Alumni swimming meet

Story by Amelia Kimball, Staff Writer

A now famous cheer by the UW-Eau Claire 2012-2013 swimming and diving team kick-started an alumni meet on Oct. 6 where the Eau Claire blue team sunk the gold team.

“Oh hell yes!” rang through the McPhee pool as the swimmers and divers prepared for a friendly opening competition with the alumni to start their season. Cow bells were played and students bounced up and down, swayed side to side, and placed their arms around each other to get
into spirit.

Art Brandt, head coach for both the men’s and women’s swimming/diving teams was thankful for all the alumni that came back.

“I’m pretty lucky,” he said.

Brandt has been with the program for 10 years, and has been head coach for five years. He said the 2012-2013 teams consist of athletes from all different locations;
including abroad.

Maggie Reilly, a junior fly/IM swimmer has participated in the alumni event for all three of her years on the team. Reilly said the alumni meet is a great way to start out
the year.

“I really like it. It’s kind of a fun way to start each year teaching the freshmen the
cheer,” she said.

Along with the freshmen involvement, Reilly said she liked seeing all the alumni again. Rekindling friendships is one of her favorite things about the
alumni event.

“It’s like we’re getting our family back together,” Reilly said.

Nick Madrinich, a fifth year senior captain and distance free swimmer has been a part of the team for four years, and he, like Reilly, has participated in the alumni meet for all his years on          the team.

“It’s very different from a typical event,”
Madrinich said.

He said all of them (his team members) are friends, but they’re still competitive. However, it’s a lot less intense compared to other meets, Madrinich said.

Madrinich said their team is almost half freshmen, so they are a very young team. He said he thinks this is a good way to introduce the freshman to the team, atmosphere, and competitiveness of
Eau Claire.

“I think (the freshmen) can tell how supportive we are of each other,” Madrinich said. “We’re always standing up alongside the pool cheering each
other on,” Madrinich said.

Madrinich said this event is a lot of fun. Before the meet, the two teams, blue and gold, had separate pasta dinners away from each other. The teams made cheers to shout at each other as well, all in
good fun.

The blue men’s team ended with 240.52 points, and the gold team with 231.5 points. The women’s blue team scored 295 points, topping the gold team’s
251 points.

Madrinich expects this to be a good team, as he said this was one of the faster opening meets he has seen. He said he thinks it will be a good season for the 2012-2013 swimming and
diving teams.