The Eau Claire Alliance swim and dive program reigns as conference champs for 20 years and continually makes a name for themselves at the state meet. This past weekend was no different as the team was led by our Gordy's Athletes of the Week, senior Bailey Biwer and freshman Paul DeLakis.
Senior captain Bailey Biwer ended his high school swimming career at the state meet in Madison, finishing 3rd in both the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly.
"I was really proud of Bailey. To see him grow over the last year's, coming in as a little freshman stepping up in the 4x50 and then to see him over the next 3 years up there, it's been incredible," says E.C. Alliance head coach Dylan Leonard. "He's a smart swimmer, he's just a pleasure to watch."
Bailey's steady improvement in the water got an extra push this year thanks to training partner Paul DeLakis. The freshman phenom took home the state title in the 200 IM and 100 breaststroke.
"He has a lot of energy out there and to watch him swim, it's just incredible to see him swim. His heart was really into it and he wanted that championship and his excitement showed at the end," says Leonard.
The duo competed on a daily basis at practice leading to multiple pool and team records falling to their names.
"He's got a really strong personality and he knows how to push people and put them to their limits and make them their best and this year he really helped me," says Biwer about DeLakis.
"He's always been there to help me train, we swim next to each other and we race each other every time," adds DeLakis about Biwer.
Paul is no stranger to the state championship. His older brother Alex won four straight 100 breaststroke titles and even shattered the Wisconsin pool record. Paul say the last name can stay on the record board but the first name may need to change.
"They're pretty big shoes to fill. It was a lot of fun training looking up to him. I was in fifth grade while he was a freshman. I always had the goal to win the 100 breast stroke and make the 100 breast stroke a DeLakis 8 years winning," says DeLakis.
As Paul trains to become one of the most decorated Wisconsin high school swimmers, Bailey prepares for his next step, swimming at St. Thomas.
"St. Thomas is a great school. I'm really excited to swim there, start fresh with a new team. It will be a fun journey," says Biwer.
The two have permanently etched their name into the Eau Claire Alliance legacy