Feb. 18, 2008
This Week In Milwaukee Women's Swimming & Diving
Wednesday-Saturday, Feb. 20-23 Horizon League Championships
Hosted by Cleveland State Busbey Natatorium 10:30 a.m. preliminaries/6 p.m finals
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's swimming & diving team prepares for the Horizon League Championships this week in Cleveland, Ohio. The event, hosted by Cleveland State University, gets underway on Wednesday morning. A champion will be crowned on Saturday evening, with the Panthers looking to improve on their second-place finish from a year ago.
Complete Release in PDF Format
SCOUTING THE MEET:
The Milwaukee heads to the Horizon League Championships in search of the second title in program history, with its first coming in the 2000-01 season. They were in the meet until the final event last season, settling for second place. That snapped a string of five-consecutive third-place finishes. UWM will be in good shape to contend after defeating three-time champion Green Bay, 137-106, in the final dual of the season Feb. 2. The win was the first Milwaukee dual victory over GB in since 1992.
HL Preview: The Green Bay women aim for their fourth straight League championship, led by Danielle DeGrand. The junior won the 200-yard backstroke and the 200-yard individual medley at last season's championships, and was named the Athlete of the Year. Returning multiple-event winners from last season include Catalina Martinez of Wright State, and Molly Finn and Shannon Berndt, both of Milwaukee. Others to watch are Andrea Giczewski of UIC in the sprint freestyle events, and Krystyna Wieczerzak of Wright State, who currently leads the League in three individual events.
The schedule looks like this:
Daily from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Daily at 6 p.m. (Wed.-Sat.)
Day 1 Finals: men's 3-meter
Day 2 Finals: women's 1-meter
Day 3 Finals: men's 1-meter
Day 4 Finals: women's 3-meter
Daily at 10:30 a.m. (Thur.-Sat.)
Daily at 6:00 p.m. (Wed.-Sat.)
Day 1 Finals: 200 free relay, 1000 free, 200 medley relay
Day 2 Finals: 500 free, 200 IM, 50 free, 400 medley relay
Day 3 Finals: 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back, 800 free relay
Day 4 Finals: 1650 free, 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly, 400 free relay
For more information:
Go to the swimming page on http://horizonleague.cstv.com/ for previews and other meet information.
Also, new this year, the Horizon League will be providing fans that can't make the trip to Cleveland a chance to watch the action. The Horizon League Network (www.horizonleaguenetwork.tv) will be webcasting live coverage of the finals on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (Feb. 21-23), with coverage beginning at approximately 6 p.m. (eastern) each night.
Sign up to watch for free. Registration is easy and takes just a few minutes.
LAST TIME IN THE POOL:
Senior Jess Kelly's two individual victories helped lead the way as UWM defeated Green Bay Feb. 2 by a score of 137-106. The Panthers won eight events on the day to post their first victory over the Phoenix since 1992. After falling by a single point in their dual at Green Bay last season (122-121), Milwaukee came out with victories in the first three individual events to get things rolling.
Freshman Danielle Wenger won the 1,000 freestyle in 10:27.64 to help give UWM two of the top three finishers in the first event. Sophomore Jenny Westfall was third in 10:36.22.
Freshman Kelsey Ogle then won the 200 freestyle in a season-best 1:54.78 to set a new freshman record (Kelly Goetsch 1:55.98). Then Kelly came through with a win in the 50 freestyle in a season-best time of 24.63. The senior captain also went on to claim a victory in the 100 free, touching the wall in 53.82.
Other winners for UWM included juniors Molly Finn (200 butterfly) and Ashley Hall (3-m diving), sophomore Shannon Berndt (200 breaststroke) and the 400 free relay team.
In addition to the win in the 1,000, Wenger took second in the 200 backstroke in 2:08.62. It was notable in the fact that it was the first time she swam the event all season. Ogle also chipped in with a second-place effort in the 500 freestyle, finishing in a season-best 5:09.77. The 400 free relay squad of Ogle, senior Heidi Goetsch, Finn and Kelly closed out the afternoon with a win in 3:34.22. The decision was the seventh-straight dual win for the women on the season and also snapped the 10-dual win streak that Green Bay brought into the meet.
The women had a very successful showing at the Horizon League Championships last season at the UIC Natatorium in Chicago, Ill. UWM was in contention until the final event, finishing in second just 12.5 points behind UW-Green Bay, which won its third-straight league title. The Panthers ended the meet with 832.5 points, with the Phoenix first at 845.
The women broke eight records overall - two Horizon League, four school and two UWM freshman records fell at the event. The team claimed 10 league championships, with Lindsay Caldwell leading the way with four titles (three individual/one relay). Molly Finn (400 IM/200 butterfly/relay), Shannon Berndt (100 and 200 breaststroke/relay), Crystal Szymanski (one-meter diving) and Emily Duesler (three-meter diving) rounded out the First Team All-Horizon League victories.
Finn nearly had three individual titles, taking second in the 200 IM. Berndt was the big record-setter. Her time of 1:03.81 in the 100 and 2:20.92 in the 200 established league, school and freshman marks in both of her breaststroke events. The 400 medley team of Kristina Hansen, Berndt, Finn and Caldwell claimed a league title in 3:51.89, less than a second off of the school record of 3:51.09. They beat Green Bay (3:51.95) by the slimmest of margins in the race.
Panthers earning second team all-league honors included Szymanski (three-meter diving), Finn (200 IM), Heather Sawatzki (100 butterfly) and Kerry Rossow (second to Berndt in both breaststroke events).
Susan Harmsen (17:31.71 in the 1650 freestyle) and the 200 free relay team also established new school records. The 200 free relay team actually broke what was the Horizon League record as well, but had to settle for third-place in the event by 32-hundredths of a second.
Caldwell closed out her UWM career with 13 total league titles (eight individual/five relay) and Swimmer of the Meet honors for the third-straight year. Szymanski (Diver of the Meet), Berndt (Horizon League Newcomer of the Year) and coach Todd Hill (Diving Coach of the Year) rounded out the award-winners for Milwaukee.
LEADING THE WAY:
With the Horizon League Championships this week, it's time to take a look at who is leading the way for the women's team. Junior Molly Finn has been very consistent, recording 13 wins, seven second-place showings and three thirds on the season. She has the best time in the Horizon League in the 200 butterfly as well as top-four times in the 200 IM, 400 IM and 100 fly. Sophomore Kerry Rossow has been very efficient, winning nine times and taking second four others in just 15 races this season. She holds the top time in the Horizon League in the 100 breaststroke and the third-fastest showing in the 200 breast. Junior Kristina Hansen has three wins in the backstroke events while finishing out of the top three in her specialty just once all season. Sophomore Shannon Berndt has chipped in with four wins and five seconds and has the second-best time in the league in the 200 breast and the third-fastest in the 100.
Freshman have played a big role as well, with Danielle Wenger already recording seven wins and four seconds in the distance events while holding the top time in the league in the 1,000 free and the second-best in the 1,650 free. Teammates Kelsey Ogle (four wins/four seconds) and Ellie Gross (16 top-fives in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle events) round out the list.
The divers look to be in great shape, as junior Ashley Hall holds top scores on both boards and sophomore Rachel Grimm is second on the three-meter and third on the one.
HERE WE GO AGAIN:
After starting last season 0-2 in dual meets, the UWM women won six-straight head-to-head match-ups and ended the season at 6-3 overall in duals. That pattern was followed again in 2007-08. After starting 0-3 this season, the Panthers won seven-straight to finish 7-3 in duals, while also adding a team championship at the Wheaton Invitational in between. The last time UWM won more than six-straight was during the 1990-91 season (team-record nine-straight).
QUITE A FIRST IMPRESSION:
After having to sit out last season after transferring, junior Ashley Hall continues to make a great first impression on the UWM diving team. Just after the break last month, she was recognized inside and outside of the classroom, tabbed for Horizon League Female Diver of the Week and as the U.S. Army Female Scholar-Athlete of the Week Dec. 11. She actually earned both honors in back-to-back weeks and has now been the league diver of the week five times this season. She has recorded 13 victories in 18 attempts overall this year - including eight-consecutive wins on the three-meter board - and has also qualified for NCAA Zones on both boards.
The Panthers' season will come to a close as a team, but any individual NCAA qualifiers will continue on.