The Baraboo High School girls swimming team went neck and neck with Waunakee throughout Friday’s Badger North Conference Championship at Jack Young Middle School, but the Thunderbirds ultimately took second place behind the Warriors.

Baraboo trailed by only half a point going into the final event of the day, the 400-yard freestyle relay. Waunakee took first and fourth while the T-Birds took third and eighth, which gave the Warriors the Badger North crown. While there were a lot of somber faces on the Baraboo team after the meet, head coach Lynn Keeling stayed positive.

“I’m completely happy about the whole meet; conference is never our big meet,” she said. “Our girls swam great times today, better than what we usually do this time of year.”

Baraboo has plenty to be proud of, as the Thunderbirds kicked off the night breaking the conference record in the 200 medley relay. Mackenzie Koehler, Taylor Bradley, Kirby Tock and Hannah Vittengl went on a tear, taking first in 1 minute, 52.92 seconds.

The only other first-place finish came from Bradley, as the junior took first by a 2-second margin in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:09.47. Keeling said she was also happy with Bradley’s fourth-place finish in the 200 IM (2:20.33).

“Taylor had an awesome night,” Keeling said. “Her IM was incredible.”

Other top finishers for Baraboo included Koehler in the 200 free (third, 2:01.91), Tock in the 100 butterfly (second, 59.6), Vittengl (third, 57.3) and Naomi Pelland (fourth, 57.38) in the 100 free, second from Koehler, Danielle Crum, Pelland, and Vittengl in the 200 free relay (1:43.47), fifth from Koehler in the 100 backstroke (1:02.4), fifth from Vittengl in the 100 breast (1:14.89), and third from Pelland, Tock, Eva Frank and Bradley in the 400 free relay (3:50.63).

Baraboo, which trailed 416-416.5 to Waunakee going into the final event, ended up second overall with 470 points while the Warriors recorded 486.5. DeForest took third (381), followed by Sauk Prairie (294), Portage (170), Beaver Dam (131.5), River Valley/Richland Center (129) and Lodi (107).

Follow Chris on Twitter @chris_CNsports

Regional Sports Reporter