Positive Senior Day for South Siders

On a day when the fourth-years at the University of Chicago were heralded, the men’s swim and dive team defeated DI Wisconsin-Milwaukee but the women’s team lost to the same opposition.

By Thomas Gordon

This past weekend, the UChicago swimming and diving team celebrated “senior day” at their meet against UW–Milwaukee on Saturday. The Maroons honored their 10 fourth-years (Melissa Bischoff, Dean Boures, Natalie DeMuro, Monica Kieff, Alex Lin, Emma Madden, Nicholas Reuter, Jack Rodman, Luke Trafton, and Florina Yang) before the events started. In what was an emotional day for the seniors, the Maroons performed admirably against their Division I opponent. 

The UChicago men’s team had a historic meet. They clinched their first ever dual win versus a DI opponent with a winning score of 152–134. Altogether, the Maroons picked up 11 wins on the mild winter day. It was a very successful day, particularly for second-years Reona Yamaguchi and Taye Baldinazzo, who were both three-time winners. Yamaguchi took first place in the 200-yard medley relay, 100-yard breaststroke, and the 100-yard IM, where he set a new pool record with a blistering time of 52.55 seconds. Baldinazzo took the spoils in the 400-yard freestyle relay, 200-yard freestyle, and 500-yard freestyle. Overall, this was a highly successful meet for the men’s team, considering that it was only able to split last weekend’s meet. This should give the team confidence going into the upcoming UAA Championships in mid-February.

The women’s team did not have the same results but performed very well considering their competition. A member of the women’s team set a new school record in the 100-yard IM, which seemed to be the event of the day given the record also set in the men’s race. First-year Nadia Redza finished with a school record time of 1:00.52 seconds, coming in second. Overall, she was thrilled with how both teams performed. 

“Last weekend’s meet was a really good one, especially for the men’s team. They beat a DI school for the first time, even with many out with injuries. The girls’ team had a strong performance after a hard week of training. A lot of us felt pretty beat down, but we still swam fast times and raced well against Milwaukee,” Redza said. 

It makes it even more impressive that these results came with injuries occurring throughout the squad and the lack of tapering for this event. In addition to Redza’s record-breaking performance in the 100 IM, she also won the 200-yard freestyle event. The women’s team also won the one-meter dive with Natalie Demuro’s performance, the 200-yard breaststroke by first-year Margaret Wolfson and the 100-yard Butterfly by second-year Nicole Garcia. Hopefully both teams are able to take this momentum into the upcoming UAA Championships in Atlanta, which will be a warm reward for all of their hard work through the fall and winter seasons.