February 24, 2012

In Midwest Invitational, individuals vie for Nationals

Jamie Manley / The Chicago Maroon

As the weekend approaches, the Maroons are gearing up for their last home meet of the year: the Midwest Invitational. Chicago will host a variety of swimmers looking to improve their individual times in order to qualify for Nationals. The meet takes place at the Myers-McLoraine pool on Friday and Saturday.

“There are two main purposes for the Midwest Invite: to serve as a final meet for the swimmers who were unable to travel to conference and to be a last-chance meet for anyone trying to improve season times and/or make national qualifying times,” third-year swimmer Kathleen Taylor said.

Training for the meet has been intense. Not only are the athletes still looking to qualify for Nationals pushing themselves for their last shot to compete, but those who have already qualified are also using the meet as part of their preparation for Nationals. This training, combined with the pressure to qualify, contributes to this meet’s nickname: “the last chance meet.”

Although not all of the Maroon swimmers and divers will be participating, the entire team will be out in support.

“The entire team, regardless of whether they are swimming in the meet or not, will be there cheering on our teammates and trying to get them as psyched as possible for their races,” Taylor said. “Having the support of the team while going into the start of a race really helps fight through the mental and physical pain that may be coming, so we hope that we can be there to support our fellow teammates.”

Riding on the support of their teammates and the high of finishing in second place at the UAA Conference Championships, the swimmers and divers participating in this weekend’s Midwest Invitational plan to take full advantage of their “last chance” to qualify.

To follow the action of the meet, stop by the Myers-McLoraine pool this Friday and Saturday during the day. You can also follow the progress online at