RIVER FALLS, Wis.-- The Wildcat boys’ swimming and diving team kicked off the season with a 103-63 Big Rivers Conference victory at Rice Lake Tuesday, Dec. 3, before placing fifth out of nine teams at Saturday’s Chippewa Falls Invitational.
Head coach Caitlin Brudzinski said Tuesday’s win at Rice Lake was a good start to the season.
“Swimming in the only 25 meter pool in our conference and only being nine days into practice made for an interesting first meet, but the guys raced hard,” she said.
Connor Baar won a pair of individual events, taking the 200 meter freestyle in 2 minutes, 16.75 seconds and the 400 free in 4:53.55. Anders Olson won the 100 breaststroke in 1:22.51 while also posting a first place score of 127.8 in diving. Nate Fosler was second with 121.8, and diving coach Kym Anderson said both showed great promise in their first ever diving competition.
“Now that the first meet jitters are out of the way, I can't wait to see what these two are capable of,” she said.
Darin Derks contributed a first place time of 2:42.09 in the 200 meter individual medley and teamed up with Olson, brother Shawn Derks and Baar for a first place time of 1:57.21 in the 200 freestyle relay, while Baar, Darin Derks, Cooper Cernohous and Seth Larsen took first in the 400 freestyle relay in 4:25.89.
Saturday at the Chippewa Falls Invite, all three of the Wildcat’s top relays placed in the top six and the Cats had 10 top-ten individual finishes on their way to a fifth place finish.
Baar had a pair of top four finishes with a third place time of 5:31.13 in the 500 yard freestyle and a fourth place time of 2:01.22 in the 200 free. Olson took third in the 100 breaststroke in 1:08.59, while Larsen took fifth in the 50 free in 24.3 seconds and the 100 free in 54.57.
Brudzinski said it was an impressive first week for the Wildcats.
“Most of our returning swimmers are right around where they were last year at this time, and some have even beat their best times from last year already,” she said. “Our new swimmers are improving and dropping time with each swim. It's been an exciting start to the season and I'm looking forward to where we go from here.”
The Wildcats will host Eau Claire Memorial North for a BRC dual Tuesday, Dec. 10 before visiting Chippewa Falls for a conference meet Tuesday, Dec. 17.