Witt-Birn, Pulaski girls swim teams sending individuals to state

Chargers’ Dickman advances in 2 individual events, on 1 relay
Morgan Rode
Sports Editor

The Wittenberg-Birnamwood and Pulaski girls swim teams will send individuals to the 2022 Girls Swimming and Diving Championship on Nov. 11-12 at Waukesha South Natatorium in Waukesha.

Witt-Birn had three individuals and a relay team qualify for state after competing in the Division 2 Merrill Sectional on Nov. 5, while Pulaski had a diver advance after competition in the Division 1 Neenah Sectional on Nov. 4.

Shawano/Bonduel competed in the Neenah Sectional alongside Pulaski on Nov. 5, but didn’t have any individuals or relay teams advance.

Full sectional results can be found at www.wiaawi.org/Sports/Fall/Girls-Swim-Dive/Tournament.


Freshman Reese Dickman led the Chargers at sectionals, qualifying for state in the 50-yard freestyle and 100 breaststroke while also helping fill out the state-qualifying 200 freestyle relay team.

Faith Resch, Annika Resch and Olivia Bessette filled out the relay team.

Dickman won the 50 freestyle in 24.65 seconds, a new school record. She placed second in the 100 breaststroke in 1:10.13.

“To me qualifying for two individual events means that I have worked really hard this season and all of of that work paid off,” said Dickman. “My main goals starting off this season were to work hard and do my best. By doing this I was able to surprise myself and qualify for state my freshman year.”

Dickman will swim in the first heat of the 100 breaststroke at the state meet, and she holds the best qualifying time of the eight swimmers in that heat.

Sophomore Faith Resch was the second-best finisher in the 50 freestyle at sectionals with a time of 24.86 to also qualify for state in the event.

She and Dickman will swim next to each other in the first heat of the 50 freestyle at state.

“Going into the meet I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect,” said Faith Resch of sectionals. “I haven’t swam at the pool before or went up against any of the other swimmers. I knew all I could do is swim as hard as I can and hope it’s enough. Stepping behind the blocks and believing in myself is really what made it all possible.”

Annika Resch was the third Witt-Birn individual to qualify for state after taking fifth in the 200 IM with a time of 2:27.28, grabbing the final state spot in the event.

The senior will swim in the first heat of the 200 IM at state.

The 200 freestyle relay team punched its ticket to state after placing second in 1:42.9. That time was over seven seconds quicker than their seed time coming in.

“We swam a great race at sectionals and truly deserve that spot at state,” said Annika Resch. “Some of my teammates have been struggling with some injuries and I think qualifying for state really validates that what we have been working so hard for was finally able to pay off.”

Bessette, a sophomore, was one of the Chargers dealing with an injury.

“Going into sectionals I didn’t know that I would be able to swim,” Bessette said. “I hurt my back at conference a week earlier and I didn’t get back into the pool until Thursday. I chose to forfeit my individual races (at sectionals) so I was able to perform to the best of my abilities for our relays. Forfeiting my own races paid off. We all swam our best and I personally got my best time of the season.”

The relay team will compete in the first heat of the event at state and hopes to all turn in personal records at state to beat their seed time.

Witt-Birn’s swimmers are set to swim at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 11.


Pulaski senior Taya Schmidt qualified for state in the 1-meter diving event.

“Qualifying for state means so much to me, especially since I’m a senior,” said Schmidt. “It has been a goal of mine all year to make it and I’m super excited to compete. I think state is a great way to end my high school dive career.”

Schmidt posted a sectional score of 461.35 to qualify for state for the third time in the event.

“Going into sectionals I felt really nervous but I knew I had to do my best to act like it was a normal meet so I wouldn’t overwhelm myself,” said Schmidt. “I think just trying to stay calm was the main thing I was focusing on and if a dive didn’t go the way I hoped, I had to try and forget about it and focus on my next dive.”

She placed eighth at state in the alternate fall state meet as a sophomore and then came in 22nd last fall as junior.

“For state my main goal is to make it through to the finals,” said Schmidt. “I think making it to the finals would be great because last year didn’t go so well for me and it would feel like redemption.”

The Division 1 diving competition is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. on Nov. 12. Schmidt will be the seventh of 24 divers to compete.