley relay.