University of Illinois at Chicago

DeForest senior Ben Ramminger signed his letter of intent to compete in swimming at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

After building up one of the best resumes in the history of DeForest boys swimming, Ben Ramminger will be continuing his athletic career at the NCAA Division 1 level the University of Illinois at Chicago.

“It is a relief that I know where I’m going to be for the next four years,” Ramminger said. “It is nice to know that my athletic career is not coming to an end because I have four more years. It will be a new chapter for me.”

Ramminger signed his national letter of intent on Feb. 5.

The decision to swim for the Flames was easy, especially since it gives Ramminger a chance to compete against his brother, Ryan, who is a junior at UW-Green Bay.

“I really like the city and they compete in the Horizon League, so I will get to face my brother,” Ramminger said. “It is also close to home, but far enough away to be on my own.”

The older Ramminger has had a big influence on his younger brother.

“We both have been swimming for a long time and he has been there for me since Day 1,” Ben Ramminger said.

Watching his brother have success drove Ben to do better.

“You always try to out-do your sibling,” Ramminger said. “I thought that if he could get to that level, I could work hard and get there to. I always knew it was a possibility, but it was going to take a lot of work.”

Ramminger made his mark on the Norski program right from the start. As a freshman, he placed 12th in the 500 freestyle and 16th in the 100 backstroke at the WIAA state meet.

As a sophomore, Ramminger took a big step up and made his way on to the state podium. He placed fourth in the 100 backstroke and fifth in the 500 freestyle. He was also a part of the 200 medley relay that placed seventh and the 400 freestyle relay that placed 15th.

Ramminger continued to rack up the state medals as a junior. He was fourth in the 500 freestyle and sixth in the 200 freestyle. He also competed in the 200 medley relay (fifth) and 400 freestyle relay (10th).

Success didn’t come easy for Ramminger. It took long hours of hard work.

“It comes down to the extra work you put in,” Ramminger said. “The early mornings you go do on your own or the little things you work on in practice, are what gets you that little extra advantage.”

Ramminger will wrap up his prep career this Saturday at the WIAA Division 2 state meet in Madison. He will be competing in the 100 butterfly, 100 breaststroke, 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay.

“I have had a fantastic end to my high school career this year,” Ramminger said. “I have set a lot of best times. This year is probably the best season of my career.”

Winning a state title on Saturday is the not the top priority for Ramminger. Instead, he is looking to record times that will set him up for success at the collegiate level.

“I’m not worried about winning, I just want to earn a good time,” Ramminger said. “I have goals that I still want to achieve.”

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