BELOIT — A year ago, at the WIAA Division 1 boys swimming sectional, Madison West’s Lain Weaver didn’t feel right.
He was constantly tired. And despite all the work he was putting in during practice, he wasn’t seeing the expected results.
The whole situation was weird, a frustrated Weaver thought.
Two days later, he felt even worse — bad enough that he went for emergency care, where he was diagnosed with mononucleosis and given intravenous fluids. The illness hampered his performance at that week’s state meet.
It was a different situation Saturday. Weaver was beaming after top-ranked Madison West defended its sectional crown.
The Regents senior won the 100-yard butterfly (50.42 seconds) and anchored the winning 400 freestyle relay in a pool-record 3 minutes, 8.40 seconds at the Beloit Memorial Natatorium.
“This year is much different,” said Weaver, an Ohio State commit. “I’m so, so happy this year. I’m in a much better place. I am super happy with the work I have put in and where I am.”
The Regents, led by junior Wes Jekel and Weaver, won six events and finished with 392 points.
Fifth-ranked Middleton, led by senior Michael Draves’ two victories, placed second with 357 points and third-ranked Madison Memorial finished third (349) in the 12-team meet.
Sectional event winners automatically advance to Saturday’s Division 1 state meet at the University of Wisconsin Natatorium. Competitors whose performances rank among the top 18 non-winning performances from all Division 1 sectionals also advance.
Jekel won the 200 individual medley (1:53.27) and the 100 backstroke (:50.65) in pool-record times and was part of the Regents’ 200 medley (pool-record 1:35.02) and 400 freestyle relays that earned firsts.
“That kid is something special,” Weaver said. “When he goes in the pool, you know he’s about to throw down something insane.”
Regents junior Henry Miller also collected a top finish, winning the 100 breaststroke (pool-record :57.90).
Victories in the final three events — the backstroke, breaststroke and 400 free relay — helped the Regents jump from third to first in the final standings.
After a second consecutive sectional title (last year's meet was at Middleton), Regents coach Bill Weaver can look forward to state, where West, second-ranked Waukesha South/Catholic Memorial, fourth-ranked Hartland Arrowhead, Middleton and Madison Memorial should vie for top spots.
“(Jekel) has been having a great season — Wes and so many of the other guys,” Bill Weaver said. “It will be fun to see how things go next week. It is no surprise that we are looking to make a run at it.”
Draves led Middleton’s strong showing, winning the 200 freestyle (pool-record 1:41.64) ahead of runner-up Weaver and cruising to first in the 500 freestyle (4:39.03). Cardinals sophomore Nate Lamers won the 50 freestyle (:21.63).
“I’m very pleased with (the meet),” said Draves, an Indiana commit. “The team was doing phenomenally. Several of the guys dropped times. And we got second, which is great. There was good stuff, all around.
“I didn’t know if I would beat (Weaver). I always have amazing races with him. I’m glad to get the win.”
Verona/Mount Horeb’s Shane Rozeboom won the 100 freestyle (:47.42). Madison Memorial’s two victories came from its 200 freestyle relay of Noah Gonring, Josh Barth, Will Wowk and Roak Lundal (1:26.87) and diver Sam Smith, who scored a school-record 508.55 points Friday.
“I was really pleased with how we swam,” Spartans coach Paul Eckerle said. “Middleton swam awesome; that was the swim of the meet.”
Mequon Homestead sectional
The Wayland/Beaver Dam co-op was eighth among 10 teams with 113 points, led by the fifth-place 200 medley relay (1:47.54).
Division 2 Baraboo sectional
Three-time defending WIAA Division 2 state champion Monona Grove, ranked No. 1 on the state coaches’ honor roll, scored 376 points to beat Madison Edgewood (300) and host Baraboo (258) atop the 12-team field.
Monona Grove entries won seven of the 12 events, including a sweep of all three relays.
Senior Ben McDade, an Indiana recruit, won the 200-yard freestyle (1:42.02) and 500 free (4:36.29).
He also anchored the 200 free relay (1:29.24) and 400 free relay (3:17.64).
Senior Eric Storms won the 100 butterfly (:53.36) and led off the winning 200 medley relay (1:39.75).
Senior Shane Sackett won the 50 free (:22.12), anchored the 200 medley relay and led off the 200 free relay.
Edgewood freshman Ben Stitgen won diving (447.80 points), and sophomore Truman teDuits won the 200 individual medley (1:57.29).
Fort Atkinson junior Jeremiah Mansavage won the 100 free (:48.48) and Baraboo sophomore Aidan Lohr won the 100 backstroke (:52.93).