Five Sheboygan North girls will compete in the Alternative Falls Swimming State Championship, including senior Kierra Perez.
After swimming on a club team last season, she returned to the Golden Raiders because she was close to breaking her second school record.
“And I wanted to come back for my team and be a part of North again, because I really enjoyed freshman and sophomore year,” Perez said.
The state meet is Tuesday at Waukesha South, one week after North finished in third place at the Oshkosh North/Stoughton sectional.
At that meet, Perez not only qualified for state in the 500-yard freestyle by taking second and lowering her school record time to 5 minutes 16.92 seconds, she also finished the 200 individual medley in 2:15.63 to erase a North record that stood since 2008.
“I didn’t even realize she was getting that close until one of my assistant coaches (told me),” coach Chad Prisinger said. “I was like, ‘oh my Lord.’
“In the 500, I knew she was just in a groove. … She had a really nice day and I was really happy for her.”
Sophomore Julia Renzelmann advanced to state in the 200 free thanks to her time of 1:59.24, which was good for third place.
“It was an awesome swim for her,” Prisinger said.
At state, Perez – who will swim at St. Louis University – is seeded ninth and Renzelmann is 10th.
They also qualified with senior Gigi Gotzmer and sophomore Libby Cleveland in the 200 free relay.
The 200 medley relay advanced as well, thanks to Renzelmann, Cleveland, Gotzmer and sophomore Katie Spence.
“I think we’ve been putting in the work, so we knew we had a chance if we swam like we know how to swim,” Perez said.
Normally there are two divisions at state, but with fewer teams in the alternative fall season, there will only be one on Tuesday.
“That being said, you’ve got some powerhouse Division 2 teams that are swimming with us,” Prisinger said. “If you look at the times, there’s some crazy-fast swims. It’s still a very competitive meet. Yeah, you don’t have the Arrowheads there. The Cedarburgs, Madison teams, so it might be a touch watered down, but not too much.”
Because of the switch from fall, North only had Fox River Classic Conference duals and took second place with a 6-1 mark. The Golden Raiders’ only loss was to champion Bay Port the first meet of the season.