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Lefeber wins two titles, leads Franklin swimmers to fifth in Southeast meet

Fifth and sixth career crowns are both school records

Feb. 7, 2012

There was a time last year, when Franklin swimmer Josh Lefeber was battling back problems so severe, that he seriously thought about not coming out for high school swimming this season.

"It was hard to workout and hard to sit," he said. "It was why I was doing more butterfly and breaststroke last year, because it was just easier. But then I went to a chiropractor the week before conference and it's really helped.

"This season, I haven't had nearly as many problems. I'm feeling pretty good and I'm only going (to the chiropractor) as needed."

Which is proving to be a good thing for Lefeber and the Sabers, as the senior won the fifth and sixth Southeast Conference titles of his career last Saturday, when he claimed the 200 individual medley and 100 freestyle events with school record times to lead Franklin to a fifth-place finish.

Lefeber, who was 11th in the 100 butterfly and 14th in the 100 breaststroke in last year's WIAA state meet, is looking to close his high school career off on a fine note. He and the Sabers will take part in WIAA sectional competition at Greenfield this weekend. Diving will be at 6 p.m. Friday, while swimming will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday.

The winner of each event, plus all those whose efforts are among the top 18 of all sectionals statewide, will advance to the Division 1 state meet in Madison on Feb. 18. Lefeber said he will likely swim the 200 IM and the 100 free again at the sectional.

Plus, he and the Sabers have other aspirations.

"This is the best team I've been on," he said. "We're literally a family and it hadn't been like that before. Just a great group. We're also thinking we might be able to sneak the 400 (free) relay in (to state). We'll be a little more tapered and with a good time drop, I think we have a good shot.

"That would be great, because it'll be a lot more fun to go to state with more people."

He was not tapered for the conference meet.

Lefeber's efforts led Franklin to a 234-point effort at the Southeast meet as Muskego won with 479.5 points.

He was clocked in 2:00.47 to edge a Muskego competitor by just .03 of a second in the 200 IM and beat another Muskego opponent by just .06 of a second in winning the 100 free in 49.36.

"The races didn't feel amazing," said Lefeber. "They were sort of just in the middle area right where I should be."

Other top 10 places for the Sabers included the following: Diving-August Beck, sixth (304.5 points). 200 medley relay-Nick Banach, David Ciszewski, Bailey Pleva and Austin Koska, seventh (2:00.0). 50 free-Takuto Kobayashi, sixth (24.3). 500 free-Sam Karolewicz, 10th (5:54.35). 200 free relay-Lefeber, Beck, Kobayashi and Karolewicz, fourth (1:35.15). 400 free relay-Kobayashi, Karolewicz, Beck and Lefeber, third (3:33.49).

"The boys had a great meet," said Sabers coach Ross Lennertz. "Josh got the school record in the 200 IM and reset the school record in the 100 free by 2 one-hundredths. They are looking sharp on the front half of their races and are exactly where I want them to be. With another week of rest, I will be expecting to see some big things out of the team."

Lefeber is looking forward to just that sort of thing happening.

"I'm mostly tapering for state," he said, "but this (the sectional) should still be a fun meet."

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