Middleton girls swimming and diving coach Lauren Cabalka was selected as the 2017-18 NFHS girls swimming coach of the year for Wisconsin, according to a release from Middleton.

Cabalka was selected by the Wisconsin Swimming and Diving Coaches Association for the award.

Cabalka, a Middleton graduate in her 11th season as coach, has led Middleton to WIAA Division 1 state championships the past two seasons. The Cardinals are top-ranked in Division 1 in the state coaches’ poll this season.

Each year, NFHS recognizes a coach from each state for achievement in his or her sport.

State level recipients are considered for NFHS sectional recognition. National coaches of the year then are chosen from the sectional winners.

Award recipients in the various sports are selected based on criteria including their record, background, coaching honors and involvement in community and school organizations. Each year, about 1,000 coaches are recognized at the state level, 168 receive sectional level recognition and 21 are honored at the national level.

The Cardinals are undefeated in Big Eight Conference dual meets since 2013 and have won eight consecutive Big Eight titles along with seven sectional championships, according to the release.

Cabalka also received the Division 1 girls coach of the year award by the Wisconsin InterScholastic Swim Coaches Association (WISCA) in 2016 and 2017.

Other Middleton coaches to win the NFHS award include Ben White (boys volleyball) in 2017-18 and Peter Brenner (girls hockey) in 2012-13.


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Jon Masson covers high school sports for the Wisconsin State Journal. He has covered a variety of sports — including the Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin men's and women's basketball and volleyball — since he first came to the State Journal in 1999.