Craig sending four swimmers to state

For the second year in a row, Craig’s boys swim team has qualified for State.

At the Sectional meet on Saturday, Feb 12, at Muskego High School, four swimmers qualified for the championship meet. Junior Ben Witt, senior David Cummings, and freshman Nolan Schoof and Jameson Punzel will compete in the the 400 freestyle relay

Witt also qualifies in two individual events, the 100 butterfly and 200 freestyle.

Each swimmer at Sectionals got their personal best of the season.

Witt broke not only the team record in 100 Fly but the Muskego High School pool record for the event. He won the event with a time of 51.0 seconds.

I am very proud of each one of them,” said coach Matt Palma. 

This is the second year in a row that Craig swimmers coached by Palma have made it to state – and, incidentally, the first time in over a generation of Craig swimmers that a coach has stayed with boys swim for more than one season.

In addition to being the second year in a row for the team, it’s also the second year for Witt and Cummings.

“It’s nice to feel it again,” said Cummings. “We put in a lot more work. It’s really gratifying.” 

At State, he wants his personal time in the relay to be under 50 seconds – 1.24 seconds faster than his current personal best.

Witt said, “It’s a nice feeling to qualify for state and see where all my hard work goes.” 

A competitive swimmer since the sixth grade, Witt says he hopes to get on the podium at State.

After State, the swimmers are looking ahead to their futures. 

While Schoof, Punzel, and Witt are likely to return next year, Cummings is in his senior year and is off to college in the fall. 

However, he doesn’t plan on letting that stop his swim career. He plans to swim for college, and is considering UW Whitewater.

As for the others, the 2022-23 school year looks like a promising challenge.

“I’m really excited for senior year because I’ll only really face challenges with people my age, not anyone older than me,” said Witt. “I’d like to say how great of a group we had this year. The team is made up of a lot of fun guys and all of the underclassmen have great potential.”

As for the underclassmen, Schoof and Punzel are both freshmen. 

Their qualification is an “amazing accomplishment,” according to Palma. 

It’s the first time in 20 years that any Craig freshman boy has made it to a State meet. The last was Dustin Schneider in 2002.

The Division 1 State Championship will take place on Saturday, Feb 19, at Waukesha South High School starting at 2:30.

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