Led by a second-place finish from diver Samantha Nickerson, the Homestead swimming and diving team scored 68 points in the Division 1 state meet at the University of Wisconsin Natatorium in Madison on Nov. 12, good for 12th place.
Nickerson racked up 473.80 points, with freshman Av Osero of Neenah taking the crown in 508.65.
The 400-yard freestyle relay crew took sixth place, with Lindsey Bjornstad, Jayci Scheff, Leah Tunney and Talia Gottlieb on board. The foursome touched the wall in 3:34.01, while Middleton (3:24.94) took first place and capped off its first state championship in school history.
"I am thrilled with how the team competed at state," coach Becky Young said. "The girls worked extremely hard all year long, and it was great to see it pay off. The state meet is always an exciting atmosphere and it was a great experience for the team. Everyone that competed at last year's state meet bettered their finish this year, plus we had two new state qualifiers. The exposure of more athletes to the state meet is great looking ahead to future seasons."
Middleton closed the day with 265 points, followed by Verona/Mt. Horeb (215.5) and two-time reigning state champ Arrowhead (180).
Bjornstad finished the 50 free in 24.19 and tied for ninth place, with Gottlieb tying for 17th in 24.77. Bjornstad also added 11th place (52.78) in the 100 free, and Gottlieb placed 18th in the same event (53.55).
Tunney landed 16th place in the backstroke with her time of 59.23.
The medley relay unit of Tunney, Caitlyn Lansing, Gottlieb and Bjornstad placed 12th in 1:49.61.