Women’s swim and dive gets season underway

Blugolds compete at Division II Minnesota State

The UW-Eau Claire women’s swimming and diving team began its 2014-15 season at Minnesota State-Mankato last weekend.

The Blugolds won four different individual contests while also taking home 11 second and third-place finishes.


Junior Amanda Baker came in first place in both the one-meter and three-meter diving competitions with scores of 234.15 and 245.55 points.


“In order to get first in both these competitions, I just tried my hardest to stay as tight as I could and try to be as consistent as I could,” Baker said. “I tried the dives I thought I could do well in instead of just the big ones.”


As a group in the first meet, Baker said that the energy was so much fun that it was a blast to be a part of. When the meet was going on, she said that everyone came together and cheered for one another.


In order to perform at a high level, Baker said that she tried to keep on dry land and keep her legs strong.    


Sophomore Elissa Hermsen won two events, the 50-yard butterfly in 27.53 seconds and 100-yard butterfly in 1:00.39.


Hermsen said it was nice to see the swimmers in the 100-yard butterfly finish in first, second and third against the Division II Mankato swim team.


“It was a fun meet as a team because it was just girls and it was really positive,” she said.


The dual meet had 11 events. For the women’s 200-yard medley relay, Sarah Heskin and her medley team came in third with a final time of 1:54.14.


Head coach Annie Ryder said she thought the girls in the first meet swam with a lot of enthusiasm and intensity.


In preparation for their next meet, Ryder said she expects the girls to step up and rise to the occasion and swim with intensity.


“They have been preparing well for that,” Ryder said.

“Stevens Point and St. Cloud State are two very tough teams, and so I want them to step up to the plate and swim fast and surprise a few people along the way as well.”


As for her first year coaching experience, Ryder said it has gone really well.


“I went to school here, and I swam here, and I was an assistant coach here a few years ago,” she said. “It’s honestly been a pretty smooth transition.”   

Next weekend, the Eau Claire women’s swimming and diving team returns to the McPhee Physical Education Center for a meet with UW-Stevens Point and St. Cloud State (Minn.).