The UW-Oshkosh Titans and Lawrence Vikings swim teams clashed over winter break on Dec. 9, with the Titans managing to come out on top.
“The meet at Boldt Nautatorium versus the UW-Oshkosh Titans was tough,” commented sophomore Cameron Gmehlin. “The Titans, along with Lake Forest, are some of our biggest rivals.”
Despite this loss, the Lawrence men’s and women’s teams still performed quite well at the meet, which is a positive sign since Lawrence teams had several swimmers studying abroad and traveling at the time of the meet. Head Coach Andrew Fleek felt good about the meet overall.
“While we obviously would have loved to repeat our victory from last year on the men’s side and an extremely close meet on the women’s side from last season, we still swam well and had some season best performances,” said Fleek.
Charlie Mann, Gmehlin, Pat Vincent and Walker Brengel took first place in the men’s 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:44.80. Gmehlin and David Dulak took first and second place in the men’s 200-yard IM, with times of 2:09.48 and 2:11.33 respectively. Gmehlin also took first place in the 100-yard breaststroke.
On the women’s side, Taylor Winter took first place in women’s 100-yard butterfly with a time of 1:04.08. Hannah Gabriel took first place in the 500-yard freestyle after swimming the event in 5:29.72. Katie Obermiller also grabbed first place in an event, after swimming the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:16.01. Finally, the women’s 200-yard freestyle relay team, which consisted of Taylor Winter, Hannah Gabriel, Lisa Nikolau and Julia Heller with a time of 1:48.39.
Looking toward the rest of the season, Fleek feels that the mens‘ and womens‘ teams have done an excellent job of maintaining their focusing and rising to the occasion “regardless of who is in the lane next to them.” However, Fleek also feels that there are areas in which the teams’ could improve.
“Sheer mental and physical effort is where we are strong, but that can’t always overcome some of our technical deficiencies,” noted Fleek. “I believe we could do a much better job executing our starts, turns and streamlines.”
Looking toward the rest of the season, Coach Fleek feels the teams will put forth a strong performance this coming weekend at the UC Invitational, at the Wisconsin Private College Championships in Carthage, and finish top three as they host the MCW Championships in February.
For his part, Gmehlin feels confident about the rest of the season, noting that they have been able to go toe-to-toe with their competition consistently despite their reduced numbers.
“I feel confident that we will have great showings at the Private College Championships, the Lawrence Triangular and at the UC Invitational this weekend,” said Gmehlin, who also felt confident that the teams will do just as well at the MWC Championships as last year, if not better. “After all it’s going to be here in our pool. We will have the advantage of being in a familiar environment. Also, having your friends come to cheer you on is a great incentive to swim fast!”