New wave for UW-W Swim & Dive


Ryan Baker, Men’s Sports Assistant Editor

A fourth place finish at the WIAC conferences championships may not have been the most ideal way to end the season for the UW-Whitewater Men’s Swim and Dive team. However, there were glimpses not only at conferences but all season long. There’s a new wave incoming for the Swim and Dive team, and it’s coming fast.

Eight freshmen took the waters for the Warhawks for the first time, all putting in the work and the results peeking through the looking glass. One freshman broke the looking glass and etched his name in the history books in the program. Dom Schlueter took home the title of Newcomer of the Year for the WIAC conference, the first Warhawk to win the award.

“I thought it was pretty crazy. I had no idea about the award or if it even existed,” Schlueter said. “I just went into the season wanting to be the best freshman Whitewater has ever seen, and it turned out that I was the best freshman the conference saw this year. That was a huge shock to me and I was very appreciative.”

One would think that winning the Newcomer of the Year award comes with a sense of leadership, with others looking up to you and following in your steps that adds pressure. However, that’s not the case with Schlueter, and he has zero issue with it. In fact, he looks up to the same people as the other seven freshmen.

“I would push my teammates to the best and encourage them to push themselves harder each day but really I was not the leader the freshman class looked up to,” Schlueter said.  “It was Donny Gramer and Daniel Keller and even assistant coach Eric Sgarbossa. They were who people looked up to on the team and even myself looked up to. They were the ones pushing me to my best. Yeah I may have been the newcomer of the year but not without the other guys on the team.”

Keller is a part of the rowdy and highly energetic freshman class. The new guys were able to bond well all season and it’s only going to create havoc in the rankings for years to come. Even though it might be hard to wrangle the new class, they are still disciplined in their work.

“We were pretty hard to tame. There were a few practices where it was nothing but crazy high energy and just goofing off and having a lot of fun. Still putting in the work,” Schlueter said. “There were a lot of days and meets where all the guys were having a great time together. It didn’t matter if someone did badly, we were having fun anyways. The team’s atmosphere was off the charts and was definitely one of the most fun seasons I’ve ever had swimming.”

This energy led to records being broken at the conference championships. Schlueter broke a ten year program record in the 100 free. All of them are jumping for records and wanting to be the next generation of great swimmers for what has been a lackluster program the past couple years.

“The future of the team looks pretty great in and out of the water. We have a great group of guys, we all have fun together, spend time tighter, go to the gym together outside of practice,” Schlueter said. “The recruits we have coming in next year, I know a few personally and they are a bunch of great guys and great swimmers. I believe going forward Whitewater is on the rise. Going forward I believe next season, the season after that, the season after, is just going to be better than the last.”

The new wave is here and it’s big. Very big. These next couple years are trending in the way of being the best seasons swim and dive have seen in program’s history. As long as the team keeps their energy high, relationships strong, and hard work ethic. The combination of those things are deadly and results will show. We just have to wait and see.