MACOMB, Ill., February 1. UNIVERSITY of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men’s and women's swimming and diving team has looked pretty solid all year long and that seems to be building a lot of confidence within the team. The Panther women have not lost a meet since the double dual meet (11/8/03) and the men continue to finish in the top tier of every meet they compete in. Saturday was no different from the rest of the season as the Panthers rode that confidence into Macomb, Ill. and drove out with even more after claiming a 145-94 victory on the women's side and a 138-101 victory on the men's side.
"Today's meet was a really good meet for us," Panther head coach Dave Clark said. "It was their senior day, their parents were all there and it was really important for us to make sure we swam the way we are capable to take a victory."
A victory it was. The Panther women, coming off a victory at the Bill Ritter Memorial Invitational (1/24), swam away with nine first-place finishes during the meet. The group of Lindsay Caldwell, Sarah Caldwell, Kari Kinney and Heather Sawatzki claimed a win in the 400-yard medley relay (4:07.78), Amanda Schmitt swam to victories in the 500 (5:20.40) and 1000-yard freestyle (10:51.18), and Crystal Szymanski won on both the 1-meter (218.76 pts.) and 3-meter (231.38 pts.) diving boards. Kinney added two more individual wins with victories in the 200-meter individual medley (2:15.61) and the 200-meter butterfly (2:11.57). Lindsay Caldwell also swam to a victory in the 50-yard freestyle (25.43). With all the wins, it's hard for performers to stand out, but Panther senior Amanda Schmitt and her two victories seem to be raising her confidence and performances.
"Amanda Schmitt swam out of her mind in the 1650-meter freestyle last weekend in the Bill Ritter Memorial Invitational and she's suddenly taking it to another level," Clark said. "Amanda has always been a solid swimmer for us, but it's great to see her coming on like this in her final season. It's a great way to wind off a good career."
The UWM men's swimming and diving team are in the process of ensuring that other teams keep them in the back of their minds. After just falling short of a huge comeback in last weekend's Bill Ritter Memorial Invite, the men seem took that sour feeling and turned it into 11 event victories against the Leathernecks.
The men got started when the combination of Ryan Frohmader, Kyle Fyock, Rob Vergeer and Adam Steffes swam to a victory in the 400-yard medley relay (3:39.46). Frohmader also added a victory in the 200-meter backstroke (2:01.05), Fyock added another in the 200-yard individual medley (2:03.30) and Vergeer tallied a win in the 200-yard butterfly (2:00.59). Michael Belting and Josh Baseheart continued their own version of dominant swimming with Belting claiming wins in the 200 (1:45.30) and 500-yard freestyle (4:43.92) events while Baseheart swam to victories in the 50 (21.66) and 100 freestyle (47.03) events. Freshman Dana Elzea also joined the mix of wins with his winning time in the 1,000-yard freestyle (10:24.40) while Joel Mauer claimed a win on the 1-meter diving board (206.75 pts.) and Corey Kupfer won the 3-meter diving board (219 pts.). Overall, there's nothing like a win.
"A dual meet victory is great especially when it's on the road," Clark said. "We need to keep getting better and better to really make a serious run from now until the end of the year."