The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point men’s swimming and diving team is heading to the conference championship with an undefeated record of 4-0.
On Feb. 3-4 the team competed in the University of Minnesota Challenge. It was an invitational meet where teams throughout the Midwest attended.
The challenge is not scored and for some swimmers on the team, it was their last competition this season.
Al Boelk, head coach, described that challenge as the last meet to prepare the players for the championships.
Out of about 30 men on the team, 17 swimmers and three divers will be competing in the championships.
Boelk said that the team only had a few minor setbacks this season.
“It’s been a pretty smooth year we have stayed healthier than we have in the average year. I think that is one of the reasons that the year is going pretty good. We really haven’t struggled this year that much, they have trained well and most of them got the job done in the off-season,” Boelk said.
Brandon Donaldson, junior, swims the breast stroke. At the challenge this past weekend Donaldson swam the 200 individual medley as well as the 100 and 200-yard breaststroke.
According to Donaldson, the 100-yard breaststroke is his best event because he is a strong sprinter.
He claims that one of the biggest successes this season has been the team’s ability to form strong bonds.
“I don’t really look at them and see their skill level, I just see them as people that love the sport like me and have a passion for it. If you have a group of people that love the sport together and want to work hard that’s going to produce excellence and speed,” Donaldson said.
Zach Gaschignard, freshman, swims freestyle and finished up his season at the challenge.
Though the team remains undefeated, Gaschignard admitted that competing against St. Cloud State University this season almost cost the team a loss.
Competing at the collegiate level has been a big change for Gaschignard because he went from swimming for a team that had won one meet in three years to swimming for an undefeated team.
“I think the work ethic on this team is a lot higher and people are more determine on this team because they want to keep the conference championship streak going,” Gaschignard said.
Starting on Feb. 16, the team will compete in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship.