March 28, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS -- Just over a month ago at the Big Ten Championships, the Wisconsin men’s swimming and diving team broke nine school records.
On the first day of competition at the NCAA Championships in Indianapolis Thursday, the Badgers continued their record-setting tear, re-writing three more school marks.
Seniors Michael Weiss and Dan Lester and sophomore Drew teDuits all broke their own school records Thursday, helping the Badgers to 17th place with two days of competition left to go.
Head Coach Whitney Hite said if his team isn’t feeling confident right now, they should be.
“To come to NCAAs and be better than you were at conference— not a lot of teams or swimmers do that,” Hite said. “And we’re doing that. Just really, really proud of the way we’re competing and fighting for Wisconsin.”
Weiss highlighted the night for Wisconsin, earning first team All-America honors with a sixth-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle and a new school record. Weiss’ time of 4:13.80 broke his previous school mark of 4:14.07.
“Just a heck of a swim,” Hite said of Weiss’ performance.
Lester meanwhile was named honorable mention All-America following a 12th-place finish in the 200-yard individual medley. Lester’s time of 1:43.74 broke his previous program record of 1:44.48. Lester, in fact, broke the school record twice Thursday, swimming to a then-record breaking time of 1:43.96 in the preliminaries.
“School record in the morning, school record bettering the time at night,” Hite said. “Just a really good swim, I’m super proud of him. I know he had a rough NCAAs last year coming back from Australian trials, so I’m just really happy for him.”
Wisconsin also competed in the 400-yard medley relay Thursday. Although the Badgers just narrowly missed scoring in the event with a 17th-place finish, TeDuits set a new school record in the 100-yard backstroke on the lead-off leg. teDuit’s time of 46.79 beat his old record by .02 seconds set as this year’s Big Ten Championships.
The relay team of teDuits, sophomore Nicholas Schafer, Lester and Weiss finished in a time of 3:10.64—the second-best time in the event for the Badgers this season.
With 18 points, the Badgers stand in 17th place after one day. But Wisconsin finds itself in a crowded field early on, currently just eight points out of 11th place. Michigan leads the Championships with 153 points.
“We have a huge day tomorrow,” Hite said. “Last year we only had two points after our first day, and now we have 18. We’re just going to fight for two more days.”
Wisconsin heads back to the pool Friday, competing in five events. The Badgers will swim in the 400-yard individual medley, the 100-yard butterfly, the 100-yard breaststroke, the 100-yard backstroke and the 800-yard freestyle relay. Weiss enters the 400-IM currently holding the fastest time in the country in the event.
Day two of the Championships begins Friday morning at 10 a.m. (CT) with preliminary rounds, while the finals commence at 6 p.m. (CT). Friday’s finals will be broadcast live on ESPN3.