About one-third of the members of the Wildcat boys’ swim and dive team competed in their last meet of the season last Saturday at the Big Rivers Conference Championships in Menomonie, and many of them wrapped up the year with season or lifetime best swims.
The Cats finished sixth at the conference meet with a total of 197 points. Eau Claire Memorial/North was first with 670 followed by Hudson with 372.
While many of the Wildcats will move on to compete at this Saturday’s sectional meet in Stevens Point, head coach Kirk Gednalske said he was proud of the Cats who competed for the last time this past weekend, specifically seniors Shawyn Tabesh and Richard Leber.
Tabesh ended his high school career with lifetime best times in both the 50 freestyle (28.41 seconds) and the 100 freestyle (1:02.61), while Leber posted lifetime bests in the 100 free (57.81 seconds) and the 200 free (2:15.4).
“It's really rewarding for myself, and I assume for the boys, to finish out their senior year with their best swims,” Gednalske said. “It's a careful process throughout the season to have it work out like this. I'm glad it did for these two guys.”
Five other swimmers, Roman Karpovich, Ian Keller, Ben Pierce, Colin Rude, and Michael Wesner, all finished out their season on Saturday at Menomonie as well.
“And, again, almost every swim by these boys was their fastest of the year,” Gednalske noted.
Alex Haskins posted the highest individual finish of the day, placing fifth in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:00.27. Haskins, Fernando Lambert, Nick Fugate and Monroe Maher combined for a fifth place time of 1:52.01 in the 200 medley relay, while Haskins, Fugate, Collin Nielsen and Maher took sixth in the 200 freestyle relay in 1:39.12.
Nate Wronski contributed a sixth place finish in diving with a score of 289.65.
Other top ten finishes were turned in by the Cats’ 400 freestyle relay team of Ethan Larsen, Fugate, Andrew Tiede and Nielsen (9th, 3:56.06), Larsen in the 200 freestyle (10th, 2:04.84), Maher in the 50 freestyle (10th, 24.41 seconds), and Lambert in the 100 breaststroke (10th, 1:11.63).
“I'm really happy with the effort that all of these guys have put in this year. It's a great sign of things to come in the future,” Gednalske said.