Monona Grove junior Ben McDade already had been to the top of the podium twice Friday night.
But he was looking for a fast time — the fastest time, actually — when he hit the water in the 500-yard freestyle at the WIAA Division 2 boys state swimming and diving meet at the University of Wisconsin Natatorium.
History was made when McDade shattered his own Division 2 state-meet record in the 500 in 4 minutes, 28.83 seconds — a time faster than the existing Division 1 mark.
In winning the 500 for the third consecutive year, he beat his Division 2 standard of 4:30.12, which he set last year. The Division 1 mark is 4:28.98, held by Hartland Arrowhead’s Ryan Hansen.
“It felt really good, especially after the first two races,” McDade said immediately after the 500.
McDade also earned the 200 freestyle title for the third straight year and was part of two winning relays, leading Monona Grove to its third consecutive Division 2 championship and fourth in the past five years. The Silver Eagles swept the three relays, junior Eric Storms defended his title in the 100 backstroke and senior Henry Carman was the diving champion after three state runner-up finishes.
“It is such a blessing,” Storms said about winning the team title every year he’s been in high school. “To not know anything else is amazing.”
In dominating fashion and in front of a boisterous MG cheering section, the Silver Eagles accumulated 381 points — the second-highest team score in meet history. Ashwaubenon was second with 232, Grafton had 208 and Madison Edgewood finished fourth with 174.
“We had some fantastic relay swims,” Monona Grove coach Kelly Chadesh said. “They dropped amazing amounts of times. I know there were some swimmers disappointed with (just missing state records), but they should be really proud. Their performances were phenomenal.”
McDade swam in the Silver Eagles’ victorious opening 200 medley relay, then defended his title in the next event, the 200 free.
Storms, McDade, senior Connor Keith and junior Shane Sackett won the 200 medley relay in 1:33.82, missing McFarland’s 2012 state-meet record by one hundredth of a second.
McDade then finished first in the 200 in 1:39.67, ahead of runner-up Sean O’Connor of Grafton (1:40.92).
“It’s a pretty quick turnaround from the medley relay to the (200) free, but I feel pretty good,” McDade said after the 200 freestyle. “It’s kind of disappointing (to just miss the state record in the relay) because that’s something we were looking forward to all year. But it’s all right. A hundredth doesn’t mean anything. We can say we are as fast as them.”
Storms won the 100 backstroke in :50.99, finishing just ahead of runner-up Philip Fochios of Edgewood (:51.02). McFarland senior Noah Schimanski finished fourth ( :53.04).
“It wasn’t the time I was looking for, but being on top of the podium feels great,” Storms said. “Phil dropped a lot of time. … It was a great race.”
Monona Grove’s Sackett, junior Jacob Lippiatt, Keith and senior Erik Doll won the 200 free relay in 1:25.91. Doll, Lippiatt, Storms and McDade cruised to the 400 freestyle relay in 3:08.00.
Carman’s victory in diving was the start of three straight wins for Monona Grove to begin the meet.
The Georgia Tech recruit totaled 568.95 points, easily outdistancing Cudahy senior Spencer Peronto, who had 486.25.
“It’s really great,” Carman said. “All my work has finally paid off. It’s been a little tough the last three years, coming in second place. But here we are. I’m just glad I have been able to stick with it and finally be able to get to the top of the podium. It feels great.”
Carman’s score was the fifth-best in Division 2 state-meet history and he now holds the third-, fifth- and seventh-best totals.
“I was trying to enjoy it more than in the past,” he said. “I wanted to live in the moment and have a good time with it.”
O’Connor defended his title in the 100 butterfly, winning in :50.41. Storms was second (:51.02) and Schimanski fourth (:52.09).
Defending 50 freestyle champion Noah Larson, a senior from Baraboo, tied for second this time. Cedarburg senior Will Hobbs won in :21.06, with Larson and Glendale Nicolet’s Riccardo Romersi each second in :21.14. Doll was fourth.
Hobbs also was the 100 freestyle winner in :46.30, ahead of defending champion Larson (:46.90). Doll picked up another fourth.
Ben Hayes of Brown Deer/University School of Milwaukee claimed first in the 200 individual medley in 1:52.43, just ahead of runner-up Ryan Ramminger, a DeForest senior who finished in 1:55.02. Madison Edgewood freshman Truman teDuits was fourth in 1:57.70.
Hayes also won the 100 breaststroke in :57.94, ahead of runner-up Ramminger (:58.62) and third-place finisher teDuits (:59.29).
Edgewood freshman Nate Frucht was fourth in the 500 freestyle won by McDade.