Milwaukee Swimming & Diving Remains Program On The Rise
March 3, 2011
MILWAUKEE - The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee swimming & diving teams had a very successful week at the 2011 Horizon League Championships, with the men earning a repeat of their conference championship and the women placing second to Green Bay.
Along the way, the two teams combined to claim first-team all-league honors seven times, second-team honors 13 times, break four Horizon League records (six times), 22 school records (28 times), eight freshmen records (14 times) and record 15 NCAA `B'-cut times in four memorable days in Cleveland, Ohio.
Last, but not least, the program sent it's first-ever representative to the NCAA Championships in freshman Emily McClellan. In addition, Kyle Clements was named the Horizon League Men's Coach of the Year to round out the award-winners.
The Milwaukee men continue to remain the definition of "team", winning just one individual title the past two seasons despite claiming the league championship each year. Meanwhile, in addition to McClellan becoming the first-ever female from the Horizon League to earn an invitation to the NCAA meet, she also became the first-ever student-athlete to sweep all three top honors when she was named Horizon League Women's Athlete of the Year, the Women's Performer of the Meet and the Horizon League Women's Newcomer of the Year.
McClellan claimed individual titles in the 100 breaststroke (1:00.61), 200 breaststroke (2:12.06) and 200 IM (2:01.27), setting new league records in each event.
Senior Danielle Wenger won the title in the 1650 freestyle (16:47.45) for the fourth-straight season, becoming just the second UWM swimmer to accomplish the feat (Molly Finn, 200 butterfly 2006-09) and only the seventh-ever league athlete to win four-consecutive in the same event.
Rounding out the champions on the women's side was freshman Diana Diel, who set a school record while winning the 100 butterfly (55.14) and the 400 medley relay team of freshman Erika Pliner, McClellan, Diel and junior Sarah Wardecke, who set a new Horizon league record in the process (3:43.25).
Second-Team All-Horizon League honors were abundant on both sides, with five relay teams and eight individuals placing second in their respective events.
The men's relay teams were fast all week, setting school records in all five of the relays during the meet. The three squads that placed second overall included the 200 freestyle relay (Kalinowski, sophomore Mike Schalla, junior Kyle Trelka, sophomore Nathan Welchlin in 1:20.53), the 400 medley relay team (Trelka, junior Brady Huemann, junior Jordan Diel, Kalinowski in 3:17.52) and the 800 freestyle relay team (Welchlin, Schalla, junior Evan Green, Kalinowski in 6:37.44).
Individually, junior Sam Keele was second in the 200 IM (1:50.52) in a school-record time, as was Trelka in the 100 backstroke (50.01).
For the women, Wardecke had a pair of second-place finishes in the breaststroke events, (100 breaststroke in 1:02.93 & 200 breaststroke in 2:18.45), giving her first or second-team accolades in each breaststroke event every one of her seasons in a Panther uniform.
Wenger placed second in the 1000 free (10:14.74), junior Heidi Niespodzany broke the school record in the 200 free (1:49.58), senior Kelsey George was second on the three-meter board (284.05) and Diel was just .08 of a second behind McClellan in the 200 IM (2:01.35).
The women also had two relays of their own place second, setting school records in four of the five relays at the championship meet. Earning second-team all-league honors was the 200 medley relay team (Diel, McClellan, Niespodzany, Wardecke in 1:42.34) and the 400 freestyle relay team (Niespodzany, Diel, freshman Lindsey Verhulst, Wardecke in 3:24.63).