Heading towards the heart of the season, the Maroons turned in stellar performances across the board against some unusually talented competition.
Chicago continued their solid opening run by blowing the competition out of the water Saturday at the Monmouth Quadrangular. The Maroons (301) obliterated Monmouth 16532 and Rose-Hulman 15648, and finished neck-and-neck with Division I Western Illinois 102102.
We expected to have this kind of start, riding on the success from last year, third-year James Viccaro said. We only lost two seniors to the graduating class, and even though one was an All-American, the freshmen have really stepped up.
Being really hungry for the win was an important part to our success, Viccaro said.
The Maroons finished first in four individual events and one relay, and had at least one swimmer in the top three of all 12 events for the day. Second-year Jason Azares played an especially big role, claiming the 100-yard butterfly in 53.65 to beat out Western Illinois fourth-year Brent Eames 55.41. He also recorded a 2:03:51 mark in the 200-yard individual medley to best second-year Adam Effingers 2:04.01 for Rose-Hulman.
First-place finishes by Viccaro and first-year Shane Carlson helped clinch the tie with the Leathernecks. Viccaro snatched the 50-yard freestyle (22.49) from WIU third-year Drew Page (22.80) while Carlsons 10:04.15 finish on the 1,000-yard topped WIU first-year Ryan Wichmans 10:09.57.
Fourth-year Ram Krishan, second-year Pat Seastedt, first-year Alex Sabell, and second-year Andrew Kent combined for a 3:43.32 finish on the 400-yard medley relay for Chicagos relay win.
We werent outclassed in talent on Saturday, but we were at a disadvantage facing Wesleyan. However, we also know that we deserve to be among the best, Viccaro said.
The Maroons host the first of four meets at Ratner Saturday in their home opener against Illinois Wesleyan (01).
Were just going to have to keep doing what weve been doing the past couple of weeks and play guys in their key areas when we face Wesleyan, Viccaro said.