The Central Wisconsin Swim Conference held its West Division swim meet in Chippewa Falls Jan. 27-28, and the Fort McCoy Total Force swimmers were ready. The 39 swimmers attending the two-day meet came home with 82 top-nine finishes.
All swimmers placing in the top nine qualified to swim at the conference championship meet to be held this weekend in Antigo, where the West Division and the East Division from the 16-team conference will compete.
Coaches Julia Koput, Bruce Cuda, Patrick Larson, and Julie Regan were on deck to support and mentor the swimmers for the divisional meet.
The 10-and-under swimmers took to the pool early Saturday morning. Seven-year-old Elle Regan placed first in the 25-yard backstroke out of a field of 24 girls. Regan and eigth-year-old Alexis Larson were among the top point earners for the younger swimmers, bringing in 41 points apiece earned in five different events.
Ten-year-old Anna Lord also had a first place in the 100 butterfly race. Lord scored 35 points overall in her events, and fellow swimmer Alyssa Johnson accumulated 43 points. Johnson had a productive meet, dropping time in all of her events.
The boys’ top points-earner was 10-year-old Harrison Regan, who racked up 49 points. His total was bumped up by two second-place finishes in the 100 individual medley and 100 butterfly.
The coaching staff has been impressed by the progress of the 10-and-under swimmers.
“The improvements these kids have made this season have been astounding,” Cuda said. “I am so proud of all of their hard work and dedication to the sport of swimming.”
Other 10-and-under competitors were Ben Ahrendt, Collin Branch, Benjamin DuBois, Bri Johnson, Blake Larson, Kaleb Larson, Grace Levere and Mary Rose.
Day 2 of the meet brought out the 11-and-up swimmers. The 11-12 boys had three first-place finishers.
Dawson Sherwood placed first in the 50 backstroke and collected 50 points for Total Force.
Trent Lord took a first in the 100 backstroke race and added 42 points, while Carl Oscar Wilcox-Borg dropped over seven seconds from his 200 freestyle swim to bring in 40 more points for the team.
The team’s very strong field of older boys continued to show throughout the day. Thirteen-year-old Anthony Lord finished first in the 100 freestyle event and scored 52 points, while Adrian Jewel and Aidan Brach tacked on 43 and 42 more points.
Sixteen-year-old Evan Lord scored a total of 55 points for the team with a first place in the 100 breaststroke and several second-place finishes. He was edged out by teammate Zeb Theisen in the 50 freestyle race by .01 seconds. Theisen’s first place in that race brought his team points to 54.
Evan Budin’s 45 points also added to the count.
“It’s great to see all of our swimmers compete,” Koput said. “They help to challenge each other in a positive competitive way. Through team work and determination, we all succeed. There were many proud moments this weekend.”
Although the older girls didn’t come home with any first-place finishes, they also had some high points to add. Hannah Wilcox-Borg and Tirzah Theisen earned 36 and 34 team points with strong performance.
Other 11-and-up swimmers were Alyssa Alden, John Barnes, Aidan Branch, Owen Budin, Jackson Dawley, Adam Johnson, Lauren Kline, Maddy Kline, Alaina Koput, Aliza Koput, Logan Larson, Ashley Nauman, Erick Peterson, Nikki Pinter and Frankie Samuels.
Total Force returned home with 36 first-, second- and third-place finishes and landed fourth out of nine teams overall on team scores. Larger teams such as the Chippewa Falls and Eau Claire teams took the top spots.
“We always perform well against these larger teams who have the opportunity to swim year around and start earlier due to large indoor facilities. We need to bring these same opportunities to our Tomah/Sparta area youth as well. We need our own indoor pool. This community deserves that and it’s time to make it happen.” Koput said.