January 12, 2010

Men's, women's swimming coast past Kalamazoo, Carthage

Kalamazoo could have one of the best men’s swimming and diving squads at the NCAA Championship this March, but it was no match for Chicago in the dual meet action this weekend.

Competing at home on Saturday, men’s swimming beat second-ranked Kalamazoo 148–92, as well as 23rd-ranked Carthage 168–69. In its half of the meet, women’s swimming topped 13th-ranked Carthage 175–62, and an unranked Kalamazoo squad 187–56.

“I was fairly confident the women were going to win both meets,” men’s and women’s head coach Jason Weber said. “I thought it was going to be a little bit closer on the Carthage side. In terms of the men, I thought it was going to be pretty close with the Carthage men, and I thought it was going to be really tough for us to beat Kalamazoo.”

Weber pointed to first-year Justin Yu’s win in the 200 free as one of the highlights in Chicago’s victory over Kalamazoo. In that event, Yu finished a split second ahead of the Hornets’ Brian Bazzell, who was 14th in the 200 free at last year’s NCAA Championship.

Other notable performances came from first-year divers John Gallagher and Becky Schmidt. Schmidt and Gallagher both won from the one- and three-meter boards. Schmidt set Chicago records in each competition, while Gallagher recorded the school mark on the three-meter.

The discrepancy between the national rankings of the Maroons’ opponents and their actual performance in Myers-McLoraine pool is mostly a matter of depth. The Kalamazoo men, for instance, have a few highly talented swimmers who are expected to be All-Americans and score at NCAAs, which will make them one of the best teams in the country at that meet. But success in dual meets depends on talent across all events, and on that count, Chicago’s teams far outdid their visitors.