Swim & Dive bids seniors farewell


Parker Olsen

Swimmers dive into the pool after the starting sound in the Williams Center Pool on Saturday, January 28, 2023.

Parker Olsen, Men’s Sports Editor

The UW-Whitewater Men’s Swim & Dive team (3-4) suffered a blowout loss at the Williams Center Pool against UW-Eau Claire (4-1) by a score of 201-52 on Senior Day. The Warhawks only graduated two men, Joe Wenszell and Ryan Corfield.

Eau Claire, who Whitewater head coach Elise Knoche called one of the best in the WIAC, took first place in every single men’s event. The Warhawks garnered seven second place finishes and the Blugolds swept the top three spots in four of the thirteen contested events. Whitewater did not have anyone compete in the 200 yard breaststroke.

A swimmer comes up for a breath as other swimmers cheer them on and get ready for their own events in the Williams Center Pool on Saturday, January 28, 2023.
(Parker Olsen)

Ethan Bergman, a freshman, was one of the Warhawks biggest contributors. He took second in the 100 yard butterfly, fourth in the 100 yard freestyle, and was part of the second place 200 yard freestyle relay as well as part of the third place 200 yard medley relay team.

Finishing in second place, ahead of Bergman, in the 100 yard freestyle was freshman Dom Schlueter with a time of 54.27. Schlueter was just .05 short of taking first place in the event.

Schlueter and Bergman combined with Anthony Mrozowski and Donny Gramer to take second place in the 200 yard freestyle relay, clocking in at 1:28.22, they were over eight tenths of a second behind Eau Claire’s first place finishing team.

Though the team has an astoundingly large freshman class, eight of the roster’s 17 athletes, Saturday’s swim meet had a focus on the team’s seniors. Ryan Corfield and Joe Wenszell. 

Corfield was able to make a mark on the day as he swam the second leg of the 200 yard freestyle relay. Corfield, Matt Sipin, Ethan Coons and David Cummings took fifth place in the event, finishing in 1:33.29. Wenszell swam in the 50 yard freestyle.

These two seniors had a unique college athletics experience, having dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whitewater and Eau Claire swimmers take their marks as they wait for the starting sound of their event in the Williams Center Pool on Saturday, January 28, 2023.
(Parker Olsen)

“When COVID happened, it was not fun,” Wenszell said. “I definitely lost a lot of motivation and things like that. I trained all summer and then we didn’t have a season. We still had team culture though so I enjoyed it.”

Wenszell expressed his love for the sport and the culture that Warhawk swim has that makes the team feel like a big family.

Despite the tough day in the pool for the Warhawks head coach Elise Knoche found positives as the team now turns its sights to the WIAC Championships.

“Today, seeing a lot of season bests and personal bests after all the hard training should be a very big confidence booster for our team as they prepare for when we rest and we will be at our peak at conference,” Knoche said.

The Warhawks next time in the pool will be Wednesday Feb. 15 as they begin competing at the WIAC Championships in Milwaukee, the championships go through Saturday Feb. 18. They will be looking to improve on last season’s third place finish.