Oscar Best

Verona senior Oscar Best set a pool record in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 48.40 seconds in a dual meet against Beloit Memorial on Friday, Dec. 3, in Verona.

The Verona Area/Mount Horeb boys swim team, ranked No. 3 in the Division 1 Wisconsin Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association, did something no other team for the Wildcats has done.

Verona Area/Mount Horeb knocked off Middleton 87-83 on the road in a double dual meet on Friday, Jan. 7, at the Middleton/Cross Plains Pool. The Wildcats also defeated Madison East 137-25 in the double dual.

“This is the first time the boys team has ever won a meet at Middleton, which was exciting,” VA/MH coach Bill Wuerger said. “It had been three since our last meet, and four weeks for some swimmers who were sick the week before winter break. For some swimmers, there was some rust after not competing for so long, however we had a few guys drop significant amounts of time.”

The Wildcats came back to finish fifth place at the 26-team Marquette Invitational the next day in Brown Deer.

Homestead captured the team title with 282 points over runner-up and fifth-ranked Brookfield (279.5). The VA/MH team racked up 182 points, 32 points behind fourth-place and No. 2-ranked Sun Prairie and 39 points behind third-place Middleton.

Wuerger said VA/MH set 13 season-best times during the invitational.

“This meet was definitely a step up in competition from what we have seen so far this season,” Wuerger said.

Marquette Invitational

The Wildcats swam to seven top-six times on Saturday, Jan. 8, at the Marquette Invitational.

There were two third-place finishes for VA/MH. Senior Oscar Best finished third in the 100-yard butterfly (52.18 seconds) and the Wildcats’ 200 freestyle relay team of senior Luke Bennin, Best, senior Nathan Rozeboom and senior Max McCartney took third with a time of 1 minute, 27.59 seconds.

Bennin teamed with Rozeboom, Best and McCartney to take fourth in the 200 medley relay (1:37.05). Rozeboom finished fourth in the 100 breaststroke (54.60) and placed ninth in the 200 individual medley (2:045.92). Bennin added a sixth-place finish in the 100 breaststroke (1:00.39).

McCartney swam to two sixth-place finishes in the 100 free (47.92) and 200 free (1:48.23). Best placed sixth in the 100 backstroke (54.60). Senior Avery Blas took 10th in the 200 IM (2:05.45) and posted an 11th-place finish in the 100 breaststroke (1:03.61). Bennin placed 12th in the 50 free (22.73) and the Wildcats’ 400 free relay team of sophomore Calvin Patton, junior Liam Updegrove, sophomore Caleb Rost and Blas placed 12th (3:31.45).

Verona Area/Mount Horeb 87, Middleton 83

Verona Area/Mount Horeb 137, Madison East 25

Bennin was part of two first-place finishes to lead VA/MH to a double dual meet sweep of both Middleton and Madison East Jan. 7, in Middleton.

The Wildcats swept the top two spots in the 100 breaststroke to take a six-point lead over the Cardinals. Bennin won the 100 breaststroke in a time of 1:00.63 and took second in the 50 free (22.68). Freshman Grayson Neumann took second in the same event (1:04.37).

Bennin teamed with Rozeboom, Best and Rost to win the 200 medley relay (1:40.11). Best won the 100 butterfly (52.91) and took second in the 100 backstroke (56.04).

McCartney finished first in the 100 free (49.79) and took second in the 200 free (1:47.11), 0.7 of a second behind Middleton’s Venden Berge. The Wildcats had three of the top four finishers in the 200 free. McCartney finished second (1:47.11), 0.7 of a second behind Berge. Updegrove took third in the same event (1:58.28) and Patton placed fourth (1:59.02).

Finishing second and third in the 400 free relay sealed the victory for VA/MH. The Wildcats’ 400 free relay team of Calvin Patton, Liam Updegrove, Avery Blas and McCartney took second (3:27.53) and the 400 B relay team of Rost, Landyn Drapp, George Roythamer and Angus Best placed third (3:32.86).

Wuerger said a key was the Wildcats’ three B relays finishing ahead of the Cardinals’ B relays.

Bennin teamed with Best, Rozeboom and McCartney to take second in the 200 free relay (1:28.50), 0.31 of a second behind Middleton. The VA/MH B 200 free relay team of Angus Best, Updegrove, Rost and Max Jones placed third (1:35.78).

Rozeboom added a third-place finish in the 200 IM (2:05.83) and a third place in the 100 fly (54.86). Blas added a third-place finish in the 500 free (5:22.35).

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