February 24, 2012

Chicago aims for increased representation at NCAAs

With the UAA Championship out of the way, the men’s swimming and diving team has one meet left on the season: the Midwest Invitational. Chicago will look to add depth heading into the NCAA Championship with a strong showing at home this weekend.

“A lot of schools will be attending the meet, but most will only be bringing a few swimmers. This meet is more of a last chance for swimmers to get some fast times and possibly qualify for NCAAs,” head coach Jason Weber said.

Given this purpose, the team’s preparation has been varied. Some swimmers already qualified for NCAAs during the UAA Championship meet, while others did not but remain hopeful.

“Some [swimmers] are going up in work and yardage training for the NCAA Championship, and some are continuing their taper and rest to try and swim fast this weekend,” Weber said.

Being this close to the NCAA Championship and the end of the season, much of the team’s focus becomes individual.

“Already some of us have B times, but want to go faster because they might not be selected for the national meet,” first-year swimmer Andrew Salomon said.

Weber echoed this mentality.

“If we go fast, then we might qualify for NCAAs and knock some other swimmers from other schools out. We won’t know who will qualify until the end of the week,” he said.

The Midwest Invitational seems like a good way to finish off the season.

“The meet should have some exciting swims,” first-year swimmer Andrew Angeles said.

After the Invitational, the team hopes to have a number of swimmers still preparing for the NCAA Championship. Though it is not yet time to reflect on the season as a whole, regardless of the number of swimmers who qualify for NCAAs, team members will feel satisfied with the way the season played out.

“This season was great. We bonded as a team, in addition to swimming very well,” Angeles said.

The first events of the Midwest Invitational will begin at 6 p.m. today in the Myers-McLoraine Pool. The meet will continue at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 25.