Swim and dive, Lieder finish off the season

Cory Sparks, Sports Editor

The UW Oshkosh swim and dive team lost to UW-Eau Claire 199-86 on Feb. 27 at the Albee Pool to close out their 2021 regular season.

Katie Pulvermacher / Advance-Titan
The status of next season’s competition schedule, in terms of whether or not there will be out of conference competition, is still
up in the air.

The meet against UWEC was just UWO’s fourth, and last, of the season, and this year was definitely different for a group that is used to evaluating their progress based on performance against other schools.

“We had a lot of training and not a lot of competition,” swim and dive coach Christopher Culp said. “We really use competition as part of our training cycle, so to not have that consistent evaluation of how we’re doing definitely threw a wrench into our normal plan.”

Senior freestyle/butterfly swimmer Jarrett Lieder has been a huge bright spot for UWO, breaking school record after school record.

Lieder currently has eight school records in the 200, 500, 1000 and 1650-yard freestyles, the 400-yard individual medley (which he broke on Feb. 20), was a member in the 200 and 400 yard freestyle relay teams and he was a member of the 800-yard freestyle relay team with junior Alex Jernberg, sophomore Robert Thomasberg and junior Josiah Vandenberg that broke the school’s record time at the Feb. 27 meet.

“All things considered, I am generally pleased with my performances this year. However, I am not completely satisfied,” Lieder said. “I am proud of the way my teammates are competing this season. Our times have been good when you take into account how crazy the year has been.”

Lieder has found that the encouragement of his team while he swims motivates him, and he recalls all of them cheering him on as he broke the school’s 400-yard individual medley record.

“While I was swimming, I saw what seemed like the entire team cheering me on up in the stands, so I knew that if I wasn’t going to do it for me, I had to do it for them,” Lieder said.

Lieder has caught the attention of his coaches throughout his swimming career at UWO, and they say that his work ethic is the main reason for his success as an athlete.

“When he first came as a freshman, I don’t think any of us knew how good he could be,” Culp said. “He comes from an athletic family, and once he started you realized that this kid was special because of his work ethic, his drive, his confidence. He just needed to be coached.”

With an unfortunate year coming to a close, Lieder sees the odd circumstances of the pandemic as a lesson on rolling with the punches of life and adjusting accordingly.

The team has been in way less meets than it otherwise would compete in, but they’ve done what they can to make the best of the opportunities presented to them.

“I think there are always positives that can come out of any situation. Yes, the past 10 months really stunk. But as a team, we learned to be flexible. We learned how to push ourselves even with no competitions in sight,” Lieder said. “In a generally negative situation, I think we made the best of it.”