UW-Eau Claire swim team season preview

For the upcoming season, the Blugolds hope to build upon their success from last year

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Taylor Reisdorf

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UW-Eau Claire swim team season preview

UW-Eau Claire’s swim team has high hopes for their upcoming season.

UW-Eau Claire’s swim team has high hopes for their upcoming season.

Photo by SUBMITTED

UW-Eau Claire’s swim team has high hopes for their upcoming season.

Photo by SUBMITTED

Photo by SUBMITTED

UW-Eau Claire’s swim team has high hopes for their upcoming season.

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UW-Eau Claire’s swim team set the bar high during last year’s season, with an abundance of both individual and team victories. There was success all around during the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Championship, with four men and three women qualifying for the NCAA Division III Nationals for both individual events and relays.

The women’s overall record for the year was 4-3, while their record at the WIAC Championship was 3-1. The team took second place at conference, their only loss being to their rival, UW-La Crosse.

Five women in particular stood out in regards to their performances at conference. Sari Mailey, a senior, Sam Senczyszyn, a junior, Brittany Farr, a junior, Jessica Short, a junior, and Sara Hagen, a first-year competitor, emerged victorious in various individual events and relays.

Short claimed victories in the 200-yard individual medley, as well as both the 100- and 200-yard backstrokes. Senczyszyn won both the 50- and 100-yard freestyles, as well as the 400-yard individual medley. Mailey claimed first in the 1,650-yard freestyle, and Hagen won both the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke events.  

Thanks to Senczyszyn, Farr, Short and Hagen, the team won three relays at conference: The 200-yard freestyle relay, the 200-yard medley relay, and the 400-yard medley relay. The relay time of 3:48.18 achieved during the 400-yard medley relay set a new meet and conference record.

The four women took all of their relays to NCAA Division III Nationals this past March.

In addition, Senczyszyn won the individual championship title in the 100-yard breastroke, defending her performance from the 2016 National meet.

Overall, Short said that she’s proud of what her team accomplished last season.

“Everyone came together pretty well at the end,” Short said.

As for this season, Short said she is excited for what’s in store. The team didn’t lose many seniors at the end of last season, and there’s a strong group of first-years, she said.

“A lot of the freshman specialize in areas we were weak in before,” Short said.

Short said the goal is to not only meet, but exceed the achievements of the previous season. Last year, the team aimed to get as many swimmers as possible into the top 16 at conference. This year, however, the goal is to saturate the top eight.  

In order to get where they want to be, Short said they’ve made some adjustments to their training. There’s been more of a focus on out-of-the-pool training, such as lifting and cycling.

Nick Hora, assistant coach for both the women’s and men’s team, said he can attest to these training adjustments.

“This year is going to be all about innovation, doing new things,” Hora said. “Any time you do something different, your body has to adapt to that, so it’ll make you better.”

In regards to the men’s team, their overall season record was 4-3, with their WIAC Championship record being 3-1. At the conference, they were defeated only by UW-Steven’s Point.

Ben Fisher, a graduated senior, Dayton Miller, a current senior, Logan Coert, a current senior, Caleb Odmark, a junior, and Collin Miller, a sophomore, all had outstanding performances in both relays and individual events at the WIAC championship.

For individual conference events, Collin Miller won the 200-yard individual medley, the 100-yard breaststroke and the 100-yard freestyle, while his brother, Dayton Miller took first in the 400-yard individual medley and 200-yard breaststroke.

At Nationals, Collin ended up competing in both the 200-yard individual medley, where he secured tenth place overall, and the 100-yard freestyle, where he earned 15th place.

Additionally, Fisher, Collin Miller, Odmark, and Coert took multiple relays to the NCAA Championship.

Hora said he is proud of the men’s season last year, despite their harsh critique of themselves.

“While the boys were very happy with how they swam overall, I know that they would’ve liked to swim a little faster at Nationals,” Hora said. “But they have more experience now, so they’ll be ready for this year.”

With a solid returning force and a new sense of depth from the first-year students, Hora said he has high hopes for the upcoming season.

“I know the seniors this year are hungry to finish their last year strong,” Hora said.
All in all, Hora said he wants the season to be completed with the end goal in mind. He said the focus will be on building an inner confidence early in the season, getting as many top eight finishes as possible, and winning.

“Our goal is to keep becoming stronger,” Hora said. “It’ll be a good season.”

 

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