On the strength of six sectional championships, the Grafton girls swimming team looks solid heading into the WIAA Division 2 State Meet.

Overall, the Black Hawks will send six individual qualifiers and two relay teams to the state meet, which is Friday, Nov. 11, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Natatorium.

They qualified through their efforts in a sectional meet Nov. 5 at Plymouth.

Strategies figured

"It was a great weekend for us," coach Tom Miazga said. "We had some tremendous performances and did a wonderful job of representing the hard work and dedication the Grafton team has put in all season.

"We had some great swims by the state qualifiers, none of which were fully rested. This was a great opportunity for us to practice race strategies and determine what needs to be focused on to ensure that we swim at our highest peak on Friday."

Seniors Autumn Haebig and Mallory Fox led the way, each winning two individual events at the sectional to automatically qualify for state.

Haebig advanced in the 500-yard freestyle in 4 minutes, 53.18 seconds and in the 100 backstroke in 55.05 seconds, finishing five seconds ahead of the runnerup in the backstroke.

Fox prevailed in the 50 freestyle with 23.77 seconds and the 100 freestyle in 51.18.

Another senior, Emma O'Brien, also qualified in two events: the 200 individual medley, in which she placed fourth with 2:16.52, and the 100 breaststroke, where she was second in 1:08.79.

Also advancing were Haebig, O'Brien, Fox and sophomore Olivia Konzen in the 200 medley relay with 1:48.33 and the 200 freestyle relay at 1:38.18. Both teams won their events at the sectional meet.

"Needless to say, I am so excited to be part of the last high school meet for these three incredible seniors (Haebig, Fox and O'Brien)," Miazga said. "It's going to be a terrific weekend."

Miazga said the Hawks figure to be a major factor in the state meet.

"I assure you Grafton will not leave the meet silently," he continued. "We currently have three individuals and one relay team seeded first, with two more seeded second. Our other two swims have a great chance to move up quickly. I think we have a great chance to be a top-four team at state."

Also at the sectional, the 400 freestyle team of Maddy Hillner, MacKenzie Kerr, Gabrielle Sparapani and Grace Hahm placed sixth (4:07.77), Sparapani was seventh in the 200 IM (2:31.54), and Konzen was eighth in the 100 freestyle (57.57).

Hawks third

Grafton tallied 259 points for third place in the sectional, which was won by Ashwaubenon with 296 points.

Port Washington also took part in the sectional, scoring 20 points for 14th place.

The highlight for the Pirates was senior Sasha Ottesen taking fifth in the 100 breaststroke (1:11.92). The 200 freestyle unit of Elaina Wichmann, Allison Schmutzler, Mary Fraioli and Ottesen came in 14th (2:09.12).