RIVER FALLS, Wis.-- The Wildcat boys’ swimming and diving team continued to show improvement heading into the holiday break.

Of the 20 individual swims the Wildcats had at the Santa Invite in Eau Claire Saturday, Dec. 21, 14 were season best times with four of those coming in first-time events for the athletes.

The Cats placed ninth out of 11 teams, but head coach Caitlin Brudzinski said she’s pleased with the effort.

“Individually we had some wonderful performances,” she said. “The guys are putting in hard work and it's paying off.”

Connor Baar led the Wildcats with a season-best time of 5 minutes, 25.28 seconds in the 500 yard freestyle to place fourth, while Anders Olson was ninth in the 100 breaststroke in 1:12.51. Seth Larsen, meanwhile, was ninth in the 100 backstroke in 1:05.37 and tenth in the 24.23 seconds.

In the diving competition Anders Olson successfully completed 11 dives for the first time this year to place fourth with a score of 171.95.

Four nights earlier, River Falls took two of the top three spots in a pair of events, and all three relays posted second place finishes, but the Wildcat’s came out on the short end of a 108-59 loss in a Big Rivers Conference boys’ swimming and diving dual at Chippewa Falls.

Despite the loss Brudzinski said she saw continued improvement from every swimmer in their events.

“The guys are working hard toward their goals for the season,” she said.

Larsen had a pair of second place finishes for the Cats-- in the 50 yard freestyle with a time of 24.27 seconds and the 100 butterfly in 1:1.76. Zach Martin was third in the 50 free in 26.51 seconds and Cooper Cernohous was third in the 100 fly in 1:14.43.

Barr had the only other second place individual finish for the Cats, in the 500 freestyle, with a time of 5:31.93. Barr also took third in the 200 free in 2:06.88 while Anders Olson was third in the 200 free in 2:36.19 and the 100 breaststroke in 1:13.68. John-Eric Klecker added a third place time of 1:12.28 in the 100 backstroke.

Baar, Olson, Larsen and Martin combined for a second place time of 1:56.67 in the 200 medley relay, and Martin, Shawn Derks, Baar and Larsen took second in the 200 free relay in 1:44.12, while Darin Derks, Jacob Richardt, Cernohous and Olson placed second in the 400 free relay in 4:20.6.

The Wildcats return to action at the University of Minnesota Saturday, Jan. 4.