UWO swim begins 2015 season

Michael Johrendt

The UW Oshkosh men’s and women’s swimming teams lost their third consecutive meet against UW-Eau Claire on Nov. 21. This was the first of two meets held at Albee Pool this season. Head coach Christopher Culp said competing at home has its perks. “A home meet definitely has its advantages,” Culp said. “The crowd and energy level play a big role in the performances of the swimmers and divers. It is easier to dig deep when you are tired if the crowd is loud and pulling for you to finish.” The women’s team lost with a score of 153-84. UW-Eau Claire won 9 of the 13 events. Senior Katie Challoner won the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:30.84. Challoner along with junior Taylor Teske and sophomores McKinzie Halkola and Alison Panske took first in the 400-yard medley relay with a time of 4:12.99. UWO triumphed in the 1,650-yard freestyle as senior Casey Houts finished at 19:42.50. Houts swam with senior Paige Burgess, junior Sarah Gee and sophomore Janelle Sharpee finishing third in the 800-yard freestyle relay with a time of 8:55.25. Senior Sally Hesby took first-place in the 1-meter dive scoring 236.63 and also scored 252.08 in the 3-meter dive to take second place. Freshman Gabrielle Kraus ranked second in the 1-meter dive with 234.60 points. The Titans had two other second-place finishes as Halkola and senior Katie Kubisiak clocked times of 2:20.82 in the 200-yard backstroke and 2:36.67 in the 200-yard breaststroke, respectively. Gee and Kraus both placed third with a time of 5:59.59 in the 500-yard freestyle and diving to a score of 213.75 in the 3-meter diving, respectively. Sharpee said she prefers not to look at the outcome of the match but rather individual efforts. “It can get a little frustrating [to lose],” Sharpee said. “We don’t really look at how much we score together whether it’s a win or a loss. If we are swimming better and our times are better, we look more at that.” As for the men’s team, they lost 160.5-59.5. UW-Eau Claire won 11 of the 13 events. Sophomore Grady Hilgendorf tied for first in the 1,650-yard freestyle recording a time of 18:32.96 along with UW-Eau Claire’s Jacob Mehring. He also placed second in the 500-yard freestyle finishing at 5:20.07. Grady along with junior Sam Green, sophomore Tyler Shircel and freshman Ian Sewell snagged third in the 800-yard freestyle relay clocking in at 7:57.89. Freshman Tyler Henke was the lone competitor in diving events. He gained 18 points for the Titans scoring 185.63 in the 1-meter dive and 210.00 in the 3-meter dive. Sophomore Myles Taylor placed second in the 50-yard freestyle and third in the 300-yard butterfly with times of 22.87 and 2:10.37. UWO also had a second-place finish from Shircel in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:23.55 and a third-place finish from senior Zach Hogan with a performance of 2:11.88. Sewell said getting back on the winning track starts in training. “Practice how you want to compete,” Sewell said. “If you practice poorly, you will compete poorly. Hard work always pays off, and if you can endure pain and struggle for a while, you will get strong and eventually get to the point where you can ignore the pain and push on. The only way we will be better than other teams is to push our limits.” The Titans will participate at the Rochester Invitational on Dec. 5 and 6 in Minnesota.