Maroons dive back into action at home against Wheaton

After their first meet against Denison last week, the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams take on Wheaton this Saturday.

By Zachary Themer

While the season of meets and races is only a week old, the Maroons have had to hit the ground running as their marathon five-month season hits fourth gear. After falling to Denison last weekend, the Maroons will look to turn the tide tomorrow against Wheaton College.

In order to win this weekend, the Maroons are going to look toward their strong core of individual swimmers. On the men’s side, the South Siders have a new face this year with first-year Alex Lin. Although new to college competition, Lin made a big splash last weekend when he won the 100-yard backstroke and 200-yard I.M. Similarly, the Maroons will look to the talents of second-year Kevin Ku to lead the way. Last week Ku also took home a pair of top finishes, in the 100-yard and 200-yard butterfly, with times of 52.10s and 1:53.96, respectively.

The Maroon men won’t just be swimming laps though; they’ll be diving dives. Leading the men will be fourth-years Anthony Restaino and Matthew Staab. Coming off an All-American season last year, Restaino’s season will depend on raising the bar higher than last year, when he set four school records. Staab is also an All-American in the three-meter dive. For the Maroons to get their momentum and mojo going, it’ll come down the leaders of the team—Restaino, Ku, and Lin—to lead the way.

For the ladies, tomorrow is an equally crucial opportunity to take a step towards the team’s ultimate goal: an NCAA DIII National Championships appearance. Facing their season head on, the Maroons will also turn to underclassmen to lead the way.

One of the biggest surprises for the Maroons in their first meet was the quick emergence of first-year Melissa Bischoff. While Bischoff joined the team with high expectations as one of the blue-chip recruits for the program, not many expected the underclassman to take home a victory in her first meet.

While Bischoff swam to the top place on the podium with a time of 58.83s in the 100-yard backstroke, her place as a top finisher was not a lonely occurrence: second-year Abby Erdmann took home some hardware of her own last Saturday, placing in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 59.71.

While swimming may appear to be an individual sport, it is anything but, as fourth-year Robby Kunkel explains.

“The meets are much more team orientated than people might think. We really put an emphasis on cheering on people swimming and trying to get everyone excited,” said Kunkel.

With their season entering only its second week, the Maroons will look to stroke their way into midseason form as they take on Wheaton College at 11 a.m. tomorrow at the Gerald Ratner Athletic Center.