APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) – The parade of state tournaments in Madison begins this weekend with the swimming and diving meet. The Division 2 competition will take place Friday, with Division 1 competing on Saturday. Matt Wilke from the Appleton North-East co-op team is hoping to make a big splash-by hardly making a splash.
The East senior is the top-seeded diver in Division 1; the number two seed is last year’s state champion from Kenosha Tremper, Wilke took 4th place as a junior. But as a senior, he’s been beaten by just two divers all season; and in his final state meet, he’s the favorite.
“I’m definitely feeling the pressure,” said Wilke. “But this year, I want to go in and work on my mental stability and how I’m going to go into each dive; calm myself down and focus on the dive and not focus on anybody else around me, and just do the best that I can do.”
His coach, Mike Schuelke, believes Wilke is ready thanks to past experience. “He’s gone to State every year he’s been out for diving. He did not dive as a freshman because he was injured, so I’m pretty sure he would have made it at that time too. He’s progressively each year kind of gotten a little bit better, and it’s kind of fun to see where he is right now and how he’s going to handle the pressure at state.”
As for Wilke, “I think I’ve worked really hard and I would definitely love to come away with the gold medal. But at the same time, I think I just want to enjoy this last meet and whatever happens happens.”