Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Making waves in the WIAC

Hunter Hayberger seals victory in the 200 freestyle at the UWW swim and dive intrasquad and alumni meet to begin the season

The UW-Whitewater Swim and Dive team is gearing up for a strong 2023-24 season. After finishing fourth in the WIAC last year, the team is determined to do even better. With a larger roster and experienced coaching under head coach Elise Knoche, the Warhawk men are ready to excel. Coach Knoche, in her sixth year of coaching, shares her aspirations and goals for their approaching campaign.

“We are just a lot larger than we were a couple years ago,” Knoche stated. “That provides us with more depth to the team and we have all these people who are excited to join us. We are at the beginning of building something great.”

Across everyone on the current roster, it is marked with rookie talent along with veteran experience that sets this program apart from others. It is one that displays both a culture of team prosperity, along with that of always setting themselves to a higher standard than the year before.

“We have a number of guys who already have times that would score at the conference meet,” Knoche said. “It is really great because there are some that swim more distance freestyle which we have been thin in, so having more people to train in those lanes has been fun to see.”

With a more well-rounded team with more depth and top of the conference talent, Knoche has a team that has the potential to be one of the greatest in school history. She looks forward to coaching her team to many successes over this next season, along with coaching athletes to fast times and high conference placings.

Senior Hunter Hayberger is a three-time top six WIAC finisher, and this was all just last season. He has always been a leader on the team, and he looks forward to helping his fellow teammates set themselves up for success. With that said, he has some very big personal goals.

“In terms of myself, I want to make it a good season, make sure I give it my all and the fast times come with what. I want to make sure I pass down some wisdom of racing and training,” Hayberger said. 

While being one of the most experienced leaders and athletes on the team, Hayberger wants to not only have a great start to his season and finish to his career, but he also wants to set up the rest of the team for success when he makes his exit. He has seen lots of change since his freshman year. With lots of change comes perspective, which he talks about when reflecting on his years in the program.

“Freshman year was COVID, things were a lot different with COVID protocols with surveys. Our team has almost tripled since then and it has been great to see all the adaptations that the team has seen,” Hayberger recalled. He also spoke on the growth of the team. “Since we are becoming a much bigger group, that has had some challenges with giving equipment to all the freshmen and having to have a larger pool size for practicing.”

Reflecting on Knoche’s team goals for the season during their team meeting regarding goal setting, Hayberger outlined some of the team’s biggest goals and how they are going to work towards them as a team as they begin the start of their season against Illinois Tech.

“Our biggest goal is third at midseason at Wheaton’s meet and third at conference,” Hayberger said. “La Crosse, Stevens Point, and Eau Claire have always been at the top and we want to challenge for one of the top spots in the conference.”

To be a part of the best in the conference, you have to race the best in the conference. To do that, these Warhawks have devoted the first starting weeks of the season to lots of time in the pool and the weight room. Along with strengthening the team’s bond towards a common goal. This year’s team looks to accomplish great things.

The Warhawk Men’s Swim and Dive team begins their official start to the season, Oct. 7 with their Alumni/Intersquad meet at home. Then follow up with their dual meet against Illinois Tech. Knoche looks to lead Hayberger and the rest of this strong team to new heights as they build off the teams and traditions before them.

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