For the first time since November, the Maroons are going to be involved in competitive swimming and diving action. They begin with a tri-meet with Lewis University and Olivet Nazarene University on Friday night. After this, the South Siders head north to face NCAA DI rival University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee in what promises to be a dramatic meet.
In the same tri-meet event last year, UChicago had a strong showing. While the Maroon women went 2–0, the men’s team had a 1–1 record. This strong showing was further established by the fact that while the women won seven events, the men won six.
However, the Maroons did not have as strong a showing in last year’s faceoff against UW–Milwaukee. The Panthers won the men’s event 151–147 and the women’s meet 182–118 in a rather convincing fashion. They will be looking to improve on this and, with a good rest behind them, the team members are set for a competitive dual.
This year they will look to improve upon last year’s results. They will continue to improve upon their good performance in the tri-meet and try to replicate this against Milwaukee to establish some consistency against top opposition. Because of the long break, there should be few signs of fatigue and the Maroons will hopefully go into the event all guns blazing.
The Maroons will also be boosted by the fact that before the break, they had a very positive showing at the Phoenix Fall Classic. They finished first, with 1,022 points, out of the 12 teams that participated. The South Siders registered four men’s wins, four women’s wins, and nine NCAA B-Cut times. To put the icing on the cake, first-year Lance Culjat broke the pool record with a time of 2:01.60. In addition, fourth-year Maya Scheidl dominated the women’s freestyle events.
Along with the long break, the Maroons have momentum on their side. While there is a chance that rustiness might creep in, the men and women of the team have not stopped working with rigorous training schedules and adherence to the task.
Regarding this tough training schedule, Scheidl said, “The unique thing about swim season is that while we are listed as a winter sport, our season starts at the beginning of fall quarter. I would say this is championship season. Our winter training trip in Puerto Rico was tough but definitely helped to propel us as we prepare for the final weeks of training before conference.”
While the Maroons are far away from home, their regularity and endurance has prepared them for the difficulties that come. The first meet is set to start at 6 p.m. on Friday night and the next meet begins at 1 p.m. the following afternoon.