By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Eyeing a state run
Madelyn Hammer is the No. 5 seed in the 100-yard freestyle No. 7 seed in the 100 breaststroke heading into the WIAA Division 2 Baraboo sectional Saturday. (Times file photo: Anthony Wahl)
MONROE - Maddie Hammer along with several other Monroe-New Glarus girls swimming team members are knocking on the door for state.

Hammer enters the WIAA Division 2 Baraboo sectional at 1 p.m. Saturday on the cusp of qualifying for state as a freshman. She will swim the 100-yard freestyle and 100 breaststroke and is about one second away from the state cut times from last year in both individual events.

"She (Hammer) has swam the 200 IM at about every dual meet," Monroe-New Glarus coach Linda Moser said. "She had a decision to make whether she wanted to stick with the 200 IM or go for the 100 freestyle. Our motto all year is we are going to practice and swim like we are going to state. We are going in knowing we are close to the state cuts from last year. It changes every year."

The Baraboo sectional includes four of the state's top six ranked teams. DeForest is ranked No. 2 in the Wisconsin Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association state poll and Madison Edgewood is No. 3. McFarland (No. 5) and River Valley (No. 6) are expected to contend for a sectional team title. The sectional champion in each event receives an automatic state berth. The next 12 fastest times in the state in each event also qualify for state.

The Monroe-New Glarus swim team has tapered for the sectional. Hammer is seeded fifth in the 100 freestyle (56.72) and seventh in the 100 breaststroke (1:11.15). The top seed in the 100 freestyle is Monona Grove senior Alyssa Roehr (55.20) and the top seed in the 100 breaststroke is McFarland junior Sara Hagen (1:06.40). Hagen also has the top time in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.40) by about three seconds over River Valley senior Jamie Ring.

The Cheesemakers' 200 medley relay team of junior Abby Oudinot, Hammer, Anna Wolf and junior Anna Meritt is seeded ninth and is about 3.5 seconds away from making last year's state cut.

"I believe in the girls," Moser said. "I think that they can do it. You have to go in with the mindset that you will swim your very best. We have been more competitive in our conference in the medley relay. We have held our own. That is a good indication because we have a tough conference. As much as we whine about how tough our conference is, it prepares us for the sectional because of the competition we have seen all year long."

Madison Edgewood freshman Kelly Rodriguez is the No. 1 seed in the 200 freestyle (1:57.26) and in the 500 freestyle (5:15.51). Monroe sophomore Syklar Lassen is the 16th seed in the 100 backstroke (1:07.67) and the 20th seed in the 100 freestyle (59.66). The top seed in the 100 backstroke is Baraboo senior Katie Coughlin (59.69).

"I think we are going in knowing that we can be competitive," Moser said. "It's important for the girls to have that in their heads."

The first year of the cooperative team for Monroe and New Glarus has been a positive.

"I have seen 14 girls come from two different schools," Moser said. "You would never know that they don't go to the same school. It has been a great thing to watch."

It's something Moser would like to continue for another week at the state meet Friday, Nov. 14 at the University of Wisconsin's Natatorium.

"They are all nervous for the right reasons," Moser said. "I think if we don't make it to state with the group we have we are only building to get stronger."