THE BASICS

What: The 94th annual WIAA state boys swimming and diving championships.

When: Friday and Saturday.

Where: University of Wisconsin Natatorium, 2000 Observatory Drive.

Schedule

Friday (Division 2) — Diving, 2:30 p.m.; swimming, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday (Division 1) — Diving, 10 a.m.; swimming, 3 p.m.

Tickets: Available at the door for $6.

Parking: Friday afternoon, $8 in Lots 36, 57, 58 and 62; meters enforced after 4:30 p.m. After 4:30 p.m. Friday, free in Lots 59, 60, 62 and 64. Saturday, free in Lots 57, 60, 62 and 64; $5 in Ramp 76.

Scoring: The top 16 placewinners in each event score team points, with 20 points going to individual first-place finishers (40 points for relay winners) and working down to one point (two in relays) for 16th place.

On the Web: A live video stream is available on WIAA.TV on a subscription basis ($9.95 per month). Lane assignments, meet history, sectional results and frequently updated state results can be found at https://www.wiaawi.org/Sports/BoysSwimmingDiving.aspx

2017 team champions: In Division 1, Waukesha South/Catholic Memorial snapped Madison Memorial’s string of six consecutive titles. In Division 2, Monona Grove won its third consecutive championship.

Returning individual champs

Division 1

Alex Wowk, Madison Memorial, 100 butterfly; John Acevedo, Waukesha South/Catholic Memorial, 500 freestyle; Ryan Linnihan, Brookfield Central/East, 50 freestyle; Brandon Spencer, Kenosha Tremper, diving (two-time champ); all three relays (Sauk Prairie, 200 medley; Eau Claire Memorial/North, 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle).

Division 2

Ben McDade, Monona Grove, 200 and 500 freestyle (three-time champ in both), Eric Storms, Monona Grove, 100 backstroke (two-time champ); Ben Hayes, Brown Deer/University School, 200 individual medley; all three relays (Monona Grove in all three).

TEAMS TO WATCH

Division 1

According to a “mock meet” conducted by the Wisconsin Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association, comparing sectional performances, top-ranked Madison West comes in as a slight favorite over defending champ Waukesha South/Catholic Memorial (291 points to 260), with Middleton and Madison Memorial close behind. West has 18 individual qualifiers (at least one in every event) and is in all three relays; No. 2-ranked Waukesha has 13 and three. West is seeded to score points in every event but the 50 free and 500 free. The Regents haven’t won a state team title since 1993, but West won 13 championships between 1977 and 1993. Sixth-ranked Middleton and No. 3 Memorial have 17 individual and three relay qualifiers, and both teams have a reputation for exceeding their seeding marks at state. Sauk Prairie, Sun Prairie and Verona/Mount Horeb hope to battle into the top 10.

Division 2

With a superstar senior class, top-ranked and three-time defending champ Monona Grove is a heavy favorite in the “mock meet,” with 299 points to second-ranked Madison Edgewood’s 177 and Ashwaubenon’s 164. Baraboo, Fort Atkinson, McFarland and DeForest could challenge for top-10 finishes. Last year, MG scored 381 points at state; the Division 2 state-meet record is 393 points by Sturgeon Bay/Southern Door in 2005.

INDIVIDUALS TO WATCH

Division 1

Wes Jekel, jr., Madison West: Enters as the top qualifier in the 200-yard individual medley (57.90 seconds) after taking fifth last year. Jekel also was runner-up in the 100 backstroke last year, and is the No. 2 qualifier (:50.65) behind Waukesha South/Catholic Memorial sophomore Jacob Carlson (:50.32) in a loaded field that features Madison Memorial senior Alex Wowk and two other West swimmers (sophomore Isaac Casey and junior Jaden Weiss) among the top eight.

Henry Miller, jr., Madison West: The top returning finisher in last year’s 100 breaststroke (third place) also is the No. 1 qualifier this year (:57.90). Jekel also qualified for the fast heat of the 200 IM, led by Jekel and including Middleton sophomore Nathan Kim and senior Sam Young.

Alex Wowk, sr., Madison Memorial, and Lain Weaver, sr., Madison West: The two will conclude their season-long battle in the 100 butterfly. Wowk won the state championship last year, and enters this year with the fourth-best time (:50.55). Weaver, the state runner-up for the last two years, qualified second (:50.42). The top qualifier is sophomore Kaiser Neverman of the Green Bay Southwest co-op (:50.17), who took third last year.

Michael Draves, sr., Middleton: The Indiana recruit enters with the No. 3 seeding in the 200 freestyle (1:41.64) and the No. 4 seeding in the 500 free (4:39.03). Draves was runner-up in the 500 each of the last two years and took fourth in the 200 last year.

John Acevedo, sr., Waukesha South/Catholic Memorial: Acevedo is back to defend his title in the 500 freestyle and took fifth in 2016. He has this year’s top qualifying time (4:31.46). Acevedo also is the top qualifier in the 200 free (1:40.42) after taking third last year.

Lucas Farrar, sr., Hartland Arrowhead, and Ryan Linnihan, sr., Brookfield Central/East: Farrar enters with the best qualifying time in the 50 free (:20.54) after taking third last year. Linnihan won the 50 free title last year and is seeded third this time (:21.00). Farrar also had the top qualifying time in the 100 free (:44.91), more than a second better than Linnihan (:46.15).

Brandon Spencer, sr., Kenosha Tremper: The two-time diving champion returns with the top qualifying score of 521.15 points.

Madison West and Waukesha North/Catholic Memorial, relays: The three relay races could go a long way toward determining if West holds its No. 1 seeding and wins the state title, or if Waukesha earns an upset repeat title. West is seeded first and Waukesha fifth in the 200 medley relay, with Madison Memorial, Sauk Prairie and Middleton also in the fast heat. In the 200 free relay, Waukesha is seeded first (1:25.21), Memorial second (1:26.87) and West third (1:26.91), and Middleton and Sun Prairie also are in the hot heat. West is seeded first (3:08.40) and Waukesha fourth (3:11.21) in the meet-closing 400 free relay, with Middleton and Memorial also in the fast heat.

Division 2

Ben McDade, sr., Monona Grove: McDade, an Indiana University signee, has history in his sights on Friday. He already has won 11 state titles, and needs to win all four events to break the Division 2 record of 14 set by McFarland’s Ryan O’Donnell from 2009-2012. He is the prohibitive favorite to win his fourth titles in the 200 and 500 freestyles (he holds the Division 2 state-meet record in the 500 free). McDade’s four years of consistent performance and steady improvement will leave him as one of the top competitors in Wisconsin swimming history.

Eric Storms, sr., Monona Grove, and Aidan Lohr, so., Baraboo: Although Storms is the two-time defending state champ in the 100 backstroke, his qualifying mark of :53.70 ranks third in a field led by Lohr (:52.93). Storms also finished second in the 100 butterfly last year, and qualified second this year (:53.56).

Max McHugh, sr., Sturgeon Bay co-op, and Shane Sackett, sr., Monona Grove: McHugh popped a qualifying time of :20.57 in the 50 freestyle, more than 1½ seconds ahead of No. 2 qualifier Sackett (:22.12), last year’s fifth-place finisher. McHugh also is the top qualifier in the 100 backstroke (:53.09).

Jeremiah Mansavage, jr., Fort Atkinson, and Truman teDuits, so., Madison Edgewood: The top qualifier in the 100 freestyle (:48.48), Mansavage will be challenged by fellow Badger South Conference notable teDuits, the No. 2 qualifier (:48.50).

Ben Hayes, sr., Brown Deer/University School: The defending champ in the 200 individual medley (and third-place finisher in 2016) has the top qualifying mark (1:52.57), almost five seconds better than the rest of the field. He’s also the top qualifier in the 100 butterfly (:50.56).

Ben Stitgen, fr., Madison Edgewood: Enters with the top qualifying mark in diving (447.08 points).

Monona Grove and Sturgeon Bay co-op, relays: After winning all three relays last year (and seven of nine over the last three years), Monona Grove is seeded first in the 400 free and second (behind the Sturgeon Bay co-op) in the 200 free and 200 medley relays. Relay events score double, so it’s a certainty that MG coach Kelly Chadesh will aim to maximize the Silver Eagles’ performance in those events, with McDade and Storms expected to compete in the maximum two relays each.

TOP QUALIFIERS

(Based on sectional performances)

Division 1

Diving: Brandon Spencer, sr., Kenosha Tremper, 521.15 points.

50 freestyle: Lucas Farrar, sr., Hartland Arrowhead, 20.54 seconds.

100 free: Lucas Farrar, sr., Hartland Arrowhead, :44.91.

200 free: John Acevedo, sr., Waukesha South/Catholic Memorial, 1:40.22.

500 free: John Acevedo, sr., Waukesha South/Catholic Memorial, 4:31.46.

100 backstroke: Jacob Carlson, so., Waukesha South/Catholic Memorial, :50.32.

100 breakststroke: Henry Miller, jr., Madison West, :57.90.

100 butterfly: Kaiser Neverman, so., Green Bay Southwest co-op, :50.17.

200 individual medley: Wes Jekel, jr., Madison West, 1:53.27.

200 medley relay: Madison West, 1:35.02.

200 freestyle relay: Waukesha South/Catholic Memorial, 1:25.21.

400 freestyle relay: Madison West, 3:08.40.

Division 2

Diving: Ben Stitgen, fr., Madison Edgewood, 447.80.

50 freestyle: Max McHugh, sr., Sturgeon Bay co-op, :20.57.

100 free: Jeremiah Mansavage, jr., Fort Atkinson, :48.48.

200 free: Ben McDade, sr., Monona Grove, 1:42.02.

500 free: Ben McDade, sr., Monona Grove, 4:36.29.

100 backstroke: Max McHugh, sr., Sturgeon Bay co-op, :53.09.

100 breakststroke: Aidan Lohr, so., Baraboo, :52.93.

100 butterfly: Ben Hayes, sr., Brown Deer/University School of Milwaukee, :50.56.

200 individual medley: Ben Hayes, sr., Brown Deer/University School of Milwaukee, 1:52.57.

200 medley relay: Sturgeon Bay co-op, 1:39.61.

200 freestyle relay: Sturgeon Bay co-op, 1:28.99.

400 freestyle relay: Monona Grove, 3:17.64.

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Wisconsin State Journal prep sports editor Art Kabelowsky has traversed the state to cover sports while working for daily papers in Fort Atkinson, Racine, La Crosse, Milwaukee and Baraboo.