Swimmers start season with wins

By Ryan Altman Nov. 5, 2014

The UW-Whitewater men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams kicked off their respective seasons with a pair of victories against Luther College in Iowa last Saturday.

The ’Hawks swept the day, earning a 176-61 in men’s competition and a 144-99 victory for the women.

Heading into Saturday, head coach Joel Rollings said he had an idea of how well the teams could perform after weeks of practice, but didn’t know how fast they’d really be.

“I saw a lot of good things,” Rollings said. “We’ve been working really hard, so I didn’t expect the fast times considering all the time we’ve spent getting ready for the season.”

The ’Hawks dominated the pool, collecting 20 wins in 26 races and diving events combined.

The meet was highlighted by freshman Michaela Matthys, who set the UW-W school record in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 58.37 in her first collegiate meet. Matthys also went on to win the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 25.17.

“[Michaela’s] a heck of a talent,” Rollings said. “She’s gone that fast in practice and with a matter of more training from high school to college, she has the potential to be a national champion in the butterfly next year.”

Other winners for the ’Hawks women’s team were junior Stacey Kincade (1000-yard freestyle), senior Kelsey Kohlbeck in the 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle relay and 200-yard medley relay, and sophomores Sarah Arteaga in the 200-yard individual medley and Margaret Lotzer in the 500-yard freestyle.

Senior Maggie Gomberg edged out teammate, senior Amy Spaay, for first place in the 100-yard breaststroke.

“We have been working really hard this season,” Kohlbeck said. “It was nice to finally be able to put all that hard work into a competition and cap it off with a win.”

On the men’s side, sophomores Josh Kanute won in the 500-yard freestyle and 200-yard freestyle relay and Alexander Gidlow in both the 50 and 100-yard freestyles picked up a pair of first-place finishes.

Senior Jacob Shackelford won the 1000-yard freestyle, senior Joe Devroy took the 100-yard backstroke and sophomore Daniel Bielski won the 100-yard butterfly and 200-yard medley relay to round out the top finishers for the swimmers.

Junior Keefer Kuhl added a pair of diving victories in the one-meter and three-meter.

Up next for the ’Hawks is a trip to Green Bay on Nov. 7, where they will compete in the UW-Green Bay Invite.

 

Women’s Season Preview

Last year’s squad finished third out of six teams at the conference championships, but Rollings believes this year’s team could be the strongest he has ever coached in his nine years at UW-W.

“I think the women’s team is a lot stronger than last year’s,” Rollings said. “We added some really quality freshmen to the mix.”

Kohlbeck – who is one of the ’Hawks’ team captains – was part of the 2013 400-yard medley relay team who won first place at the conference championships last year. She said she is excited for the upcoming season and thinks the team will improve on last year’s finish.

“Last year, we just got edged out of second place,” Kohlbeck said. “This year, getting second place at conference would be a great feat for our team, and I think we can do it.

 

Men’s Season Preview

Several key members return to this year’s squad including Devroy, Shackelford, Kanute and Gidlow from the 2013 WIAC third place team, which equaled their best ever conference finish.

The four swimmers combined to win four different titles last season.

Currently, the ’Hawks roster consists of only seven upperclassmen (four seniors and three juniors), but Rollings isn’t worried about the team’s youth.

“[The men’s team] is very young, but I’m confident that the team will be able to hold its own this season,” Rollings said.

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