BROWN DEER, Wis. (Blugolds.com) - Building on its solid performance yesterday, the UW-Eau Claire men's swimming & diving team kept its second place spot in the standings and broke a school record in the process.
Point-leader UW-Stevens Point pushed further ahead in the team competition, reaching a second-day total of 636 points. Eau Claire maintained its second place position with 418 total points while UW-La Crosse crept closer with a new total of 401 points.
Jonathan Poppele (Jr.-Maple Grove, Minn./Wayzata) had one of the strongest days for the Blugolds. Poppele won the title in the 400-yard individual medley race with a time of 4:03.73. In addition to being a DIII "B-cut" qualifier, the time broke the old Eau Claire school record in the event.
Blugolds finished side-by-side in the 100-yard breaststroke race, as Alex Card (Fr.-Prior Lake, Minn.) ran a 57.25 for second and Corey Groshens (So.-St. Louis Park, Minn./Hopkins) followed closely with a third-place run of 58.15. Card's time also surpassed the "B-cut" mark.
Other top Blugold individual performances came in the 200-yard freestyle race and the one-meter diving competition. Nick Mehring (Sr.-Eagan, Minn./Eastview) finished third in the 200 freestyle with a quick time of 1:43.87. In one-meter diving, Nick Badilla (So.-Appleton, Wis./North) also scooped up a third with a dive scoring 441.30.
In the relay competitions, the Eau Claire teams nabbed two fourth place finishes. Poppele, Groshens, Alex Plaetzer (Jr.-Rochester, Minn./John Marshall) and Tommy Dahl (Sr.-Minnetonka, Minn./Hopkins) combined for a time of 1:345.87 in the 200-yard medley relay. In the 800-yard freestyle relay, the quartet of Card, Ben Epperly (Fr.-Schaumburg, Ill.), Ben Macalalad (Sr.-Wausau, Wis./East) and Mehring ran a 7:02.55.
The three-day championships will conclude tomorrow, with preliminary competition beginning at 10 a.m. Finals for the remaining events will start at 5:30 p.m.