January 20, 2012

Maroons thrive at home meet

Women’s swimming and diving dominated the pool at this past weekend’s Chicago Invitational at the Myers-McLoraine Pool. Calvin College took second and Lincoln College came in third.

The Maroons also won nine individual events and five relays.

“I was really proud that the women’s team won all [our] relays,” head coach Jason Weber said. “That’s a sign of a really solid team.”

Chicago trained hard to prepare for two days of multiple sessions and long races.

“Our training leading up to every meet continues to be really intense, and I think we were all pretty exhausted going into the meet this weekend,” fourth-year Andrea McPike said.

McPike was a member of three of the five winning relays.

“We kept up our hard training over the days leading to the meet,” said first-year Jennifer Hill, who won two individual events and participated in four of the five winning relays. “Many of us actually had a swim practice and weight lifted in the morning before the first session of the meet.”

All of that training was necessary for the two-day Chicago Invitational, which featured a different format than the Maroons’ previous competitions.

“This meet is different than our other meets because it’s three sessions over one and a half days, so they do a lot of events in a short time frame,” Weber said. “It’s good practice for our conference meet in a month.”

If practice makes perfect, the Maroons are well on their way to a successful remainder of the season. They dominated the pool, finishing 229.5 points ahead of second-place Calvin.

“I’m so proud of the women’s team this year. I think we have such an amazing dynamic, that we really feed off of each other’s positive energy,” McPike said.

“It was impressive that some swimmers bettered their best times of the season at this meet, which we did not rest for at all,” Hill agreed.

Looking ahead to next weekend and the rest of the season, the Maroons are planning on taking the momentum and training from this weekend’s meet and using both to continue to win. Everything during the season is part of their training for UAAs, including this past weekend.

“The competition at UAAs is going to be a lot tougher than what we saw this weekend, but we will be ready,” McPike said.

However, before UAAs, the Mawroons will need to get through a tough dual meet on Saturday, when they will host DI UW-Milwaukee.

Hill believes the team is ready for the test.

“The win showed us that we can swim fast under heavy stress from training, which we will still be under this weekend during our meet against [UW-Milwaukee].”

Although it may sound like swimming while under heavy stress and exhaustion can be counter productive, McPike believes the team can handle the extra work.

“Athletes who can overcome the temptation of giving into fatigue and pain are the ones who come out on top,” she said. “That’s what we did this last weekend, and I have no doubt that the UAAs and NCAAs will be the same.”

To catch some serious racing and cheer on the Maroons as they continue to thrive, stop by the Myers-McLoraine Pool this Saturday at 1 p.m.