Clapp Capping Off Incredible Ride with Pointers
Will Rossmiller

The University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point men’s swimming and diving team won their 14th straight Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships this past month. Senior Joey Clapp is a big reason for their success.

Clapp, the team captain, was part of three relay teams that took first. He also won three individual events. The six wins add to an outstanding career at UWSP.

Clapp has been honored as an All American 11 times and named first team nine times. He has won 20 WIAC titles and was named MVP of the swimming and diving team the past two seasons.

“It has been an exhilarating experience,” Clapp said. “I achieved goals that I did not think were possible, and I couldn’t have achieved them without the support from my coaches and teammates.”

Clapp has also performed in the classroom. This year he won the WIAC Max Sparger Men’s Swimming & Diving Scholar-Athlete Award and has been on the WIAC Scholastic Honor Roll three times.

Al Boelk, head coach of the swimming and diving team, is going to miss Clapp swimming for his team. “It has been a lot of fun working with Joey over the years,” Boelk said.

Clapp is from Faribault, Minnesota. He came to UWSP following his brother, Willie, who had just finished up his career at UWSP.

“I wanted to swim competitively, and my brother was a strong influence on why I came here,” Clapp said. “The swim team here felt like a family that I wanted to be a part of. I got the opportunity to meet a lot of my future teammates while watching my brother compete at meets.”

Clapp’s success was not without hard work. When he came to UWSP, he had never participated in a real weight-lifting program.

“I came in very thin. I didn’t know much about lifting or how to train in swimming at a high level,” Clapp said. “Lifting weights has been a huge part of my success in swimming.”


Four years of swimming has also proved to test Clapp’s ability to stay healthy. “I have had my ups and downs, and my biggest problem was staying healthy,” Clapp said.

However, his ability to overcome his injuries in the sport is a big reason for his accomplishments.

“Joey has had some pretty serious shoulder issues over the years, and it staggers me how he minimized his problems and just dealt with them on a daily basis,” Boelk said.

Boelk said that he is impressed with the continued hunger Clapp possess for swimming. “It makes me happy to see him still passionate about the sport after all these years,” Boelk said.

“A career in swimming can burn out the strongest of minds. It can be a grueling sport psychologically, simply due to the intense training volumes and season lengths.”

So what’s next for Clapp? After competing at the NCAA Division III championships in late March, Clapp plans on joining the coaching staff.

His career isn’t over yet. He still has one more meet to cherish in his career at UWSP. “I will miss competition the most. I will also miss the camaraderie and being a part of the relays,” Clapp said.