Nicolet's Rumbaugh has company as she heads to state
Knights send four entries to Madison
Glendale - Nicolet senior swimmer Christa Rumbaugh is a very social individual.
So when she figured out that she would have company on this, her last trip to the state meet (Gwen Wolrton in the 100 breast stroke and the 200 free relay that Rumbaugh's anchoring), she couldn't help but be pleased.
And then she planned the first thing that will happen when she and her teammates all hit the deck at the UW-Madison Natatorium in Madison on Saturday afternoon.
"We're going to do a cheer," said the 50 and 100 freestyle state qualifier with a laugh.
But then again, she shouldn't be surprised that the Knights turned in a great effort at the WIAA sectional meet in Cedarburg on Saturday and advanced the most people they have had to state in many years.
It's just how this very cohesive and friendly group works.
"We've been working hard to turn this team around," she said, "and this year, we're all on the same page. I like to talk to girls on the other teams and one girl I was talking to noticed this. She said 'I'm jealous of you guys. You really seem to like each other.'
"I told her that we do. And it's funny, because I've never been part of a group like this before."
A group that set four school records, including all three relays and recorded 18 best swims out of 21 efforts.
The WIAA state Division 1 swim meet will be held at the UW-Madison Natatorium on Saturday at 3 p.m.
Rumbaugh is the 17th seed in the 50 free but has a chance for a medal in the 100 free, as she will be in the fast heat as the fourth seed. Worlton is the 24th seed in the breast stroke, while the school record 200 free relay team, which also includes Sarah Zelazoski, Jaime Kloehn and Worlton, will be the 14th seed.
And all that came after a really hard taper, one that had the girls grumbling, coach Dwight Davis said.
"They kept complaining all week that they're sore," he said. "I told them that it doesn't matter what they feel like now, it only matters what they feel like on Saturday."
Which was obviously pretty good.
Nicolet was seventh in the 12-team sectional with 209 points as host Cedarburg won with 389.
Rumbaugh had something of a flat 50 free, taking third in 24.66, but then came back with a vengeance in the 100, winning the race over conference rival Rachel Siebenaller of Germantown and friend Amanda Siehs of Menomonee Falls/Hamilton with a school record 52.52 clocking.
"I mean, I had never beaten Amanda before," Rumbaugh said. "I was ahead at the first 25 and I kept saying 'Common guys, you're going to catch up to me soon' but then I stayed in the lead and then in the last 25 they did catch up to me and by that time my legs were shot but then I surprised myself and held on and beat them."
And she said she was openly "shocked" at the time in the 200 free relay.
"It wasn't even on the radar for awhile, and then we go faster than we ever have before," she said.
Worlton, a freshman, earned her slot in the breast stroke with a fifth place 1:09.91 clocking.
The Knights had one more near-miss as the record-setting 400 free relay of Kloehn, Zelazoski, Grace Wilkie and Rumbaugh, finished fifth in a 12-second drop from its previous best time this season (3:44.06) that was still just 0.67 of a second off qualifying for state.
Davis was extremely pleased.
"This was amazing," he said. "We haven't had this strong a team in ages. We broke all those records and swam so fast. But it was pretty tough this year as we had a lot of kids with shoulder issues so the kids had to work hard to get to this point. They also had to put up with me (laughs)."
Rumbaugh still can't believe her good fortune.
"It's definitely great to be going up with a group like this," she said. "I used to go up there (to state) and sit down by myself or if I was lucky, I'd be able to bring one other person with me, and now look, I'll have to make space on the deck (laughs)."
Other sectional place-winners included the following: diving: Calli Mannion, 15th (214.0 points); 200 medley relay: Wilkie, Worlton, Zelazoski, and Kloehn, sixth (school record 1:54.49); 200 free: Sophia Carlton, 14th (2:11.82); 200 individual medley: Worlton, eighth (2:22.33); Sarah Schoenfeldt, 11th (2:30.89); 50 free: Kloehn, sixth (25.59); 100 butterfly: Zelazoski, eighth (1:04.43); Wilkie, 10th (1:05.77); 100 free: Hannah Sprung, 16th (1:00.35); 500 free: Hannah Keckeisen, 11th (26-second personal best 6:02.33); Elizabeth Carlton, 15th (6:17.51); 100 backstroke: Wilkie, 11th (1:04.6); and, 100 breast stroke: Schoenfeldt.
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