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Saturday, May 18, 2024
The senior men from the Badger swim team. Back row: Ryan Barsanti, Matt Hutchins, Sean Maloney, Harrison Tran. Front row: Brett Pinfold, Cannon Clifton. 

The senior men from the Badger swim team. Back row: Ryan Barsanti, Matt Hutchins, Sean Maloney, Harrison Tran. Front row: Brett Pinfold, Cannon Clifton. 

Swimmers and divers shatter records on senior night

The record board at the UW Natatorium likely needs a full-on repair job after the complete demolition the Wisconsin swim and dive team did to it Friday night.

On senior night, the Badgers outperformed all expectations and set twelve pool records while winning all but one event in their rout of UW-Green Bay. The women doused the Phoenix with a score of 166-116, and the men beat their in-state rival 170-120.

Freshman Kevin Pomeroy got things started right away by breaking a fourteen-year-old pool record on the 3-meter diving board with a score of 355.58. The record was the first diving mark set since Anton Slobounov took the reins as head diving coach six years ago.

“I had no idea [about the record],” Pomeroy said of his performance. “I just tried my hardest, and that’s what happened. I’m really happy.”

Program head coach Whitney Hite echoed Pomeroy’s sentiments.

“It really means a lot [to have a diving record],” Hite said. “Kevin, he’s going to do some damage. It’s really good for [Slobounov] to see the fruits of his labor, he’s been here with me every step of the way.”

While none of the other records broken were as old as the 3-meter diving mark, there were many other highlights, most of which came from seniors.

The most significant of these marks was senior Maria Carlson’s pool-record victory in the 100-yard breaststroke, where she went below the 1:01 barrier for the first time. Her 1:00.39 is now number two all time in the program.

Six seniors contributed to the record board’s demise, including Matt Hutchins, who set a school record in the 1,000-yard freestyle with his wicked-fast 8:51.36. That time was an entire seven seconds faster than Hutchins’ previous school record from last year. In addition, the split from his 500-yard freestyle of 4:20.29 broke the pool record.

Also laying claim to pool records were seniors Chase Kinney, Cannon Clifton, Brett Pinfold, Harrison Tran and Ryan Barsanti, as well as juniors Ryan Stack and Marissa Berg, sophomores Jess Unicomb and Emmy Sehmann and freshmen Griffin Back and Beata Nelson.

Since it was senior night, many swimmers decided to have some fun and swim in events that they don’t normally participate in, including Pinfold in the 500-yard freestyle, an event he hadn’t swum since December 2013. He went neck-and-neck with junior Victor Goicoechea, who won, for the first half of the race, and turned in a second-place time of 4:26.93, which was close to the previous pool record in the event.

“By the fifth lap I started hurting. I had another 15 laps after that, [the pain] wasn’t good.” Pinfold said. “I just wanted to go a best time, and I did. I was pretty happy with that.”

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Another senior who had a monumental moment Friday was Grace Wold, who took home her first ever event win at the Nat in the 200-yard butterfly.

“[The win] felt amazing, especially to have it on senior night,” Wold said. “I think that it was something that was a long time coming.”

Other meet highlights included senior diver Ashley Peterson’s lead-off leg in a 200 free relay exhibition heat. Peterson, who has not swam competitively in “a very long time,” was hoping to finish with a time under 30 seconds. She split a :27.94 to massive applause.

Next up for the Badgers are the Big Ten Championships, which are two and three weeks away for the women and men, respectively.

Hite thinks his team is ready for the perennial threats of Indiana and Michigan after his team starts to taper.

“We know that the only thing we have to do now is rest,” Hite said. “It's simple: rest and get faster, and we have gotten faster each time now, that's the whole point. We're in a spot where we can do what we want.”

Although Michigan and Indiana are clearly on the Badgers’ radar, many senior’s minds were filled with other thoughts about their last home meet.

“I’m gonna miss this place,” Pinfold said of the Natatorium. “It is what it is, my career’s ending soon, but my memories will be forever here.”

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story stated that Kevin Pomeroy's broken record was 13 years old. It was 14 years old. The Daily Cardinal regrets this error. 

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