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Titans To Splash At WIAC Championship

Titans To Splash At WIAC Championship

University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point tries for an 18th straight title at this weekend's Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Men's Swimming & Diving Championship (presented by Culver's) in Brown Deer.

Competition in the three-day championship begins Thursday (Feb. 16) and concludes Saturday (Feb. 18) at the Walter Schroeder Aquatic Center. Sessions will be held at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on both Thursday and Friday (Feb. 17) and at 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.

UW-Oshkosh is serving as the host institution for the 55th men's championship that will be held concurrently with the 46th women's championship.

UW-Stevens Point collected the 20th league championship in program history a season ago with 916.5 points. The Pointer men easily surpassed UW-Whitewater's second-place total of 742.5 points and UW-Eau Claire's third-place score of 594. UW-La Crosse finished fourth in the five-team meet with 563 points and UW-Oshkosh fifth with 221.

This year's championship features 18 student-athletes who have combined to win 23 individual and 31 relay first-place medals at previous league meets.

UW-Stevens Point junior Sam Jekel is the most decorated returnee with five individual and seven relay championships to his credit. He posted back-to-back first-place finishes in the 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle relay, 400-yard freestyle relay and 200-yard medley relay at the 2014 and 2015 championships. In 2015, he added titles in the 100-yard butterfly and 400-yard medley relay.

Sophomore Nate Somers was named Swimmer of the Meet at last year's championship after emerging with titles in the 500- and 1,650-yard freestyles and the 800-yard freestyle relay for the Pointers.

Junior Jack Englehardt is the defending champion in the 50- and 100-yard freestyles. He also contributed to the Pointers' first-place 200-yard freestyle, 400-yard freestyle and 200-yard medley relay teams a year ago.

Senior Andrew King has won three straight 200-yard freestyle relay titles along with two consecutive 400-yard freestyle relay crowns. He helped the Pointers' 200-yard medley relay foursome to victory in 2014 and 2015.

Senior Ethan Bott and sophomore Grant Moser are the defending champions in the 200-yard backstroke and 100-yard butterfly, respectively. Moser and junior Garrett Richetto also helped the Pointers' 800-yard freestyle relay team to victory in 2016 while Bott swam on the first-place 400-yard medley relay at the 2015 championship.

At last year's meet, UW-Stevens Point sophomore Reilly Donnellan contributed to the triumphant 200-yard freestyle, 400-yard freestyle and 200-yard medley relay teams. He was joined on the 200-yard medley relay quartet by junior Brandon Richardson.

Junior Evan Catani won the 1,650-yard freestyle for the Pointers at the 2014 and 2015 championships while adding a victory in the 400-yard individual medley in 2015.

UW-Whitewater senior Josh Kanute is the two-time defending champion in the 200-yard freestyle. At the 2015 championship, he was selected Swimmer of the Meet after adding titles in the 500-yard freestyle, 200-yard butterfly and 800-yard freestyle relay. Kanute captured the 500-yard freestyle in 2014 and was joined on the Warhawks' victorious 800-yard freestyle relay team in 2015 by senior Alex Gidlow.

UW-Eau Claire senior Ben Fisher has won back-to-back titles in the 100-yard breaststroke while junior Dayton Miller strives for his second straight first-place finish in the 400-yard individual medley and senior Ryan Young is the defending champion in the 200-yard butterfly. Fisher, Young and junior Logan Coert also contributed to the Blugolds' first-place 400-yard medley relay last season.

UW-La Crosse senior Jackson Uselman was a member of the triumphant 800-yard freestyle relay team in 2014.

UW-Oshkosh has received strong performances this season from senior Jacob Casper, junior Grady Hilgendorf, freshmen Ross Armitage, Dylan Sobolewski and Bryan Solomon.

Casper enters the championship ranked 20th in both the 100- and 200-yard breaststrokes with times of 1:02.33 and 2:25.00, respectively, while Solomon lists 20th in both the 100- and 200-yard butterfly with times of 54.97 seconds and 2:07.51, respectively.

Hilgendorf ranks 10th and Armitage 11th in the 1,650-yard freestyle with times of 18:24.27 and 18:31.07, respectively, while Sobolewski ranks 19th in the 400-yard individual medley with a time of 4:53.08.

UW-Eau Claire owns a league-best 25 WIAC championships while UW-Stevens Point follows with 20, UW-La Crosse and UW-Platteville with four apiece and UW-Milwaukee with one.

2017 WIAC Swimming & Diving Championship Website

2017 WIAC Swimming & Diving Championship Program