On the final night of the WIAC Championship for 2015, La Crosse and Stevens Point came out on top for the women and men, respectively. La Crosse tallied 826 points to take the victory on the final day of competition. Whitewater was second (750), recording the highest finish in school history. (Previously the best finish was third.) In third with 617 points was Stevens Point.
On the men’s side, Stevens Point claimed the crown for the sixteenth consecutive year with 920 points. The battle was for second between La Crosse and Whitewater with La Crosse coming out on top by a mere four points, 697 to 693.
The final session of the three day event began with the mile, an event which Whitewater – after having closed the gap between themselves and La Crosse yesterday – took, adding to their growing point tally. Kayla Martin posted an NCAA B cut time of 17:24.26 to win, finishing three seconds ahead of runner up Lisa Reed of Eau Claire, who also posted an NCAA B cut. Third for Whitewater was Stacey Kincade.
In the 200 backstroke, LA Crosse took back control with WIAC meet record holder Brooke Reynolds securing another first place finish for her team. Her final time was 2:03.19, a little slower than her prelims time 2:02.72. However, that is still an NCAA B cut time and good enough to win the event by over three seconds. Sarah Arteaga of Whitewater was the runner up with Lindsey Price of Stevens Point taking third.
La Crosse built on its momentum, finishing 1-2 in the 100 freestyle with Sara Zemanovic leading the way and posting an NCAA B cut time of her own en route to victory. Zemanovic’s final time was 51.86, just three tenths shy of the WIAC meet record set in 2011 of 51.56. Teammate Mikayla Beuch was runner up with Whitewater’s Kelsey Kohlbeck in third.
In the 200 breaststroke, Amy Spaay of Whitewater claimed the top time, dropping over five seconds from her prelims swim to win the event. She posted an NCAA B cut time of 2:19.35. That time puts her tenth nationally, though if she can swim faster than her WIAC meet record from last year (2:14.86), that time could rank her as the fastest 200 breaststroker in the nation. Second place Katie Challoner of Oshkosh also put up a B cut with her race. Third was Rachel Medenwaldt of La Crosse.
Michaela Matthys continued Whitewater’s dominance in the strokes with a win in the 200 butterfly, sweeping the fly events, establishing a new meet record, new school record and getting well under the NCAA B cut time. Her final time was over two seconds faster than prelims and more than a second ahead of the field: 2:04.19. That’s fast enough to rank her fourteenth, nationally, ahead of the NCAA champion from last year’s meet. The runner up from Stevens Point was Amanda Walker with Katie Nadeau of La Crosse taking third.
Next up was the 400 freestyle relay. Stevens Point’s team of Walker, Gemma Pillsbury, Alexa Pronga, and Emily Neinhaus posted an NCAA B cut time and held off a late charge by La Crosse to claim the victory. Their final time was 3:29.24. La Crosse was second. Whitewater took third.
The final event of the night for the women was the 1 meter diving competition. Both Sierra Becker of Whitewater and Amanda Baker of Eau Claire were well over the WIAC meet record set by Sara Mulatz of Eau Claire in 1996. (And both had been over it in prelims as well, with Baker posting the top score in prelims at 457.35.) In finals, Becker finished out at the top of the podium with a new WIAC meet record, cracking the old one set by Multaz as well as just slipping over the score Baker posted in prelims. Becker’s final tally was 457.40. Just three points behind in second was Baker. Third for La Crosse was Jordan Anderson who led a team of six divers – four in the A final and two finishing in the top in the B final – for a huge point swing.
The meet opened with the grueling mile for the men. Evan Catani of Stevens Point claimed the individual title with an NCAA B cut time of 16:14, over six seconds ahead of the runner up from Eau Claire, Jake McDade. Joining Catani on the podium in third was teammate Matthew Parks.
Already having had a fantastic meet for Whitewater, Joseph Devroy returned for another excellent session, resetting the WIAC meet record in the 200 backstroke for the second time – after posting a 1:49.07 in prelims – and lowering the mark to a 1:48.77. That time is well under the previous record set in 2001 by Randy Boelk for Stevens Point. The top four athletes all made NCAA B cuts in the event: Ethan Bott of Stevens Point was second, Thomas Hensen of Eau Claire was third, and Daniel Bielski, also of Whitewater, rounded out the top four who swam NCAA B cut times in the event.
Sam Jekel wrapped up his year with yet another individual title, this time in the 100 freestyle. His final time of 45.98 was a little slower than the B cut time he posted in prelims (45.51), but still good enough to win by six tenths of a second. Teammate Andrew King was runner up and Ryan Jessen of La Crosse was third.
Joe Hollman of Stevens Point took the victory with a strong back half race in the 200 breaststroke. He was behind at the 100 mark and made a strong final push to get ahead of runner up Dayton Miller (Eau Claire) to reach the wall in 2:07.25. Third for Whitewater was Spencer Twining.
In the men’s 200 butterfly, the top three athletes all managed to make the NCAA B cut standard. The top finisher was from Whitewater – Joshua Kanute who had an outstanding meet. His final time was 1:;52.58. In second for Eau Claire was Ryan Young with Hans Peters of Stevens Point taking third.
The men’s 400 freestyle relay closed with Stevens Point in the lead by three seconds and change. The dream team of King, Kyle McNair, Jekel and Peters put togeter a swift 3:02.30 to easily claim the top spot under NCAA B cut time. Peters actually posted the fastest split with a 44.78 to anchor the event. Whitewater was second with La Crosse coming in third.
The final event for the men was the 3 meter diving. Justin Bublitz of La Crosse led a 1-2 finish with teammate Tanner Folvag to claim the title. Bublitz scored a 532.00, and was the only diver to cross the 500 line. Keefer Kuhl of Whitewater took third.