Lots of water, but no rust

Swimming and diving performs well at UW-Stevens Point Invitational

Story by Meghan Hosely, Staff Writer

Before the UW-Stevens Point Invitational, both the UW-Eau Claire men and women’s swimming teams headed to San Diego for winterim practice, training twice daily for eleven days.

Head coach Art Brandt said it was fun to watch other teams perform, especially since UW-Whitewater was also in the area. The team arrived back in Wisconsin just days before the invitational.

“Our team was tired,” Brandt said. “We only had a few days to get readjusted with the time change, on top of more practices.”

The women’s team finished second overall with 829.5 points, falling to UW-La Crosse who finished with 1,195.5. Freshman swimmer Elissa Hermsen captured first-place in the 200 yard butterfly with a time of 2:15.39.

The other top finisher for the women’s team was sophomore diver Sara Axness, who won the one-meter board with 446.60 points. Axness also missed the school record by just under three points. In addition to the two first-place finishes, the women’s team collected nine other second-place or third-place finishes.

“I was definitely tired, just getting back from our training trip,” Hermsen said. “It was the most I’ve ever trained before. I wasn’t expecting to win, I thought the girl who was next to me would win.”

The men’s team finished third overall with 938.5 points, falling behind Stevens Point with 1,085.5 and La Crosse with 1,095. The lone swimmer to grab two first-place finishes was senior swimmer Alex Card.

Card captured the 200 Individual Medley with a time of 1:59.96 and the 200 Breaststroke in 2:08.82. The men’s team gathered 10 second-place or third-place finishes collectively
as well.

“By far, this Stevens Point Invite has been the best that the team has swam, in the past this meet has always been difficult coming back from training,” Card said. “Usually our bodies are aching and sore. San Diego is a very good opportunity … You’re training six hours a day and really gets you prepared for meets to come, which is conference.”

Card also noted that the entire men’s team had their right foot forward, and everyone went fast when it was necessary. Several people stepped up, Card said.

The next meet will be at Whitewater — the last for everyone not on the conference team. Brandt said Whitewater is similar and stronger than his team, so it will be interesting, and they will have to have their strongest lineup.