Saturday, Nov. 16, was a red-letter day for Sun Prairie’s indomitable freestyle swimmer, Sophie Fiske.
She won four WIAA Division 1 state championship medals, two as an individual and two as the anchor of freestyle relay crews.
Those 120 team points helped the Cardinals team match its best team finish ever, taking third place for the second consecutive year.
And after the meet, Fiske announced her commitment to swim for the University of Wisconsin in 2021.
In a year with several elite individuals making big splashes around the area, Fiske made the biggest. As a result, she has been named the Wisconsin State Journal All-Area Girls Swimming Athlete of the Year for 2019.
Fiske opened the state meet by finishing the 100-yard freestyle in 49.82 seconds, added a win in the 50 free in 22.93 seconds, and then anchored the winning 200 freestyle relay (1:35.20) and 400 relay (3:25.86).
As a sophomore in 2018, she won the 50 and 100 freestyle titles, anchored the winning 400 free relay and led the 200 free relay to a third-place finish at state.
Fiske, who said in an interview last year that she originally didn’t want to compete in swimming or any other sports, has become enthralled with and committed to the sport.
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“The team camaraderie is so much fun,” Fiske said at the time. “Now (swimming) is a huge part of my life.”
Fiske says she gets the most out of being part of a team with a singular goal, and veteran Cardinals coach Nancy Harms says that has been a driving force behind Fiske’s year-round commitment to swimming.
“She’s not a kid that comes in and flaunts herself. She knows when to have fun, but she also knows how to lead by example,” Harms said. “(She) takes her training very seriously. … She’s driven.”
Also considered for the award were Maeve O’Driscoll, Anna teDuits and Dee Dee Walker of Madison Edgewood’s WIAA Division 2 state championship team.
Coach of the Year: Emily Schwabe has been coach of the Madison Edgewood girls program for six years. Earlier this month, the Crusaders dominated the WIAA Division 2 state meet, winning five of the 12 events, including all three relays, to bring home a record fifth consecutive state championship.
What’s more, if all the performances in both the Division 1 and Division 2 state meets were combined and compared, Edgewood would have finished second overall, behind Division 1 champion Brookfield East.
As a result, Schwabe has been named All-Area Coach of the Year. Also considered for the award was Sun Prairie’s Nancy Harms.