Chicago will head to Cleveland for the UAA Championships this weekend. There the Maroons will take on Emory, NYU, Case Western, Carnegie Mellon, Wash U, Brandeis, and Rochester.
Every meet in the season so far has been part of Chicago’s preparation for UAAs. In addition, the Maroons have tailored their training this week to the demands of postseason play.
“These past two weeks have been our taper season in order to prepare us for UAAs,” fourth-year Jacqueline Trudeau said. “We’ve been resting, focusing heavily on technique, bringing down our yardage in the pool and our intensity in the workout room, and overall just giving our muscles a chance to recover.”
“It’s been really important for us to stay rested and on top of our schoolwork these last couple of weeks more than ever,” fourth-year Laura Biery said.
The Maroons are two weeks removed from a solid win against DePauw, but the team expects to carry this momentum into championships nonetheless.
“Our last meet against DePauw was one of our best this season, which hopefully means that this will be our best conference meet yet,” Biery said.
With the win and their strong record, the Maroons are expecting to do well in Cleveland.
“It’s hard to speak for everyone, but overall I think that team expectations are pretty high going into the UAAs,” Trudeau said. “We’ve had one of our best years so far and a lot of people have had some really great swims in-season when we’re tired and sore, so we’re really looking to drop some time and post some awesome swims, now that we’re rested and at the peak of our strength.”
The team will need to bring its best in order to win this weekend. Traditionally Emory has dominated the meet.
“Our hope is to get closer to Emory and distance our lead over the other schools,” Biery said.
“They’re always some tough competition, but we keep getting better every year, and I think we have some swimmers who will really be able to hang with and beat their star swimmers,” Trudeau said. “That said, at the end of the day, it comes down to the clock and you. A lot of us will just be racing against ourselves and our best times and looking to just get to the wall first.”
The team is incredibly strong this year with an impressive first-year class and continual improvement and motivation from the upperclassmen.
“We have a lot of fast [first-years] who I’m excited to see do well this weekend,” Biery said.
“It’s been our goal to knock [Emory] off that first-place pedestal for a couple of years and each year we keep getting a little bit closer,” Trudeau said.
The meet also has implications for Nationals, which begin in a couple of weeks on March 21.
“Having good swims at UAAs means that hopefully we’ll get a lot of our swimmers to Nationals and really score some points,” Trudeau said. “You qualify for Nationals based on time standards, not based on where you finish at UAAs, so it’s important to have the competition there to push people to do their best times.”
To check in on Chicago’s progress this weekend, head to the athletics page at athletics.uchicago.edu. The meet begins on February 15.