Haebig’s first-place flurry highlights Grafton show that leaves team 3rd in defense of state championship
Rising to the occasion has never been a problem for Autumn Haebig, especially when it comes to the state swimming and diving meet.
Continuing her tradition of winning, the Grafton junior came up big again at the WIAA Division 2 girls’ finals last Friday with four gold-medal performances.
Besides claiming her third straight state title in the 500-yard freestyle, Haebig won the 100 backstroke and swam on the first-place 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays.
“It was a perfect way to end the season,” said Haebig, who helped Grafton to third place in the overall team standings.
“I think we had to work extra hard this year to get back there. We did our best, and it worked out well.”
Haebig and the rest of the Black Hawks did fall short in a bid for their third straight Division 2 team title. Although Grafton had nine individual performances and three relays qualify for the state meet at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Natatorium, it couldn’t match the depth of champion Madison Edgewood and runner-up McFarland.
Edgewood, last year’s state runner-up, emerged in front this time with 277.5 points, followed by McFarland (220) and Grafton (203.5) in top three of the 36-team field.
Among other local teams, Port Washington tied for 27th with 16 points.
Haebig did her part to keep Grafton in the team title fight.
In the first race, she put the Hawks ahead on the opening leg of the medley relay, and Emma O’Brien, Natalie Keshemberg and Mallory Fox followed suit, combining for a meet-record time of 1 minutes, 45.87 seconds.
That broke the previous mark of 1:46.22 set by Shorewood in 2013.