Several Wildcats finish first against Division I competition

Georgette Breen-Naylor

The Wildcat swimming and diving team competed in their last meet of the season together before the GLIAC Championships.

Junior Sophia Garris competes in the 1 meter springboard diving competition during a recent home meet. (NW File Photo)
Junior Sophia Garris competes in the 1 meter springboard diving competition during a recent home meet. (NW File Photo)

The ’Cats traveled Saturday, Jan. 25, to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay to compete in a meet against the Division I school. The Wildcats were defeated, 136-99.

Head coach Heidi Voigt said the team needs to start swimming against better teams to push themselves to do better.

A few of the ’Cats were able to finish first in different events, including freshman Rachel Borchardt in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:11.45.

Junior Madisen Sechena finished first in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:22.73 and junior Debbi Lawrence came in first in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 52.99.

Lawrence said her stroke felt really weak toward the end of the race and it is something she said she needs to work on.

“I barely out-touched the second-place finisher,” Lawrence said. “I was glad I did well enough to win.”

Lawrence also placed second in the 50-yard freestyle in 24.34.

Lawrence said she always try to keep one thing constant in all of her races.

“[I try to do the same] number of dolphin kicks off the walls,” Lawrence said. “The underwater works is always the strongest part of the races.”

Voigt said it was really incredible for the team to have some season bests.

Junior Tara Dowling recorded a season best in the 1,000-yard freestyle with a time of 10:49.80 for third place. Junior Jordan Iverson finished fourth in the event with a time of 11:00.00.

Dowling said her season best felt great because it is a reminder that her hard work is paying off.

Junior Emily Bourguignon came in second in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:10.61. She said she was pleased, especially during this time in the season and at her old high school’s home pool. Bourguignon graduated from DePere, Wis.

Next weekend, only the divers will travel to compete at the Wayne State Diving Invitational in Detroit.

Junior Sophia Garris said in order to improve next week, she needs to primarily focus on her personal events.

“I am my only opponent,” Garris said. “I need to take a breath and do what I know I can.”

Garris said the team will practice many dives this week. They will also go through their meet list a couple times each day in order to be comfortable.

“I know all of us divers have worked hard this year,” Garris said. “This is a good last chance before the GLIACs to  get the jitters out of our system and just do what we do best and dive.”

While the Wildcat diving team will be parting to compete at the Wayne State Diving Invitational, the swimming team will be preparing for the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships.

Dowling said the ’Cats will be preparing for the GLIAC Championships a little different than they would for a regular meet, in that they will do a taper to let their bodies rest and recover. Dowling said they also plan to practice relaxation to keep them centered and in tune with their thoughts.

Coach Voigt said this championship is what the team waits for, and this is the fun part.

“It is where our morning practices get less and less,” Voigt said. “They worked hard all season.”