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College Swimming: Bylander headed to nationals

Former Brainerd Warrior Michael Bylander advanced to the NCAA Division III national competition in five events.

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Michale Bylander

BROWN DEER, Wis. — Former Brainerd Warrior and current University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire swimmer Michael Bylander is headed to the NCAA Division III Nationals.

Bylander enjoyed a record-breaking day at the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference finals Feb. 17-19

He set a school and conference record in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:59.98. He was also part of the record-breaking 200 medley relay with a 1:28.65.

Byalnder won the 200 individual medley in 1:48.76 and was on the winning 200 freestyle (1:22.93) and 400 medley relay (3:17.95).

He finished second in the 100 backstroke to be named the WIAC Swimmer of the Meet. He was also presented the WIAC Max Spangler Scholar-Athlete Award, which is given to the meet’s outstanding swimmer or diver with a grade-point average of at least 3.5.

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Bylander sustains a 3.64-grade-point average and is majoring in biology with minors in chemistry and pre-professional health sciences. He secured a spot on the College Swimming Coaches Association of America Individual Scholar All-America Team for the 2020-21 academic year. Bylander is a three-time member of the WIAC Scholastic Honor Roll.

He was selected the Swimmer of the Meet at this year's WIAC Championship after winning five titles (two individual, three relay) and establishing three conference meet records. Overall, he is a nine-time conference champion and four-time All-American. During the 2020-21 season, he was the second-fastest 200-yard breaststroker in NCAA Division III and secured WIAC Swimmer of the Year recognition. A two-year team captain, Bylander owns the school record in the 200-yard breaststroke, 200-yard medley relay and 400-yard medley relay.

Bylander didn’t compete in the 100 breaststroke for the conference standings but did swim a time trial at the event to qualify for the NCAA nationals. He swam a 54.09, which was faster than the winning WIAC time and qualified him for nationals.

In all, Bylander will be swimming five events at nationals March 16-19 in Indianapolis.

He qualified in the 200 and 100 breaststroke, the 200 individual medley and the 200 medley relay and 400 medley relay. Bylander is currently seeded No. 4 n the 200 breaststroke and fifth in the 100.

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