SPORTS

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October 26, 2007

Men's swimming at a glance

The Recap:

If last season was the breakout year for men’s swimming, look for the 2007–2008 squad to make the big push in asserting its place as a strong conference and national competitor.

With the combination of returning talent and a promising new class, the Maroons have everything going for them to move to the next level. They came close to edging their way into the top ranks last season with 12 broken school records posted at UAAs landing them fifth place, the highest in program history. Bumping up to the fifth slot was no small accomplishment, considering that Chicago had long been caught in the undercurrents of one of DIII’s toughest leagues.

Strengths:

Thanks to aggressive recruiting efforts, the South Siders have added some depth to their roster that has raised the bar for everybody on the team. School records should be set and reset as swimmers try to one-up each other at meets to earn a spot on the conference squad. Last year ended with the team’s sole NCAA candidate, third-year Alex Stabell, missing the final cut, but this season’s Maroons are fixed on garnering individual and team qualifications.

Weaknesses:

Two things that could slow down Chicago this year are its schedule and conference competitors ready to protect their standings in the league. NCAA regulations limit squads to 19-week seasons, shortening preseason training to less than a month before the opening meet. Schools on the semester system have an advantage because they can start their unofficial and voluntary packages much earlier. The rest of the UAA can take that extra time and make sure they keep pace with the rising Maroons.

“We’re a better team this year, but we could get fifth again,” head coach Jason Weber said.

Who to watch: Alex Stabell

Two things that could slow down Chicago this year are its schedule and conference competitors ready to protect their standings in the league. NCAA regulations limit squads to 19-week seasons, shortening preseason training to less than a month before the opening meet. Schools on the semester system have an advantage because they can start their unofficial and voluntary packages much earlier. The rest of the UAA can take that extra time and make sure they keep pace with the rising Maroons.

“We’re a better team this year, but we could get fifth again,” head coach Jason Weber said.