Men’s, women’s swimmers head to Evanston

first_imgThe University of Wisconsin men’s and women’s swimming anddiving squads travel to Evanston, Ill., this weekend to take on Big Ten rivalsNorthwestern and Michigan. With both teams holding 3-1 records coming off theirfirst losses of the season two weeks ago to Arizona, the Badgers look to stayfocused and put up a strong performance against their conference foes.Led by junior Scott Rice on the men’s side and seniorcaptain Jackie Vavrek on the women’s side, the teams know that a stellarperformance will be required to achieve a victory. Both of these leaders areintegral to the team’s success in and out of the pool.”To our team, Scott brings the ability to be good at justabout anything he wants to be good at,” head coach Eric Hansen said. “And not alot of people have the ability to do that.”Equally important to strong leadership is overcomingobstacles and taking positives from defeat. Even though the women’s squadstumbled in its visit to Arizona with a 166-128 loss and the men not faringmuch better, losing 172-116, the results should be not be taken lightly, asthey were challenged by one of the top teams in the country. Their performancesin the three meets before Arizona were indicative of the success that theBadgers would like to achieve this season. Wisconsin will use wins at homeagainst Iowa and UW-Milwaukee and a tune-up victory on the road in their openeragainst UW-Green Bay as models for success. Vavrek says her team knows its capabilities and is hungryfor more.”We’ve had some great meets thus far, but our biggestchallenges are definitely to come,” Vavrek said. “We just have to keep lookingtowards our big meets of the year, like the Texas Invite, Big Tens and NCAAs.Those are the meets that really matter. Everything in between is just astepping stone. But seeing our team succeed along the way is definitely thebest kind of motivation for those end-of-the-season meets.”Now that the team has had the opportunity to adjust, its schedulepresents plenty of challenges. After the meet this weekend with its Big Tenrivals, UW will head to Austin for the Texas invite, which should provechallenging. Success in these meets will provide the opportunity to achieve teamgoals. “I think our expectations are first and foremost, to getback into the top 20 (in the NCAAs) on both sides,” Hansen said. “From there,it’s kind of an unknown. We’re not going to worry about that. We worry aboutour day-to-day operations, and how each kid does business, and how each kidlearns, and make sure they get what they need.”With the tough test that lies ahead, Hansen says his Badgersare prepared.”It’s a great team. It’s a tight team,” Hansen said.”There’s a buzz to this season. We’re excited for it and look forward to theopportunities ahead.”last_img

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