Blugold’s swimming and diving teams at the conference championships

Both the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams competed at the WIAC conference championships

UW-Eau+Claire+swim+and+dive+teams+win+their+first+dual+meet+of+season+at+UW-Oshkosh.

Photo by Cade Fisher

UW-Eau Claire swim and dive teams win their first dual meet of season at UW-Oshkosh.

This past Feb. 16-19, both the women’s and men’s swimming and diving teams competed in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, or WIAC, championships. Theis WIAC championship was held in Walter Schroeder Aquatic Center in Brown Deer, Wisconsin, and both of these Blugold teams competed for a chance to move forward towards the national swimming and diving competitions.

Michael Bylander, a fourth-year student and the captain of the men’s swimming team, said that the team had connected over the season and continue to support each other seemingly like a family.

“I think we have an amazing team atmosphere and really just create an energy on deck that is unrivaled across the conference,” he said.

First Day of WIAC Championships

On the first day of the conference championships the Blugolds ranked in the top three in all categories according to the day one results page listed by the UW-Eau Claire athletics website. The men’s team earned first place in the 200-yard medley relay by teammates Michael Bylander, Ian Olsen, Hans Hover and Alex Jorgenson. 

Blugolds Sam Ryf, Evan Schroeder, Benjamin Keller and Hover earned first place in the 800-yard freestyle relay. For the men’s diving team Martin Kocher took second place, Ben Koller took third and Quincy Kabe took fourth in the three meter diving event. 

The women’s swimming team earned second place overall in both the 200-yard medley relay and the 800-yard freestyle relay. The 200-yard medley relay was swam by Sydney McGuine, Ella Weaver, Zoe Rylander and Sydney McCollor. The 800-yard freestyle relay was swam by McCollor, Grace Pidde, Katherine O’Connell and Paige Pelikan.

Second Day of WIAC Championships

According to the day two results page, tThe men’s swimming team ranked first and second in the 500-yard freestyle through Ryf and Keller. The Blugolds also ranked first in the 200-yard individual medley thanks to Bylander, and they ranked first in the 200-yard freestyle relay thanks to Ryf, Bylander, Jorgenson and Olson.

The women’s swimming team ranked second in the 200-yard individual medley by Ashlyn Sullivan, third and fourth in the 50-yard freestyle by McGuine and O’Connell and third overall in the 200-yard freestyle relay which was accomplished by McGuine, Molly Sheehan, McCollor and O’Connell. The women’s diving team also ranked second in the one meter diving event thanks to Sarah Dahlk. 

Sarah Dahlk, a fourth-year student and diver for the women’s swimming and diving team said that these sports had really helped her throughout college. 

“People shouldn’t be afraid to join a college sport. I would say that I wasn’t sure that I was going to be diving in the first place, but I am really glad that I joined,” she said.

Third Day of WIAC Championships

On the third day of the championships the amount of events increased for a longer day of competition. According to the day three results, the women’s swimming team ranked second in the 200-yard freestyle due to McCollor.

The women’s team also ranked first and third in the 100-yard breaststroke thanks to Weaver and Sheehan, third in the 100 yard backstroke by McGuine and second in the 400-yard medley relay earned by McGuine, Weaver, Becca Adams and O’Connell.

The men’s swimming team earned first in the 400-yard individual medley by Keller, first in the 100-yard butterfly thanks to Hover, second and third in the 200-yard freestyle by Schroeder and Jorgenson, second in the 100 yard breaststroke due to Olson and first and second in the 100-yard backstroke by Hover and Bylander.

The men’s diving team ranked first, second and third in the one meter diving event. This was earned by Quincy Kabe, Ben Koller and Martin Kocher. The men’s swimming team also ranked first in the 400-yard medley relay, accomplished by Bylander, Olson, Hover and Ryf.

Last Day of WIAC Championships

On the last day of the WIAC championships, the Blugolds went through the last events and the final rankings for the entire competition were named. According to the day four results, the women’s swimming team earned second in the 1650-yard freestyle due to McColler and the team ranked first and second in the 100-yard freestyle thanks to McGuine and O’Connell.

The women’s swimming and diving teams also ranked first in the 200-yard breaststroke by Weaver, first in the three meter diving event thanks to Dahlk and second overall in the 400-yard freestyle relay by McGuine, Pelikan, McCollor and O’Connell.

The men’s swimming team earned first in the 1650 yard freestyle due to Keller, first in the 200 yard backstroke thanks to Hover, first and second in the 200 yard breaststroke by Bylander and Olson respectively, first in the 200-yard butterfly by Ryf and first overall in the 400-yard freestyle relay thanks to Hover, Jorgenson, Ryf and Schroeder.

At the end of the competition, both the women’s and the men’s team finishedranked second overall. The women’s swimming and diving teams earned 825 points and the men’s team earned 930 points.

Bylander said that he was happy with how the conference turned out and that he was proud of how the teams competed over the season.

“We just really blew our expectations out of the water and went above and beyond what we thought was possible,” he said.

Fisher can be reached at [email protected].