The Maroons face off against Wash U in their only UAA meet of the season. The Bears are arguably Chicago’s biggest rival within the conference.
“I think overall one of the biggest challenges will be simply competing against our rivals, because there is this added pressure to hold them off,” first-year Maya Scheidl said. “I know the past two years we have swam well against them, so we have to give it our all and defend our record, especially since they are traveling to our home pool.”
So far this season, rookie Maroons have made significant contributions to the team’s overall success. In its meet against Wheaton last weekend, Chicago had seven different first-years win at least one event out of the 15 unique team members who did.
A few Maroons expressed the importance of the new members to this year’s squad including second-year Karen Chu, who credited the first-years’ talent thus far. However, Chu was quick to add that any success would be due to the input of the whole team.
Coming into this meet, the Maroons may be suffering from both physical and mental exhaustion. This will be the third weekend in a row in which Chicago will be competing. Additionally, like all college athletes, the swimmers must find time for schoolwork.
“Lately we have been doing a lot of high–intensity strength and power work, and so I think in general our biggest challenge will be to overcome the fatigue that has developed over the past few weeks,” first-year Jeremy Estes said.
Estes also mentioned how this fatigue may have already been visible when the Maroons were in Wheaton last Saturday.
“As the season progresses, the most beneficial thing I can do is to stay on top of my academics and thereby prevent myself from stressing out, which has negative consequences in the pool,” Estes said.
From the statistics, specifically their success in relays, and from talking to the swimmers, it is clear that this is a tight-knit team.
“Relays are my favorite event to swim, because I always split faster times than my individuals knowing that my teammates are directly dependent on me. We are a very supportive team, and I love being a part of something that seems to make more of an impact than my individual races,” Sheidl said.
The Maroons take on the Bears tomorrow at 1 p.m. at home in the Myers-McLoraine Pool.