The UW-Eau Claire swimming and diving team impresses at WIAC Championships

    The men’s team finished the meet in second place, and the women placed third

    Macey VanDenMeerendonk

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    The Swimming and Diving team competed for success and achieved it at the WIAC meet this past weekend.

    UW-Eau Claire’s swimming and diving team competed at the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Championships this past weekend with the men earning second place and the women placing third.

    Caleb Odmark, a junior captain on the men’s team, said the team felt very confident going into the conference meet this past weekend.

    “Based on how we were competing at dual meets and invites and tracking our times compared to last year, it was really like a trusting game that the training is going to pay off,” Odmark said.

    On day one, Collin Miller, a second-year student on the team, won the 200-yard IM with a time of 1:50.56. In the same race, Dayton Miller, a senior, came in third with a time of 1:54.63.

    Dylan Glumac-Berberich, a second-year diver, scored a 445.45 putting him in second for the 3-meter dive.

    The women took second in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:37.46. That relay team comprised Jessica Short and Brittany Farr, who are juniors, and Olivia Hanzak and Emily Ries, who are first-years on the team.

    Odmark said the team had many contributions to their motivation leading up to this conference meet from the help of encouragement and confidence building.

    “Our team is really good with affirming each other,” Odmark said. “We will often write notes to each other after practice or after a meet on what we notice they did well and just have a constant flow of encouragement from the teammates.”

    On day two, the 800-yard free relay team, made up by Odmark, Collin Miller, senior and men’s team captain Logan Coert and second-year Nicholas Meints, broke a 32-year old school record which earned them second place with a time of 6:50.82.

    Collin Miller broke the meet record while taking first place with a time of 55:05 in the 100-yard breaststroke. A new school record was set by Dayton Miller for the 400-yard IM with a time of 4:03.62 taking first place.

    For the women’s team, Short placed first with a time of 57.56 in the 100-yard backstroke.

    Bailei Hughes, a senior, said the team always comes together and is encouraging at conference. During the season, swimming and diving practice and compete at different times and Hughes said it makes the competition environment at conference so much better.

    “It’s just a great weekend of bringing the team together because diving and swimming are so different, the only thing we have in common is that we go into the same pool,” Hughes said. “So conference is neat because it really brings us all together.”

    On day three, for men’s, with a time of 2:03.15 Dayton Miller won his third WIAC title in the 200-yard breaststroke and made a NCAA B cut.

    Among the other swimmers who earned an NCAA B cut were Collin Miller, who took third place in the 100 free, and the 400-yard relay of Collin Miller, Odmark, Meints and Coert, winning the event with a time of 3:03.57.

    Diver Glumac-Berberich won the 1-meter dive, made an NCAA zone cut and was named diver of the meet.

    Sari Mailey, a senior, won the 1650 holding last year’s title with a time of 17:48.61 while Kate Stensberg, a first-year student, came in second place.

    In the 100-yard free, Short took first, and the 400 free relay made up by Short, Farr and Hanzak and Ries won first place with a time of 3:31.97.

    Anna Theisen, a second-year, said it was an honor to even be able to compete at conference and said the team treats it as a privilege.

    “I think just reminding yourself that you’re doing it for your team and for a greater purpose is something I remind myself of,” Theisen said.

    Odmark said the team focused on creating a community aspect while at the conference meet. He said they reminded each other that the times of each swim didn’t identify them as athletes and that they kept each other grounded through team prayers.

    “I think with swimming it’s super nerve-racking to train for six months and maybe not get to where you want to be,” Odmark said. “So a lot of what we were focusing on as a team was taking the time to enjoy the moment and taking the time to enjoy the blessings that you get from being able to compete with people you care for.”