Wisconsin-Milwaukee Performs Well in Indy

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, November 12. SENIORS Lindsay Caldwell and Emily Duesler, sophomore Molly Finn and freshmen Shannon Berndt and Alexandra Nelson all recorded multiple wins to help the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's swimming & diving team breeze to wins against both Butler and UIC on Sunday. The Panthers routed the host Bulldogs, 223-63, and also topped UIC, 201-85. Sophomore Robby Leibold won three events and junior Chase Gravengood won twice to highlight the afternoon for the men as they defeated both Butler and UIC on Sunday to cap a 3-0 weekend. The Panthers defeated UIC by a 151-148 score and also routed host Butler, 227-57.

In the women's meet, Caldwell and Finn each won three events, while Duesler, Finn, Berndt and Nelson recorded two wins each on the day.

"Our women are fun to watch," UWM head coach Dave Griffore said. "They came into today fired up and performed well. It's great to see the positive results on both the swimming and diving sides as well."

Caldwell won the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle events, all in season-best times. In addition to the individual wins, she also led off the 400 freestyle relay with a time of 51.71 to help UWM to the win in that event as well.

She touched the wall in the 50 freestyle in 24.30, the 100 free in 52.16 and the 200 free in 1:53.23. Her win in the 200 was about two seconds ahead of junior Jess Kelly, while her time of 52.16 in the 100 stands out because her wins against Wright State and Valparaiso were also clocked at exactly 52.16.

"Lindsay had a great night," Griffore said. "Her 200 free is something we have been working on for a while and we finally got the result we wanted. That 1:53 sets her up nicely for where she needs to be."

Finn continues her hot start to her sophomore season, winning the 400 IM and both of the butterfly events to give her eight wins in 10 races so far this year. She won the 100 fly in 59.69, the 200 fly in 2:10.98 and the 400 IM in 3:35.22. She led a contingent of swimmers in the 200 fly, where Milwaukee finished 1-2-3. Senior Heather Sawatzki (2:14.39) and junior Briana Fergusson (2:16.04) also helped out.

"Molly Finn had a very solid meet for us," Griffore said. "She's just got to keep working. She is doing a nice job and also made a big impact in the 400 medley relay [which UWM won] as well."

Duesler continues to dominate the diving events, picking up her fifth and sixth wins of the season by sweeping both boards. Her score of 246.55 on the one was a season-best and her score of 273.80 on the three was an NCAA Zone qualifying tally.

Berndt and Nelson continue their solid starts to their freshman seasons. Berndt won both breaststroke events, touching the wall in 1:07.58 in the 100 and a season-best 2:26.40 in the 200. Nelson extended her personal win streak in the 1000 freestyle to two (she won at Valpo Saturday) in a season-best 10:49.44 and won the 500 free in 5:21.15, also a season-best.

"Having the freshman get the results that they are getting this early in the season is very positive," Griffore said. "They all contributed at a high level tonight."

Sophomore Kristina Hansen rounds out the list of Milwaukee winners, taking home the victory in the 100 backstroke in 1:01.09.

UWM improves to 7-0 all-time against Butler with the win, and to 12-4 (including the past eight-straight) versus UIC.

"I know the season is still very young," Griffore said. "But getting the results we are already seeing is very exciting."

For the men, Leibold was impressive all meet, winning the 500 and 1000 freestyles in addition to the 400 IM. He led a 1-2 finish for UWM in the 1000 free, winning in 9:47.74. He then recorded a season-best time of 4:44.68 to win the 500 free. Lastly, he topped that with a personal-best of 4:13.51 (his old best was 4:13.65) in the 400 IM to give him three wins on the night.

"When you have to swim the 500, 1000 and 400 IM all in one meet and perform as well as he did, it is nothing short of outstanding," Griffore said.

The Panthers had the top two finishers in two of Leibold's wins, with sophomore teammate David Adams taking second in the 1000 freestyle and freshman Jeremy Waldhart second in the 400 IM.

Gravengood nearly joined Leibold with three individual wins, getting touched out – by one-hundredth of a second – to take second in the 100 backstroke. His time of 53.56 came up just behind UIC's Andy Peterson (53.55). Gravengood did go on to sweep the butterfly events with season-best times in both, winning the 100 in 51.91 and the 200 fly 1:56.19.

"We put Chase in the 100 back as a gamble and it almost paid off," Griffore said. "He had to turn right around to win the 200 fly, so we were pleased with how he responded after getting touched-out."

The other individual winner for UWM was junior Jeremy Seibel, taking first in the 200 breaststroke in a time of 2:10.50.

The two dual wins today gave Milwaukee a perfect 3-0 weekend after they beat Valparaiso Saturday. The last time the Panthers recorded three-straight dual wins was November 1-9 of the 2002-03 season.

"This just helps us to keep building confidence," Griffore said. "As coaches, we have to keep building on what we set out to accomplish and this really keeps the momentum going for us."

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