The Verona Area/Mount Horeb boys swimming team broke three school records and two meet records en route to winning the championship of the Beloit Memorial Invitational.
Senior Nathan Rozeboom broke the meet, pool and school records in winning the 100-yard breaststroke. Senior Oscar Best broke his own meet record in the 100 butterfly and set the school record in the 200 fly. Fellow senior Avery Blas broke the school record in the 400 individual medley.
The VA/MH team won six events and clipped Middleton for the team title at the Beloit Memorial Invitational 657-633 on Saturday, Dec. 18, in Beloit.
It was a big week for VA/MH with three meets in five days, which included an 89-81 Big Eight Conference dual meet win over Madison Memorial. It marks the first time in program history that VA/MH has beaten the Spartans in a conference dual meet.
“It was tough on Saturday to bounce back physically and emotionally from the big win the night before, and to swim three meets in five days, but the team worked through it the best they could,” VA/MH coach Bill Wuerger said.
The Wildcats won all 11 events to roll to a 122-34 win over Sauk Prairie/Wisconsin Heights on Tuesday, Dec. 14, at the Verona Area Aquatic Center. The Eagles are coached by Wuerger’s brother, Todd Wuerger.
Wuerger said VA/MH was missing nine swimmers for one or more meets this week due to illness or other conflicts.
“That makes the team’s accomplishments this week even more impressive,” he said.
Beloit Memorial Invite
The Wildcats got the chance to showcase their depth in some of the six college distance events that were added to the lineup of events at the Beloit Memorial Invitational Dec. 18.
Rozeboom won the 200-yard breaststroke and broke the meet, school and pool records in the event with a time of 2 minutes, 14.89 seconds. He finished first in the 100 breaststroke in a meet-record time of 1:01.02.
Best won the 100-yard butterfly in a meet-record time of 52.03 seconds. He took second and broke the school record in the 200 fly (1:56.87).
Blas won the 400 IM in a school-record time of 4:30.65. He also added a second-place finish in the 200 IM (2:06.66). The VA/MH team clipped Middleton for the team title by 24 points.
“I think we will have close meets with them all season long,” Wuerger said of Middleton.
The Wildcats’ 200 freestyle relay team of freshman Grayson Neumann, Rozeboom, sophomore Max Jones and Best won the 200 free relay with a time of 1:31.67.
Blas teamed with junior Liam Updegrove, sophomore Calvin Patton and senior Max McCartney to take second in the 800 free relay (7:42.80). The quartet of freshman Evan Lederer, Rozeboom, Best and McCartney took second in the 400 medley relay (3:42.47), 0.23 of a second behind Badger.
McCartney won the 50 free (22.42) and took third in the 100 free (48.93).
The Wildcats had four of the top five in the 100 breaststroke. After Rozeboom’s record-breaking performance, Neumann took second (1:04.41) and Jones placed fourth (1:06.94) followed by junior Alex Goundrum who finished fifth (1:07.82). Neumann also took third in the 200 breaststroke (2:23.96).
Lederer finished third in the 100 back (1:021.78) and Patton placed third in the 200 free (1:55.90). Sophomore Caleb Rost teamed with Updegrove, Patton and Blas to take third in the 400 free relay (3:34.04).
Updegrove took fourth in the 100 free (52.05) and placed fourth in the 200 free (1:56.80).
Other top-five finishes for the Wildcats came from freshman Hunter Franke taking fifth in the 500 free (5:27.45); Patton finishing fifth in the 100 free (52.65) and Rost placing fifth in the 200 IM (2:16.59).
VA/MH 89, Madison Memorial 81
Both Rozeboom and Best won four events to lead the Wildcats to a Big Eight Conference dual meet win over Madison Memorial Dec. 17, in Madison.
Rozeboom won the 50 free (233.16) and 100 breaststroke (1:00.35). He teamed with Best, Blas and Jones to win the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:39.70. In the 200 free relay, Rozeboom teamed up with Best, Jones and McCartney to take first (1:29.99).
Best finished first in the 100 butterfly (52.06) and also won the 100 backstroke (55.66). McCartney took first in the 100 free (48.67) and won the 200 free (1:48.26).
VA/MH 122, SP/WH 34
The trio of Best, Rozeboom and McCartney had a hand in winning four events in the nonconference dual meet against Sauk Prairie/Wisconsin Heights Dec. 14, at the Verona Area Aquatic Center.
Best won the 200 IM (2:01.92) and took first in the 100 breaststroke (1:04.75). McCartney won both the 50 free (22.54) and 100 free (49.11). Rozeboom finished first in the 200 free (1:49.78) and took first in the 500 free (5:09.75).
Best and McCartney teamed with Blas and Patton to win the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:45.48. In the 200 free relay, Rozeboom and Best teamed with Neumann and Jones to take first (1:32.74). The Wildcats’ 400 free relay team of Patton, Rozeboom, McCartney and Updegrove won the race with a time of 3:24.97.
Neumann added a first-place finish in the 100 butterfly (1:00.22) and Blas won the 100 backstroke (1:00.64).