Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

UWO swim and dive teams begin season

Courtesy of UWO Athletics — Oshkosh sophomore Abbi Priestley dives into Albee Pool during a home meet last season.

The UW Oshkosh swim and dive team kicked off its 2023-24 season Sept. 18. Under the leadership of head coach Chrisopher Culp, assistant swim coach Charles Sommer and dive coach Amy McQuillan, this year’s team is stronger in numbers in both the men’s and women’s teams. 

Women’s swim and dive team increased from 10 to 21 members and the men’s swim and dive team increased from 11 to 20 members.

Last year was Sommer’s first full year as assistant coach and he set out on a mission to increase the number of members on each team to at least 20 to increase the team’s chances at placing higher in Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) championships.

Last year, the men’s and women’s swim and dive teams placed fifth overall in the WIAC Championships. Diver Abbi Priestley placed first overall in the one-meter and second in the three-meter. Swimmer Francesca Schiro broke four school records, including both the 100 and 200 freestyle events twice. CJ Willert broke the 200 backstroke record, Cadence Showalter broke the records for the 200-yard individual medley and the 100 butterfly.

The swim coaches made a pact that if the teams as a whole broke five school records they would shave their heads, so the teams made that happen. 

“I anticipate us moving up in conference going from fifth to third as far as the women’s side and the men have a really strong chance of taking fourth,” Sommer said. 

When looking for recruits for the team both coaches encourage the recruits to do an overnight stay with the student-athletes to allow both the athletes and the recruits time to get to know each other. 

“The student athletes really do the best recruiting,” Culp said.

“The recruits will do an overnight and the team will come up to me and tell me ‘oh, they are really great’ or ‘I don’t think this is the right type of person for us,’” he said.

Both coaches are looking forward to the fast-approaching new season with a brand new team. 

“Nothing beats just being on the pool deck and actually coaching,” Sommer said. “That is one of the most rewarding parts of the job. I truly look forward to our first practice.”

McQuillan said that she’s looking forward to the upcoming season.

“I look forward to picking up where we left off as a diving group last year and watching the team progress its skills throughout this season.”

The swim and dive team hosts the Alumni Meet every year where former UWO swimmers and divers come to Albee Pool to compete in an unofficial meet. This year it is on Oct. 7. The first official swim and dive meet is Oct. 14, at UW-Eau Claire.

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