University of Wisconsin-La Crosse aims for a sixth consecutive and 17th overall first-place finish at this weekend's Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Women'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 46th meeting of women's teams that will be held in unison with the 55th men's championship.
The UW-La Crosse women tallied 806 points to nip UW-Eau Claire's second-place total of 798 at last year's championship. The eight-point margin of victory was the closest since UW-La Crosse defeated UW-Stevens Point, 1,223-1,216, in 2002.
UW-Whitewater finished third in last year's five-team meet with 693 points while UW-Stevens Point placed fourth with 546 and UW-Oshkosh fifth with 284.
This year's championship features 11 student-athletes who have combined to win 11 individual and 16 relay first-place medals at previous league meets.
UW-Eau Claire sophomore Samantha Senczyszyn claimed Swimmer of the Meet honors a season ago after winning the 100-yard breaststroke, 200-yard breaststroke and 200-yard individual medley. She also contributed to the Blugolds' victorious 200-yard freestyle, 400-yard freestyle, 200-yard medley and 400-yard medley relay teams in 2016.
UW-Eau Claire junior Jessica Short was victorious at the 2016 championship in the 100- and 200-yard backstrokes while also helping the 200-yard freestyle, 400-yard freestyle and 400-yard medley relay teams to victory.
UW-Whitewater junior Michaela Matthys is the two-time defending champion in the 100-yard butterfly. She also won the 200-yard butterfly and 200-yard medley relay in 2015.
Senior Sarah Arteaga has claimed consecutive titles in the 400-yard individual medley for UW-Whitewater while winning the 200-yard individual medley in 2015. Seniors Grace Devine and Margaret Lotzer were members of the Warhawks' victorious 800-yard freestyle relay team in 2015.
UW-La Crosse senior Anna Landgraf helped the Eagles' 800-yard freestyle relay team to victory in both 2014 and 2016. She was joined on the 2016 team by junior Courtney Boak and the 2014 squad by senior Katelyn Nadeau.
UW-Stevens Point seniors Katelynn Homeyer and Katarina Walker-Daniels were members of the Pointers' first-place 400-yard medley relay team in 2015.
Challoner enters the championship ranked sixth in the conference in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:15.45. She also ranks eighth in the 100-yard butterfly at 1:01.18, 12th in the 100-yard breaststroke at 1:10.65 and 14th in the 200-yard breaststroke at 2:39.58.
Kraus owns scores of 379.55 off the 1-meter board and 309.95 off the 3-meter plank to rank fifth in both categories. Barnstable ranks sixth in both areas with scores of 355.55 off the 1- and 285.70 off the 3-meter platforms.
Halkola is seeded fifth in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:12.48, 10th in the 100-yard backstroke at 1:02.03 and 14th in the 200-yard freestyle at 2:01.87.
Teske is ranked in four events, including the backstroke where she owns the third-seeded time of 58.95 at 100 yards and the seventh-seeded mark of 2:12.77 at 200. Teske also ranks 14th in the 100-yard freestyle at 55.64 seconds and 15th in the 50-yard freestyle at 25.76.
UW-Eau Claire leads all current and past WIAC members with 19 league championships while UW-La Crosse follows with 16, UW-Stevens Point six and University of Wisconsin four.