Heartbreaking loss for women’s swimming: Sports Shorts 11/8/05

By Kate Seryak

As women’s swimming and diving discovered to their chagrin, home isn’t always as sweet as promised.

The Maroons were barely beaten by Illinois Wesleyan 114–113 in their Ratner opener Saturday. While the team had significant success in individual and diving events, the relays proved Chicago’s undoing time and time again. After an uplifting second weekend, the squad was sent plummeting back to .500 with a 2–2 dual meet record.

Having entered the day expecting to take advantage of being back at Myers-McLoraine Pool, the Maroons started off strong with a win in the 400-yard medley relay. Third-year Katherine Yang also did some damage for Chicago, winning the 1,000-yard freestyle in 11:15.77, and first-year Sarah Laws kept things going in the individual events with a win in the 200-yard freestyle event (2:02.89).

In the shorter sprinting events, however, the Titans dominated, capturing first and second place in the 50-yard freestyle, followed by a win in the 200-yard individual medley race.

The divers did their part to help overcome these defeats, taking all available points in 1-meter diving. The sweep started a hot run for the Maroons, as Laws hit the wall for a win in the 100-yard freestyle (56:53) while classmate Rachel Zarnke’s 2:23.52 mark earned her a win in the 200-yard butterfly.

Illinois Wesleyan took the first three places in the 200-yard backstroke race, but Yang quickly struck back for the home team with her second triumph of the afternoon in the 500-yard freestyle (5:31.38).

Neck-and-neck down the home stretch, the Maroons claimed a win in 3-meter diving. However, the Titans stayed alive with a win in the 200-yard backstroke, bringing the entire meet down the 400-yard freestyle relay. The Maroons lost by just .23 seconds, clocking in at 3:52:57 to IWU’s 3:52:34.

The schedule leaves Chicago with little time to mope about the heartbreaking loss. The team will need to bounce back quickly if they hope to make some noise at the Maroon Invite starting Friday. The Maroons host the two-day event, which should feature a strong Midwestern field.