Swimming Splits Up

After a narrow defeat last week, the swimming and diving team is dividing itself to compete at two meets this weekend.

By Mike Beninati

After a close victory over Wisconsin–Milwaukee, the Maroons hope to continue the momentum from last week’s win as they send split squads to compete in two dual meets—one against DePauw in Indiana and one against Lake Forest College. 

This will be the second time the No. 8 Maroons have matched up against the No. 24 DePauw Tigers—the first being at the annual Phoenix Fall Classic held at UChicago’s home natatorium. Both the men and women took first at this event, but DePauw put up a valiant fight and finished in a close second (out of 13 teams). Since that meeting, the Tigers have been up and down, winning some meets convincingly while losing others by narrow margins. They will enter the pool looking to rebound from a third-place finish in their last outing. The Chicago swimmers will certainly be tested by DePauw third-year Mary Woods, as she is putting together a strong follow-up season after taking 18th (400 medley) and 21st (200-yard free relay) as a sophomore in her two NCAA championship events last year.

The Lake Forest Foresters come into the bout as the only non-ranked competitor but hope to make a statement on their senior day. The season has been pretty inconsistent for the Foresters, but they have shown glimpses of talent. Both the men and women are looking for the same success they saw last week in a win against Lawrence University. The Maroons will have to watch for upperclassmen Heath Ogawa and Lily McCarthy—both received Midwest Conference Performer of the Week awards from CollegeSwimming.com. The award was the second consecutive for Ogawa and his third of the season.

The Maroons have also picked up some national recognition this week. Second-year Agnes Lo was awarded UAA Athlete of the Week for her wins in the one-meter and three-meter dives in her last bout. The team is also using this dual meet as a warm-up for the weeks to come. First-year Gillian Gagnard says: “UAAs are in a few weeks, so this meet is our last competition before championship season. I’m looking forward to seeing how everyone performs.”

Thus the team hopes to correct its mistakes from last week’s win and focus on making the corrections needed to propel it to UAA success. A win this week and a strong UAA tournament performance will have the Maroons set to make a splash on the national stage during championship week.