Fraction of team competes at Midwest Invite

The meet was the last chance for athletes to qualify for Nationals, which take place at the end of March.

By Liane Rousseau

Chicago competed in the Midwest Invitational at home in the Myers-McLoraine Pool over the weekend. The Maroons finished second overall out of eight teams participating, including UAA rivals Wash U and Emory. The Maroons beat Wash U but fell second to Emory at the UAA Championships last weekend in Cleveland.

The meet was the last chance for athletes to qualify for Nationals, which take place at the end of March. There were also swimmers there who were unable to compete at the UAA Championships. Because of the nature of the meet, not all members of the Swimming and Diving team competed, but everyone was there to support the rest of the team.

“We never really keep track of the score at this meet, since only a fraction of the team swims,” fourth-year Tara Levens said. “We don’t count our standing at this meet as part of our record for the season, since the regular season officially ended with UAAs.”

Despite the almost unofficial atmosphere at the meet, the competing athletes took it very seriously. Besides relying on the support from their teammates, the swimmers trained hard for this meet, combining tapered workouts with more focused and intense shorter sessions.

All the hard work and support paid off as several swimmers had first place finishes. Levens and fellow fourth-year Laura Biery, as well as first-years Bizzy Millen and Jenny Hill, all had first places finishes, and first-year Tiffany Ho walked away with two. Additionally, a majority of swimmers swam in time trials, which were against the clock and NCAA qualifying standards rather than other athletes.

“The meet was a great way to end the full season, and we look forward to training hard for NCAAs during spring break,” third-year Kate Taylor said.

The Maroons do not know who on the team has qualified for Nationals, as the official list will not be published until March 1st. Taylor, Millen, Levens, Biery, and fourth-year Jackie Trudeau all have a good shot at qualifying. Similarly, third-year diver Becky Schmidt will hear sometime in the middle of next week whether she was chosen to compete at NCAAs.

NCAAs begin on March 21st in Indianapolis, where qualifying Maroons will have a chance to dominate at the next level.