GREEN BAY, Wisconsin, October 12. THE University of Wisconsin women's swimming and diving team embarked on its 2007-08 season Friday night with an impressive 159-80 victory over UW-Green Bay at the Dorschl Natatorium in Green Bay, Wis. The Badger men also improved to 3-0 on the season with a 154-85 victory in their meet.
The Badger women won all 13 events as they opened their ninth season under head coach Eric Hansen.
"It was fun to see the team come together for the first time this year," he said afterwards.
The team got things started right away as it took the top four spots in the 200-yard medley relay, the night's opening event. The "A" team of sophomores Sara Goff, Libby Brooks, and seniors Katie Imhoff-Smith and Jackie Vavrek actually ended up tying with the "B" team of freshman Margaret Meyer, sophomore Rosie Morahan, and seniors Jenny Gelden and Kristy Brager with a time of 1:46.54.
The results of the event epitomized the feelings Hansen had after the meet.
"I think (our win) shows the potential of what the freshmen class can do," he said. "I was impressed with our newcomers and our veteran team members."
In the other relay event of the night, the team of senior Hannah McClurg, Meyer, freshman Karlyn Hougan and Vavrek finished first in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:36.60.
In the 1000-yard freestyle, sophomore Gabby Maddalena took top honors while junior Katie Twitchell ended up in third place. Maddalena dominated the field as she finished with a time of 10:05.72, almost 36 seconds faster than the second place finisher. Twitchell ended with a time of 10:52.72.
Maddalena's domination didn't end there though as she blew past the field in the 500-yard freestyle. Her time of 4:59.13 was 11 seconds faster than second place.
The Badgers claimed the top four spots in the 200-yard freestyle. Junior Jen Illescas was the top finisher with a time of 1:52.43. McClurg took second with a time of 1:55.43, while Gelden was third with a time 1:55.57 and sophomore Kasey Carpenter finished fourth in a time of 1:56.35.
Illescas won her second event later in the night when she finished first in the 100-yard freestyle in a time of 52.43.
In the 50-yard freestyle, seniors Vavrek and Jenny Will finished one and two. Vavrek swam to a time of 23.36, while Will came in at 25.13.
Sophomore Candice Peak finished first in the 200-yard IM with a time of 2:08.99, while fellow sophomore Morahan was next with a time of 2:09.85.
Later in the night, Morahan beat the competition by at least four seconds as she won the 100-yard breaststroke in a time of 1:05.40.
Imhoff-Smith was the lone Badger to earn points in the 100-yard butterfly as she finished in a time of 57.33 to earn nine points. Junior Christine Zweigers was third with a time of 54.15.
Like in the 200-yard medley relay, Goff was on the winning end again in the 100-yard backstroke as she won with a time of 58.65.
In diving, freshman Ciara Rinaudo won the 1-meter diving with a score of 214.28. Also earning points for the Badgers in the event were sophomore Jenny Hawkins and freshman Jamie Hood with scores of 204.08 and 172.65, respectively.
Hawkins took home top honors later in the night as she won the 3-meter diving with a score of 222.38. Rinaudo was third with a score of 217.73.
Hansen was pleased with the team's performance and is looking forward to the rest of the season.
"It was a really solid team effort and I think it's something we can build from," he said.
The University of Wisconsin women's swimming and diving team returns to action October 11 when they host Iowa at the Natatorium at 5:00 p.m.
Meanwhile, the men's team won 12 of the 13 events, falling only to UW-Milwaukee in the 1,000 freestyle.
Wisconsin got on the board in the first race by taking first and second in the 200-yard medley relay. The Wisconsin ‘A' team comprised of sophomore Derrick O'Donnell, juniors Eric Johnson, Scott Rice and Kyle Sorensen combined for the winning time of 1:34.46.
In the 1,000 freestyle relay, senior Mike Swanson was able to hold off UW-Milwaukee's Bill McCarty as McCarty made a big charge near the end of the race and finish second (9:53.30).
The next two races, the 200-yard freestyle and 50-yard freestyle featured Wisconsin sweeping the top three finishes. Sophomore Phil Davies took first in the 200-yard freestyle (1:43.53) and freshman Conner Andrews placed first in the 50-yard freestyle (21.77).
Junior Scott Rice finished first in the 200-yard IM (1:54.72) and later won the 500-yard freestyle (4:42.70).
Sorensen won the 100-yard butterfly (51.65) and sophomore Phil Davies took home the 100-yard freestyle title (46.20).
Senior Mike Hopkins won the 100-yard backstroke (52.63) and sophomore Lance Carriaga was the top Wisconsin swimmer in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:00.78).
In diving, freshman Caleb Percevecz won both the one-meter and three-meter diving titles. This was Percevecz's second sweep of the diving titles, as he last did this at UW-Green Bay in his first collegiate meet.
Wisconsin's ‘B' 200-yard freestyle relay team of freshman Fraser Roberts, Davies, Anderws and sophomore Dan Koenig sealed UW's win by taking first with a time of 1:26.30.
The Badgers return to action in early November against Arizona in Tucson, Arizona.
Special thanks to Wisconsin athletics for contributing this story.