UW swimmers look for 4th win

first_imgAfter starting the season off with three wins in its first three meets, the University of Wisconsin women’s swimming team will look to continue its winning ways in the SMU Classic in Dallas this weekend. The Badgers will face host SMU, Florida State, Alabama, Texas A&M and USC. Four of those five teams are ranked nationally, and the Badgers will be looking to keep their spot in the top 20 after this weekend.Wisconsin will send eight swimmers and one diver to the meet, which is different than previous events the team has competed in.“We are going to have women swimming events that they don’t usually compete in, and every team is going to have holes in their lineup,” senior captain Jackie Vavrek said. “The name of the game at this meet is versatility. The nine women who are going to the meet this weekend are extremely versatile, so I feel that we will make a good showing this weekend.”Head coach Eric Hansen described the SMU Classic as a “training opportunity” for his swimmers.“[This is an event] where everyone has weaknesses, but you find out who can race,” Hansen said. The upcoming meet will be a great opportunity for the team to figure out who can swim under pressure and a good way for the swimmers to get practice time for their more challenging events later in the season. “They will be competing against the toughest teams in the nation [during the second half],” Hansen said. “This is where the girls will be tested and where they will learn.”Vavrek also knows that the team’s upcoming schedule will be an uphill battle. “We’ve had some great meets thus far, but our biggest challenges are definitely to come,” Vavrek said. “We just have to keep looking towards our big meets of the year, like the Texas Invite, Big Tens and NCAAs. Those are the meets that really matter. Everything in between is just a stepping stone. But seeing our team succeed along the way is definitely the best kind of motivation for those end-of-the-season meets.”The current team is almost entirely different from last year’s roster, as several players left the team. They lost sophomore Yi Ting Siow, who was named the Big Ten Swimmer of the Year after last season, and senior Susan Johnson. However, the swimmers have stepped up in a big way this season. Along with Vavrek, Hannah McClurg and the rest of the senior class have relished their new roles and are encouraging and helping the large freshmen class along the way. “Our freshmen have really developed nicely, and our seniors have come in well prepared,” Hansen said. “So I’m happy with where we are at.”Rosie Morahan, a sophomore who specializes in the breaststroke, has already contributed to the team in a big way. Facing off against UW-Milwaukee, Morahan won the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:04.51 and also participated in the 200-yard medley relay team with fellow sophomore Candice Peak. While Morahan and Peak are leading the sophomores, Maggie Meyer is doing just that for the freshman class. Meyer finished first in the 50-yard freestyle against the Panthers with a time of 24.49 and the 100-yard backstroke in a time of 56.73.No matter what the experience or age levels these swimmers are at, Vavrek said it is all about the team once they enter the water. “The team is very high energy, very motivated, and [they] have extremely high goals in mind,” Vavrek said. “As a captain, I expect everyone to come in and give it their all and just swim for something greater than themselves, for the team.”last_img

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