SPORTS

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January 27, 2009

UW–Milwaukee plays spoiler as Chicago wraps up home schedule

The men’s swimming and diving team had its final home date of the season last Friday, but the Maroons didn’t manage to defend their pool against D-I UW–Milwaukee, and the visiting Panthers beat Chicago 156–127.

“I was not happy with the outcome of the meet,” head coach Jason Weber said. “I think [UW–Milwaukee] was not much better than us, and the score should have been a lot closer.”

The meet began poorly as Milwaukee took first in the 400-yard medley and won first as well as second in the short distance freestyle, backstroke, and butterfly events. The Panthers were able to get gold in many of the events early on, putting the Maroons at a significant disadvantage later in the meet.

Yet even against a D-I team, some of the men still performed and won. In his last home meet for the Maroons, fourth-year Shane Carlson was first in the 200-yard breaststroke with an impressive time of 2:11.27. Fellow fourth-year Alex Stabell posted a notable in the 100-yard butterfly, turning in a 52.21. Carlson and Stabell will swim their last dual meet on Saturday before heading off to UAAs.

“I would have liked to have a final home meet that we could win for the seniors, but we have to swim harder competition as well,” said Weber.

Besides Carlson and Stabell, many of the long distance swimmers had season-best times, which was encouraging for Weber. Second-years Matt Miller and Jake Hanebutt performed well in the 1,000-yard and 500-yard freestyle events. Hanebutt showed a time of 10:08.15 in the 1,000-yard freestyle, and 5:02.20 in the 500-yard freestyle. Miller was not far behind and posted times of 10:45.57 and 5:11.99 in the 1,000-yard freestyle and 500-yard freestyle respectively. Third-year Nick Trojanowski and third-year Phil Bartles also did well in these events.

But these strong showings were not enough to best the Panthers, and the Maroons had to deal with a defeat at home. “Our team just did not perform to their ability level,” admitted Weber.

Next weekend the men are off to Indiana, where they’ll take on a DePauw team they think they can beat. Weber said he feels his men are much stronger than DePauw in the distance freestyle events, but DePauw is deeper for the mid-distance events.

“I hope we can win over half of the events, but it all depends on the second, third, and fourth person,” said Weber. “It would be great to win the last dual meet for Alex [Stabell] and Shane [Carlson].”

This hasn’t been an easy season for Chicago. The Maroons picked up a host of first-year swimmers and added some D-I opponents to their calendar, making their schedule much harder than last year’s. As a result, looking only at their wins and losses does not give the whole story.

“Our record does not really show how good we are. We had a much harder schedule, and if we had the same schedule as we had last year, we probably would have gone undefeated. The men are flying under the radar,” said Weber.

“This has been our best season to date, and I hope we can end on a high note,” Weber said.