Women’s swimming kicked off their first meet of 2009 against Kalamazoo College in Michigan with a 147–92 win, raising their dual meet record to 6–3.
Chicago took the lead in every swimming event except one, the 50-yard freestyle, in which they took a close second.
Second-year Ellie Elgamal, one of three Maroons to win a pair of events, notched an NCAA Division-III provisional qualifying time in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 58.60. She also won the 200-yard individual medley (2:15.15).
Contributing to the two winning relays (the 200-yard medley and the 200-yard freestyle), first-year Tara Levens placed first in the 100-yard backstroke with a Kalamazoo College pool record-setting time of 1:00.30.
First-years Jacqueline Trudeau and Megan St. John also chipped in two wins apiece. Trudeau led the way in the 100- and 200-yard freestyles (55.78, 1:59.66). St. John took the top honors in the 500- and 1,000-yard freestyles (5:17.75, 10:17.98) and earned a personal best in the 1,000-yard freestyle for this season.
The young squad turned in quality performances across the roster. Second-year Margot Luedke had one of her best meets of the year, according to Weber. In the 100-yard breaststroke, she earned a time that would have placed her in second had she not swam the event exhibition. Luedke also placed third in the 100-yard freestyle and contributed to the fourth-place scoring team of the 200-yard medley relay.
Although it is commendable that Elgamal met the national provisional standard in the 100-yard butterfly, Weber added, she most likely needs to swim around 58.1 to actually be able to compete in the NCAA Championships. This goal is definitely in sight; last year, Elgamal was able to go below 58 seconds in this event.
The first meet back from break is always rough because competitors need to return to the regular routine, and under this consideration, the team performed well. Except for the meet against Costa Rica University “for fun,” the Maroons hadn’t competed in over a month; their last regular competition was November 23. The majority of the team had never been to the Kalamazoo pool, and snowy conditions and the team’s lack of sleep had Weber unsure that the Maroons would be able to make the two-and-a-half-hour trek to Michigan.
One South Sider who was especially happy that the team was able to complete the trip was associate head coach Doug Millike, whose sister-in-law is the head coach of Kalamazoo College’s swim team. Chicago’s win helped to spur on the friendly family feud between the two teams.
With the first win of the year already behind them, the Maroons are looking forward to the upcoming Chicago Invitational this Friday and Saturday in which eight teams and 200 swimmers and divers are expected to compete.