The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Dual Champions

Men’s and women’s swim and dive teams clinch WIAC championships
The men’s swim team celebrates after their WIAC win. (Photo by Matt Stanek from WIAC Sports Information used with permission.)

The Blugold swim and dive teams are dual champions as both the men’s and women’s teams took home their WIAC conference championship.

Both swim and dive teams won the top spot at the WIAC conference meet held in Brown Deer over the weekend.

This is the second consecutive year the women’s team has won the WIAC, and the 21st conference championship in their program’s history.

The men’s team clinched their first title since 1999, ending a 23-year title streak by UW-Stevens Point. This is the 26th championship for the Blugold men’s program and a feeling fourth-year swimmer Ian Olson said is the payoff of years of hard work.

Story continues below advertisement

“It was just awesome,” Olson said. “It felt so good, especially for us guys that have been here for four years. It was so awesome to finally hear because we’ve taken second place for a ton of years in a row and then we were super close my sophomore year, we lost by two points. So to finally hear our name next to the number one was just unbelievable.”

According to head coach Annie Ryder, this is the first time since 1989 that both the men’s and women’s teams have won the conference.

“It’s a lot easier said than done to try to get both teams at the same level and do it at the same time,” Ryder said. “I’m just really proud of this group. It’s a really strong senior class and I think they just did a fantastic job working together. I’m really proud of them.”

Olson said the two teams feed off each others’ success and push each other to keep improving.

“It’s a super strong close conference meet for both sides. Just like we see them work hard all year, they see us work hard all year,” Olson said. “We’re all working hard together, we’re putting in the hours, the sweat, the tears together. So just to be able to do it together I think was super special for everyone.”

The Blugold women scored a team total 971 points over the four-day championship and the men put up 877 points. UW-Eau Claire had seven individuals and three relay teams win titles throughout the championship.

“We have a team on both sides that’s really willing to do the work that’s necessary to perform at this level,” Ryder said. “They train really hard day in and day out and their focus is on being successful as a program, in addition to being successful individually.”

Olson said the win is special for the seniors in both programs who have seen the teams progress over the years.

“We worked hard, we earned it, and I think we’ve set a new standard,” Olson said. “I think in the past four years there’s been a shift and I think that winning should be and will be the expectation for all the new classes coming in. I think we’ve really just grown Eau Claire swimming a lot in the past four years and this year was a cherry on top.”

Now the Blugolds await the placements for the NCAA postseason. Ryder says they are already back in the pool preparing for the chance to compete.

“This is exactly what they have been working for since the beginning and I’m really proud of them,” Ryder said. “They raced and dove incredibly hard and I’m just really happy for them and how it all turned out.”

Mohr can be reached at [email protected].

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Spectator intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. The Spectator does not allow anonymous comments and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Spectator Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *