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Falcons best of the rest

Whitnall runner-up to Shorewood at league meet

Nov. 2, 2009

Greenfield — The Woodland Conference swim meet shook out much like first-year Whitnall coach George Guddie expected.

Senior-dominated Shorewood won half of the 12 events en route to 415 points at Shorewood on Friday and Saturday.

And coming in an impressive, yet distant, second was Whitnall, which despite having loads of underclassmen in the starting line, still managed 319 points, well ahead of third-place New Berlin West's 266.

"They have a strong team with six solid seniors," Guddie said of the Shorewood Greyhounds, "and right now, we're so young. We had a lot of freshmen and sophomores at that meet. Overall, I think we did great considering how young our team was."

Youthful beginnings

Whitnall's impressive youth paid immediate dividends when freshman Rachel Stave won diving with 404.70 points, ahead of New Berlin West's Katie Hausmann's 326.10.

"She's placed first in almost every (meet) she competed in this year," Guddie said. "I heard a lot of great things about her before she even started. I didn't know exactly what to expect, but after I saw her in one meet, I was like, 'Wow.' She gets great height and she can nail just about every dive.

"I wouldn't be surprised if she won (state) as a freshman."

Impressive efforts

Stave was one of two Falcons winners at the conference meet. Senior Kate Schubert had an impressive day with a victory in the 100-yard butterfly in 1 minute, 1.23 seconds, edging Shorewood's Ellen Stello's 1:02.00. Schubert also teamed with freshman Sarah Arteaga, junior Sammy Wesel and freshman Lauren Zurowski for second in the 200-medley relay in 1:57.99, was fifth in the 50 free (25.56) and teamed with sophomore Danika Johnson, junior Emma Smith and Wesel for fourth in the 400 free (3:56.61).

Arteaga, another impressive freshman, swam second in the 100 backstroke in 1:13.95, second only to defending 200-yard individual medley state champion Clare Chamberlain of Shorewood (1:06.56), and was fourth in the 200 individual medley in 2:22.96.

Top competition

Chamberlain and fellow state champion Elli Sellinger had a hand in five of the Greyhounds' six event wins.

"We rely on those two girls a lot and they are really equal to the task," Shorewood coach Rob McCabe said. "They know how important it is for the team that they perform and do a good job. They take that onus upon themselves and it really benefits the team."

Also posting top-five swims for Whitnall were Smith in the 200 free (fifth, 2:07.06) and 500 free (fifth; 5:36.77), Wesel in the 100 backstroke (fourth; 1:05.46), Laura Sullivan in the 100 breaststroke (fourth; 1:15.67) and the 200 free relay of Arteaga, Zurowski, Johnson and Rebecca Wigington (fifth; 1:49.09).

Swimming ahead

The Falcons will compete in the 15-team sectional Friday and Saturday. Diving is 5:30 p.m. Friday at Kenosha Bradford; swimming is at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Cudahy. The winners of each event at the sectional qualify for the state meet, as do the next 12 competitors in each event statewide.

Guddie believes Stave, Schubert in both the 100 fly and 50 free, the 200 medley relay, Smith in the 200 and 500 frees and Wesel in the 100 back and 100 fly have the best chances to advance to the state meet.

"The girls are doing really good and are where they should be," Guddie said. "I hope we keep clicking on all four cylinders."

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