UWO sets 10 school records at WIAC Championship


Billy Piotrowski

UWO swim and dive head coach Christopher Culp gets his head shaved to fulfill the bet he made with his team after they set numerous school records at the WIAC Championship last weekend. Culp told his team to get five records, they set ten.

Billy Piotrowski, Sports Writer

The UWO swimming and diving team is reflecting and preparing for next season. The men’s and women’s teams finished the season with a record of 1-7 and 3-5 in meets respectively. Both teams finished fifth in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship last Saturday.

It was a season of highs and lows, head coach Christopher Culp said, but the best of this year’s team was shown at the WIAC Championship, where the Titans broke 10 school records.

“It was a really interesting season,” Culp said. “Every year takes on a different character, but this year we definitely had some ups and downs. There was a lot of adversity this year. We went through a lot. I was really pleased with the way we were training by the end of the season and the way we came together at this meet (WIAC Championship).”

Not only was this a major accomplishment and meant a lot to the team, there was a reward they were looking forward to. On Tuesday the Titans got to shave Culp’s head.

The bet was originally made last season, with the goal being five school records; however, the team broke four. So, after a little thought, Culp decided to carry the bet over to this season, and the Titans more than exceeded their goal.

Culp said the performances on Saturday were a culmination of a long season filled with hard work.

“We started off really well with our first couple relays and that really set the momentum for the meet,” Culp said. “That and I think they really wanted to shave my head.”

Culp said success in the pool became contagious.

“I think they just fed off of each other’s success,” Culp said. “When one starts to do well, the others believe that they can do it so it just kept growing, it just built off that. It was excellent, and I’m happy to allow them to have their fun; hair grows back.”

The WIAC Championship meet proved to be the highlight of the season for many of the athletes.

UWO junior Sydney Challoner said her favorite moment was being a part of the three records the women broke.

“When we were at Conference and were able to break the 800-yard freestyle relay record with the team as well as breaking my own 200 butterfly record and my 100 butterfly record,” Challoner said.

On the men’s side, sophomore Jarrett Lieder was involved in six of their seven broken records. Fellow sophomore David Bain broke the seventh in the 200-yard backstroke preliminary.

Only one Titan, sophomore diver Matt Wilke, qualified for the NCAA Division III Region 1 Championship, which takes place at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Ill. on Friday and Saturday, March 1 and 2.

Despite not having more Titans going to regionals, there is excitement in the air for Wilke and for next season. Lieder talked about new additions to the team and how this season will help the team grow.

“I’m pretty excited to see what kind of freshmen we’re gonna get in because we are not losing any seniors this year,” Lieder said. “So I just know that our team is going to develop and grow, and I’m looking forward to that.”