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Aloha: Badgers make annual business trip to Hawaii

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MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin winters are sudden and serve as a cruel reminder that each year state residents are obliged to endure at least 2-3 months of freezing cold temperatures, snow and the occasional blizzard.

Aside from the obvious perks of enjoying a week and a half of sunshine and sandy beaches, this makes the annual nine-hour flight from Chicago's O'Hare Airport to Hawaii each December that much more bearable for the University of Wisconsin swimming and diving squad. 

Prior to head coach Whitney L. Hite taking over the reins of the program in 2011, the Badgers would travel to the Aloha State for a few weeks to train and enjoy the sun. Hite continued the tradition but slightly changed the focus and objective behind the opportunity.

"I view it as a business trip," Hite explained. "We go there with the mindset of getting better, whether it's getting stronger in training, faster in speed.

"There's a lot of development going on and it's a great opportunity for team bonding as well."

Hite uses the time spent away from campus to measure each student-athlete's progress at this point in the season, while also continuing to stress the idea of growth and getting better during grueling practices and training sessions.
"A lot of people think we go out there to lay on the beach," Hite added. "As (UW Senior Administrator) Terry Gawlik saw this year we worked out hard -- really hard."

Aside from escaping Wisconsin's below zero temperatures, the Badgers were able to refocus their energy to powering up for the final stretch of the season, which continues this weekend at Christiansburg, Va., for a two-day meet against Virginia and Virginia Tech, among others.

The team used their time in Hawaii to emphasize improving on last season's Big Ten championships finish and gaining momentum heading into the NCAA meet in March.

"I think that's the thing that has changed since I've been here," Hite said. "We made it clear why we made this trip and the team realizes the goal is to get better."

Badgers make appearance on "Wake Up Wisconsin"

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WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Although practice has yet to begin for the University of Wisconsin swimming and diving team, there was good reason to be up at 5 a.m. on Tuesday morning...and it didn't involve any type of aerobic activity.

The four Badgers (Ivy Martin, Michael Weiss, Drew teDuits & Nick Caldwell) recently named to the 2013-14 U.S. National Team, were invited to join Lindsay Veremis as guests on Wake Up Wisconsin, a daily show that appears during the mornings on WKOW.

The short trip to the west side of Madison consisted of a short stay in the main newsroom and brief tour of the WKOW studio. Below are a few tweets from the morning of the interview: 

Anders Holm visit a thrill for Badgers

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The 2012-13 season was monumental for the University of Wisconsin swimming and diving program.

Not only did more than a dozen Badgers earn all-american honors, but the men's squad crowned its first individual NCAA champion (Drew teDuits) in over five decades and the women's team saw Ivy Martin set a Big Ten record in the 50-yard freestyle en route to her Big Ten championship.

It was fitting that the Badgers capped off the 2013 academic year with another memorable moment: a visit from Workaholics star, Anders Holm.

Holm, a 2003 graduate of UW and former member of the swim squad, stopped by the team's facilities on Friday afternoon to visit with the coaches and student-athletes. The Comedy Central comic was in town to deliver the 2013 commencement address at all four ceremonies over the weekend, but found time to reconnect with his former team and many of the student-athletes who were in his shoes just 10 years ago.

@BadgerSwimDive chronicled the visit, while many of the student-athletes quickly turned to Twitter to show their gratitude for Holm. Here is an archived account of the afternoon's events, including a video of the comedian hitting the pool for a relay race with members of the coaching staff:

Weiss, Team USA invade Turkey

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After being named to the U.S. National Team late this past summer, Wisconsin senior Michael Weiss is enjoying his first taste of international competition as he ventures to Istanbul, Turkey, for the 2012 FINA Short Course World Championships. Weiss, who is teaming up with members of the U.S.'s 2012 Olympic squad, including gold medalist Ryan Lochte, will compete for Team USA once the meet begins on Dec. 12. 

The Reno, Nev., native is joined on the trip by Badgers swim and dive head coach Whitney Hite who was named an assistant for Team USA at the short course world championships. Weiss will be updating us on all that is happening in Turkey throughout the trip, from start to finish. Follow his journey as Weiss blogs about his experiences both in and out of the pool.

Monday, Dec. 17

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I'm heading home back to Madison! It was a fantastic last night of racing -- enjoyed being able to hang out with the team a little more. Going to this meet was one of the best experiences of my life and I can't wait participate in future world competitions for Team USA. I got to know, learn from, and hang out with many Olympians that I've looked up to for a long time, as well as the young swimmers that I will be traveling with a lot in the future.

Moving forward, I have already turned all my focus back on the college season and NCAA's and can't wait to finish out a great senior year!!
-Weiss



Saturday, Dec. 15

McDs_cropped.jpgAnother great day in Istanbul! I've begun training hard again to continue my focus on the college season and NCAA's. Now that I am done competing I am able to relax and cheer on the rest of the team. 

The U.S. has been doing a great job throughout the meet and I watched Ryan Lochte win the 200 IM last night and set a world record! Today between prelims and finals I was able to get out of the hotel and walk around a little visiting our hometown favorites Starbucks and McDonalds, although the fries and chicken nuggets didn't taste quite as deliciously unhealthy. Then we explored the streets and went to a store to buy all different kinds of candy, which consisted of mostly variations of chocolate wafers with nuts. 

Tonight we are heading to the pool to watch another great night of finals and cheer on America! One more day left in Turkey and I can't wait to come back to Wisconsin to enjoy some cheese curds, a Greenbush doughnut, and Ian's pizza!!
-Weiss


Friday, Dec. 14

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I had a great first day (ever) of international competition and was able to conquer all of my goals. The night before competition, the head coach told me I would be anchoring the 800 free relay as well after my individual event and I was extremely happy I was given that opportunity. I knew I was capable of a great 200 free and helping Team USA bring home the gold later that night. 

During the finals session leading up to my 400IM I remained very relaxed and confident as I always am, and anxiously sat in the ready room with my competition. Wearing the red, white, and blue jacket and putting on a cap with my last name under the American flag, was all the motivation and excitement I needed for fast swimming. 

The doors opened, my name was announced, an I heard the team chanting USA as I walked to the blocks. I was able to drop another second from my morning swim and get 7th place. To top off the great day I was already having, later that night the relay I was on won gold for America and officially made me a World Champion! Overall, it was an awesome experience and I'm excited to come back to Madison with a gold medal!!!
- Weiss 
                                                                                       

Wednesday, Dec. 12

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World championships has officially started! The head of USA swimming gave the team a great pump up speech about representing your country and making them proud. Team USA had some really good swims on day one of the meet and we hope to keep it going throughout the weekend. 

As much as I would've loved to watch the opening ceremonies and first night of finals tonight, I spent most of my day in the hotel room resting and shaving to get ready for tomorrow! I will be swimming the 400 IM and I will also anchor the 800 free relay in the morning session. Can't wait to get out there and race and make Wisconsin and America proud!
-Weiss

Tuesday, Dec. 11

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Yesterday we took a tour through Old Town Istanbul. Due to a constantly growing population there is traffic everywhere 24/7. Fortunately for the U.S. team we have a police escort on a motorcycle blocking lanes off and weaving us through traffic to get us there faster.

We started off by going shopping at a bazaar, a market with a bunch of little shops set up in it. Unfortunately for me most of the shops consisted of rugs, jewelry, and scarves so I ended up not getting anything except a pastry for dessert.  And then we went and visited the Blue Mosque (a really cool famous place with a lot of history, but I couldn't hear the tour guide haha)

We woke up today and went and warmed up to get ready for competition to start tomorrow.

Now that all countries are here many of the warm up lanes swam in the reverse direction, which helped me understand why our foreigners struggle when first coming to America. We will spend the rest of today resting, stretching, and getting ready for the meet to start tomorrow!!!
- Weiss


Friday, Dec. 7 (Team departs for Turkey)

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We started off the journey with plane delays and flight cancellations, but got a nice jog as we hustled from gate to gate -- we just barely made our connection to Istanbul! Had a nice time on the flight getting to know all the members of Team USA and hanging out with great flight attendants to keep us happy and amused for the long flight.

We arrived in Istanbul and checked into our hotel and had some down time after not sleeping at all the night before. Finally, we went to the pool and warmed up and got excited for a good week of fun and fast swimming. So far, all of our meals have been similar to an Indian food buffet back in the states - we have baklava for dessert every day, so I could definitely get used to this!
- Weiss

Strong senior class, promising freshmen guide Badgers into 2012-13

2012-13 Schedule

A vastly improved Wisconsin men's swimming and diving squad will hit the waters for the first time this season later this month, and under the direction of second-year head coach Whitney L. Hite, the Badgers will look to build on a group of solid returners and a promising freshmen class.

After finishing eighth at the Big Ten meet last season, Hite is not shy about saying the expectations are much higher for his team this season. Hite regards this season's squad as a top-20 program and expects them to finish in the top half of the Big Ten.

"It would not surprise me if we were a top-20 team," Hite said. "The expectation is for us to be better than we were last year and our mindset is to do anything we can to get there."

The expectation of success this season has already been thoroughly discussed and Hite will do all in his power to make sure the 2012 Badgers peak at the right time, including putting together one of the deepest and most challenging schedules in recent years.

The men begin 2012 in East Lansing, Mich., on Sept. 28, competing against Michigan State before traveling to Ann Arbor the following day to take on national-power Michigan.

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"I don't think I've ever been associated with a team that's had meets in September, so that's a very early start," Hite said. "And certainly in traveling to take on Michigan State and Michigan, we're facing a great test right off the bat."

Following home meets against UW-Milwaukee and UW-Green Bay, the Badgers will travel to Minnesota before making the trip west to take on Stanford and California, two of the country's top programs, on separate dates.

Hite stocked the 2012 slate with trips to Stanford, USC and California, among others, hoping to build his team's confidence and work level heading into February and March.

"If you look at our overall schedule, it's stronger than it was last year," Hite stated. "My main concern is making sure that everyone is prepared when we get to the Big Ten and NCAA meets."

ollowing a home meet against Northwestern on Nov. 8, the Badgers will hit the road for an invitational with Big Ten foe Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio. Hite believes this is the premiere meet of the fall semester and believes his squad will bode well after a few days of rest. The Ohio State Invitational will provide a good measuring stick of where the team is and where they want to be heading into the holiday break and the new year.

With a semester of swimming under their belts, the team will train in Hawaii for 10 days while taking on the University of Hawai'i on Jan. 5. The big test comes seven days later, when the Badgers head back to the mainland to take on USC in Los Angeles.

"I believe if you want to be the best you have to go out and seek the best," Hite said. "We aren't timid or afraid of anyone -- we'll go out and swim anyone, anytime."

In what will be UW's final tune-up for their last home meet and the Big Ten Championships, the Badgers will swim against perennial-powers Virginia and Virginia Tech on Jan. 25 and 26, respectively, before heading back to Madison for their final home meet, the Big Ten Quad Duals, on Feb. 1-2. After finishing its season at home in early February, the men will make the trip to Bloomington, Ind., on Feb. 27-March 2 for the Big Ten Championships. Those who swim and qualify will move on to the 2012 NCAA Championships in Indianapolis, Ind.

Badgers to Watch:
Wisconsin is led by its senior co-captains, Dan Lester and Michael Weiss, who both had successful campaigns during the summer as Weiss was recently named to the U.S. National Team and will compete at the 2012 Short Course World Championships from Dec. 12-16 in Istanbul, Turkey, as well as the 2013 World University Games in Kazan, Russia.

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Lester, who made an appearance at the Australian Olympic Trials prior to the 2012 Summer Games, is poised for an outstanding senior season.

"During NCAAs [Dan] was coming back from his Olympic trials and I feel he would have been really, really good," Hite said. ""Hopefully people have forgotten about him because we haven't and he's going to sneak up and have a great senior year in the butterfly and individual medley events."

All-American Weiss will look to improve on his third-place finish at the NCAA meet in the 400 IM and honorable mention all-american status last season in the 200 breaststroke and 500 free. The Reno, Nev., native will be asked to carry the load in the IMs and middle distance freestyle races, leading a team comprised of just one junior and four sophomores.

"Overall, we've got great leadership, not just in our captains, but in the entire senior class," Hite said. "They really do a great job of leading this team and they know that with so many freshmen that they've really accepted that challenge and have stepped up their game."

The lone junior, Tyler Hines, is expected to flourish this season in the mid-distance to distance freestyle events. Hines has already shown improvement and will be looked upon to carry Wisconsin in those events at dual meets and the Big Ten meet. The four previously mentioned sophomores are led by Drew DeTuits, who recently swam under two minutes in the 200 LCM backstroke and will be looked on to have a big impact this season.

Hite is most excited about his promising freshmen class, a group that was ranked sixth at the time of UW's announcement of its signees this past spring.

"When you go down the list, from top to bottom, this freshmen class is one of the best in the country," Hite said.

Among the newcomers are Josh Anderson who will make an immediate impact in the distance and IM events and John Bushman, who will make a push for NCAAs in the IM and breaststroke events.

In-state stars Austin Byrd (backstroke) and Ryan O'Donnell (backstroke) will be counted on to also make an immediate impact.

Along with the eight incoming swimmers, the Badgers are also welcoming in a pair of divers as UW will field its first dive team in two years.

"Hunter and Logan are a great addition to our diving team," diving coach Anton Slobounov said. "We are confident that the men's team will score points at dual meets and help our regular season record, as well as make an impact at Big Ten's."

Update from the 2011 USA Swimming National Championships

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Four Badger swimmers competed in the men's 800-meter freestyle relay and one in the men's 200 IM on Friday as competition continued at the 2011 ConocoPhillips USA Swimming National Championships in Palo Alto, Calif.

The team of Michael Weiss, Wes Lagerhausen, Garrett Mulchrone, and Marcus Guttman raced in the 800 free relay and clocked in with a time of 7:32.85 to claim an 11th-place finish. Weiss also competed individually in the 200 IM and touched in with a time of 2:04.78 in the B finals finishing 19th.

Saturday is the final day of competition and concludes with the100 and 800 free, 200 breast, and 400 medley relay on the women's side, while the men will conclude with the 200 back, 200 breast, 1500 free and 400 medley relay.

Two Badgers finish in top 10 at USA Swimming Nationals

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Two Badgers claimed top finishes in their respective races this past week at the 2011 ConocoPhillips USA Swimming National Championships at Stanford University's Avery Aquatic Center in Palo Alto, Calif.

On Tuesday, junior Michael Weiss raced to a sixth-place finish in the men's 400-meter individual medley with a time of 4:21.50. Weiss qualified for the finals with a time of 4:21.35 in the preliminaries. He also finished 16th in the 400 free.

After clocking-in with a third-place time of 1:08.57 in the women's 100 breast prelims, senior Ashley Wanland qualified for the finals on Thursday evening. Clocking in at 1:08.33, she claimed a fourth-place finish in the finals.

Senior Beckie Thompson claimed a 20th-place finish in the 50 free C finals touching in at 25.79 seconds.

The team of Thompson, Ruby Martin, Danielle Beckwith and Amie Osten swam to a 20th-place finish in the women's 400 free relay with a time of 3:50.45. Individually, Martin raced in the 50 free, while her partners Beckwith competed in the 400 free and Osten swam in the 100 back.

On the men's side of the 400 free relay, the group of Wes Lagerhausen, Marcus Guttman, Garrett Mulchrone, and incoming freshman Andrew Teduits finished 31st overall. Individually, Teduits and Mulchrone both competed in the 100 back and 100 fly, while Lagerhausen swam in the 50 free, and Guttman competed in the 200 fly.

Other Badgers competing in the championships include current junior Paulina Gralow (women's 100 breast) and former Badger Jesse Stipek (men's 100 back).

Saturday's morning session sees Badgers earn five 'B' times

Results  |  Saturday night's finals (video)

AUSTIN, Texas - On the morning of the final day of competition at the Texas Invitational, the Wisconsin men's and women's swimming and diving teams captured five more NCAA 'B' consideration times.

In addition, six Badgers earned a spot in Saturday night's 'A' finals, while 36 total swimmers advanced to the finals in their respective events.

Senior Maggie Meyer, having already set the school record in the 100-yard backstroke this weekend, broke the school's mark in the 200-yard backstroke on Saturday morning. Her time of 1:54.39 goes down as the fastest time of the day and tops the old UW record of 1:54.95, which Meyer set at the NCAA Championships last season.

Meyer was one of two swimmers to pick up an NCAA consideration time and a spot in the 'A' finals in the 100-yard freestyle. Both Meyer and Beckie Thompson each won their heats, doing so in times of 49.08 and 49.39, respectively.

Junior Ashley Wanland earned a spot in the 'A' finals for the second night in a row as she earned a 'B' time of 2:12.42, the fourth-fastest time swam in the 200-yard breaststroke.

On the men's side, Dan Lester and Marcus Guttmann both punched their tickets to the 'A' finals in the 200-yard butterfly. Lester picked up a 'B' time with a 1:44.12 showing, while Guttmann came in at 1:49.64.

Saturday night will feature three Badgers in the 1650-yard freestyle event, though all earned a spot in the finals and did not compete in the preliminaries on Saturday morning. Danielle Beckwith is set to compete for the women's team, while Guttmann and Tyler Hines are up for the men.

One relay race is on the docket for the finals, as the 400-yard freestyle relay will close out the Texas Invitational.

The finals start at 6 p.m. with live stats and video available through TexasSports.com. Check back to UWBadgers.com for complete results.

Meyer earns another auto bid, team adds four consideration times

Results

AUSTIN, Texas - Less than 12 hours after senior Maggie Meyer broke the school record and picked up an automatic qualifying time as the leadoff of the 400-yard medley relay, she earned another auto bid in the 100-yard backstroke during Friday morning's prelims.

Meyer, who swam the equivalent of the 100 back as the lead leg last night in 51.66, posted a time of 52.44 en route to winning her heat and earning the top seed for Friday night's finals.

In addition to Meyer's 'A' time, four Badgers picked up 'B' times as well during the morning session. In all, the Badgers will have 40 participants in the finals, including seven that are set to compete in the 'A' finals.

Joining Meyer in the 'A' finals of the 100 back is junior Amie Osten. She earned a consideration time by taking second in her heat with a showing of 54.20.

Also earning spots in the 'A' finals were Monika Stitski for the 400-yard IM and Ashley Wanland for the 100-yard breaststroke. Stitski posted a time of 4:19.90, while Wanland swam the seventh-fastest time in the country this year with a mark of 1:00.37.

On the men's side, UW will have three competitors in the 'A' finals for the 400-yard IM as Dan Lester, Sam Rowan and Michael Weiss all finished among the top eight. Lester posted a 'B' time of 3:48.09, while Rowan came in at 3:56.15 and Weiss at 3:57.27.

Friday's finals begin at 6 p.m. and live video will be provided by TexasSports.com. Check back to UWBadgers.com Friday night for complete results.

Swimming and diving nets 10 qualifying times in opening session

Session I Results

AUSTIN, Texas - The opening session at the Texas Invitational has been completed and the Badgers' swimming and diving teams posted 10 NCAA 'B' qualifying times while putting seven swimmers through to the 'A' finals later Thursday night.

Sophomore Dan Lester had the highlight of the day as he posted the second-fastest time of the year in the nation in the 100-yard butterfly, coming in with a mark of 46.70. The time was just .16 off of the school record set by Scott Rice in 2008. Lester also qualified individually for the 'A' final of the 200-yard IM.

The Badgers will have two athletes competing in the 'A' final of the 50-yard freestyle as Maggie Meyer and Beckie Thompson tied for second overall with a 22.53 mark, the fastest time posted by a UW swimmer this season.

Karlyn Hougan posted a season-best time of 54.00 in the 100-yard butterfly to make the 'A' final, while Laura Miller swam to a time of 2:01.43 to make the 'A' final of the 200 IM.

Also competing in an 'A' final tonight is Michael Weiss. He swam the seventh-fastest time in the 500-yard freestyle, coming in at 4:27.63.

Check back to UWBadgers.com later Thursday night for a complete recap of the day's events.
ON WISCONSIN