The holiday break did nothing to slow the Sauk Prairie co-op boys swim team.
The Eagles continued their breakout season with a 115-55 Badger North Conference dual-meet win over host Baraboo on Tuesday at Jack Young Middle School.
“We’re tired,” Eagles coach Todd Wuerger said. “I would say that these last two weeks, particularly the holiday week, were not easy weeks. We’re working really hard. ... We’re not doing any short-term rests for any of these meets. They’re all important meets, but it’s really important to train through them. When you’re swimming tired, it’s just going to make the end of the season that much better.”
“I think we swam well tonight,” Baraboo coach Chris Lemke said. “We’ve got some kids that are dropping some times still. ... They’re doing everything we ask them to do. They’re believing in the work. We’ll keep pushing them for another couple of weeks. For about two more weeks we’ll push hard, then we’ll kind of go into our peak part of it and maintain and then we’ll kind of get into our taper at the end of January.”
Sauk Prairie won seven of the 11 events on Tuesday, including all three relays.
“We’re very blessed this year with a lot of talent and a lot of depth, so we’re taking advantage of it,” Wuerger said. “You can mix things up and balance out your lineup. It’s fun.”
The Eagles got the meet started with a win as Ayden Frey, Slater Fitzgerald, Reese Drager and Allan Brickl touched the wall in 1 minute, 43.25 seconds to win the 200-yard medley relay.
Ben Chao, Brickl, Adam Stecker and Reese Drager won the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:34.19, while Chao, Payton Fandrich, Erik Bauman and Desmon Sachtjen won the 400-yard freestyle relay in 3:29.88.
“We’re still looking at our relays, doing a couple different lineups tonight,” Lemke said. “Just seeing what’s the best chemistry for us right now. We’ve got 14 guys that are really working hard and trying to find the chemistry across the board so that we can fill all the events.”
Chao claimed the 200-yard freestyle in 1:54.22, just beating out Baraboo’s Josh Hackbarth (1:56.12). Hackbarth added a win of his own when he claimed the 100-yard freestyle in 52.09 seconds, out-touching Fandrich (:52.35).
Drager won the 500-yard freestyle in 5:18.59, while Sachtjen won the 100-yard butterfly (:53.31) and the 50-yard freestyle (:22.88).
Aidan Lohr won a pair of individual events for Baraboo, claiming the 200-yard individual medley (2:04.16) and the 100-yard backstroke (:55.86).
Baraboo’s final win came when Jacob Laux came from behind to win the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:06.27 ahead of Sauk Prairie’s Jake Guentherman (1:06.31) and Fitzgerland (1:08.82).
“Jacob Laux, that was an awesome race, that breaststroke, coming from behind and sticking with it,” Lemke said. “We talk to the boys all the time about swimming in that uncomfortable area, pushing ourselves hard and not backing off. That was a great example of what he did tonight. He pushed through, he knew where he was at and he knew what he needed to do.”
Baraboo will compete in an eight-team invitational in Stoughton on Saturday, while Sauk Prairie will be among more than 20 teams competing in Saturday’s invitational at Schroeder YMCA Aquatic Center in Brown Deer.
“We’re going now into the competitive part of our season,” Lemke said. “We’re doing well, we’re right where we need to be.”
“Their eyes are on the big prize at the end of the year,” Wuerger said, noting that the Eagles are looking to defend their Badger North title and improve on last year’s ninth-place finish at the WIAA Division 1 state meet. “These meets right now are all important evaluation meets for us, because we have the opportunity to put guys in different races and give them a night off from the races that they do a lot of. It gives us a chance to take some different looks. It’s always at this point of the season that you discover something that you never knew might exist.”