February 17, 2011

Men's Swimming & Diving Solidly Second at Start of Championships

BROWN DEER, Wis. (Blugolds.com) - After the first day of competition, the UW-Eau Claire men's swimming and diving team sits second of six teams competing at the WIAC Championships at the Walter Schroeder Aquatic Center.

UW-Stevens Point led the competition with a total of 258 first-day points. Eau Claire racked up 188 points while UW-La Crosse rounded out the top three with 142 total points. In the events, Eau Claire earned six top-five finishes and one swimmer – Alex Card (Fr.-Prior Lake, Minn.) – surpassed a NCAA Division III "B-cut" mark.

Card swam his B-cut run in the 200-yard individual medley preliminaries with a time of 1:54.62. The cut-off time for the B-cut is 1:54.73. Card didn't match that mark in the finals, but still laid down a time of 1:55.95, good enough for third place. Teammate Jonathan Poppele (Jr.-Maple Grove, Minn./Wayzata) was the highest finishing Blugold in the event, earning second place with his time of 1:55.04.

Blugolds also placed near each other in the 500-yard freestyle competition. Nick Mehring (Sr.-Eagan, Minn./Eastview) and Ben Epperly (Fr.-Schaumburg, Ill.) had respective efforts of fourth and fifth places. Mehring had a time of 4:44.34 while Epperly ran a 4:46.03.

The Blugold relay teams had solid efforts in both relay events held today. The Eau Claire team picked up a second place finish in the 400-yard medley relay with a time of 3:27.33. In the 200-yard freestyle relay, the Eau Claire team swam a 1:24.35 for third.

Championship competition will continue tomorrow with preliminary races starting at 10 a.m. Finals will be begin at 6:30 p.m.