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It has been a few years since Tom Irgens swam competitively, but he is thinking about putting on his latex cap and diving back into the sport he loves.
Irgens, vice president of asset management at Milwaukee-based Irgens Partners LLC, was an eighth grader at Wauwatosa’s Longfellow Middle School when he started swimming with a recreational team in the city.
By the time he was a freshman in high school, Irgens had fallen in love with the sport and had joined another club team, where he began honing his skills and specializing in the backstroke and 200- and 500-meter freestyle races.
Irgens attended Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, a school with a very good Division III swim team and excellent coach, Irgens said.
“They won 31 consecutive (Division III national) championships,” Irgens said. “I was there for 26 through 29, but missed the glory years of 25 and 30.”
Irgens was named an All-American for the school in 2007 and 2008, winning nine awards.
During the summers, he would swim at the Schroeder YMCA and Aquatic Center in Brown Deer.
After graduation, Irgens took an internship with Major League Baseball in New York City for a year before returning home to begin working for his family business. The itch to begin swimming again has taken over, Irgens joked.
While Irgens swims laps now at the gym, he plans to join a masters swimming program, possibly following in the footsteps of fellow real estate developer Barry Mandel, who is a member of the Wisconsin Masters Aquatic Club.
“Barry went to Nicolet (High School in Glendale) and my dad (Mark Irgens) went to Tosa West. They swam against each other in high school,” Tom Irgens said. “Maybe we could do a real estate developer relay."