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Red Hawks break records
Monroe senior Nichole Lattin finished in third place in the 400-meter freestyle with a time of 5 minutes, 26.66 seconds. Milton freshman Chelsea Calhoon took first, finishing in 4:36.01, breaking the pool record.
MONROE - The Cheesemakers closed out their regular season home schedule Tuesday against one of the conference's top teams - Milton.

"We were up against the team that is probably going to win the conference," Monroe head coach Linda Moser said after the Red Hawks knocked of Monroe in a dual, 122-48. "I think we swam really well. They swam their hearts out. Not one single swimmer gave up in that pool."

Milton won 10 of 11 events and set three pool records - the 400-meter individual freestyle, the 100 backstroke and the 400 freestyle relay.

"One of those was an 11-year-old record," Moser said. "They (Milton) swam amazing. I told our girls that when the get in the pool, you need to get out knowing you swam your very best. It doesn't matter what the scoreboard says, all that matters is what's on the clock and what's in your heart."

Senior Leanna Schwartzlow was swimming on Monroe's second-place relay team (4 minutes, 34.36 seconds) when the Red Hawks broke the 400 freestyle relay record (4:09.81).

"It felt good to swim against a really high-ranked team," Schwartzlow said of swimming against Milton's best. "It's exciting knowing that your swimming against some of the best swimmers."

The Milton squad that broke the record included two freshmen and two sophomores. The 100 backstroke mark was set by freshman Bridgette Alexander, who was on the 400 relay team with fellow freshman Chelsea Calhoon, the record breaking in the 400 individual freestyle.

"It's hard to motivate yourself to swim against the very best. These girls did it. They were really close at times," Moser said. "They very easily have said, 'OK, she's five lengths ahead of me, I don't care anymore.' But I never saw that in one single race tonight."

Schwartzlow turned in Monroe's lone victory, winning the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:19.46, three seconds ahead of the next finisher. Schwartzlow also was on three second-place relays - the 400 freestyle, 200 medley relay and 200 freestyle in which Schwartzlow entered the final leg down a body length but caught her opponent, and winning by nearly half of a second.

"It was intense and nerve-racking," she said.

Monroe's next challenge is the Fort Atkinson Invitational Saturday, with the Cheesemakers closing out its dual schedule Oct. 19 at Monona Grove. The Badger Conference meet, scheduled for Oct. 29 at Fort Atkinson, is when the Cheesemakers will look to make a solid impact.

"We're going to be working on getting our splits closer together - your second 25 (meters) has to be as fast as your first 25. You can't go 3, 4 seconds difference and go to where you expect you want to be at the end of the race. They have a lot of potential," Moser said. "There are lots of girls that can step it up. We'll taper a little bit at conference, but we'll wait for sectionals, because that's the make it or break it meet. Conference and sectionals is where we need to put all of our energy and our thoughts in. "

Schwartzlow knows her time in the pool is winding down, but she isn't ready to get out of the water just yet.

"(I'll be) trying to get my times down for conference, sectionals and hopefully state. I'm just hoping for the best that can happen," Schwartzlow said.

Moser knows that the rest of her girls will look to Schwartzlow and sophomore Rachel Root to lead the team in the coming weeks.

"It's hard to come to this pool and swim eight 100s in a row and keep them on a time, but Leanna and Rachel do that. The other girls know they can do that too. It's really kind of a mind game," Moser said. "It's easy to look at the sheet and say, 'I can't do that, I can't swim a 1:30.' But they can. And Leanna and Rachel show them they can do that because they make a 1:20."