A year older and a year wiser, Brown Deer/University School swimmer Katie Hayes is aiming for the top in the WIAA D2 state meet this Friday, Nov. 11, at the UW-Madison Natatorium.
And she's bringing some friends with her.
Hayes, who was fourth in the 200-yard individual medley and third in the 100 breaststroke as a freshman in the 2015 D2 state meet, will be the third seed in the 200 IM in this year's meet and is the second seed by just 0.07 of a second to Madison Edgewood senior Lauren Bergmann in the 100 butterfly.
In addition, she also helped the Falconcats bring both their 200 medley and 200 freestyle relay home to Madison. In addition, junior diver Mary Holmes will be making a repeat trip after taking 10th last season.
Coach Mark Thompson was very pleased with the effort.
"It was an exciting meet," he said. "All of the hard work of training this season paid off, as most of our swimmers swam their fastest times of the year. We hope people will come out and support the diver and our swimmers at Madison on Friday."
The D2 diving competition will get underway at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11, with the timed swimming finals to follow at 6:30 p.m. Last year, the Falconcats were 14th in the D2 team standings.
The relays were among the local co-op's most impressive qualifying efforts out of the WIAA D2 sectional meet at Plymouth on Nov. 5. The co-op graduated two key members of the state qualifying medley relay last year, Paige Sprink and Lily Wilson, but the Falconcats didn't skip a beat.
Junior Tori Mietkowski, sophomore Kalli Noll and sophomore Abby Frenkel joined Hayes on the state qualifying medley relay, and Hayes, Noll and Frenkel joined with sophomore Amanda Hoppe on the record-setting 200 free group.
The qualifying efforts led the Falconcats to a solid 237.5-point total and a fifth-place finish in the 14-team D2 sectional that was won by Ashwaubenon with 296 points.
Hayes earned her berth in the 200 IM with a five-second-plus best time of 2:09.03, good for second, while coming back to dominate the butterfly by over four seconds in a new co-op record time of 57.23.
The medley relay dumped 5.5 seconds off its previous best time to take third in 1:55.82, while the 200 free team was fourth in close to a four-second best time of 1:42.88.
Holmes turned in her best 11-dive score of 390.95 points in earning a runner-up spot in her sectional competition Nov. 4.
Other good efforts for the local co-op included the following: 200 free: Emily Kolb, 10th (PR, 2:15.36); 200 IM: Hoppe, eighth (PR, 2:32.23), Mietkowski, 10th (PR, 2:38.5), McKenna Frede, 12th (2:39.87); 50 free: Noll, eighth (PR, 25.93), Frenkel, ninth (PR, 26.08); 100 butterfly: Noll, sixth (PR, 1:04.91); 100 free: Frenkel, ninth (58.01); 100 backstroke: Mietkowski, sixth (four-plus second PR, 1:07.77), Hoppe, 13th (PR, 1:12.18); 100 breaststroke: Manasi Simhan, ninth (1:18.9), Frede, 15th (1:21.55); and 400 free relay: Emily Chou, Hoppe, Simhan and Kolb, eighth (4:14.18).