Following an impressive debut in a pool of stacked competition, the Maroons will travel to Wheaton this weekend to showcase their talent and make further improvements. Chicago left its previous meet against DI squads Northwestern and UIC and DIII powerhouse Denison with seven finishes in the top three of an event.
First-year Alexander Farrell certainly used his collegiate debut to make an immediate impact, finishing second in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events. Showing his versatility, he also helped Chicago to finish third in the 200-yard medley relay. The other top relay finish for the South Siders came in the 400-yard free relay, which not only included Farrell, but another first-year, Stephen Park. Further displaying the benefits of youth, fellow first-year Michael Todd took third in the 200-yard butterfly.
Fourth-year Thomas Meek was right on Farrell’s heels in the 50-yard freestyle, snatching third place, and also helped the squad finish third in the 200-yard medley relay as well as the 400-yard freestyle relay. Returners Alex Lin, Connor Turkatte, and Jonathan Simoneau also contributed to the relay teams, demonstrating Chicago’s depth.
On the women’s side, second-year Melissa Bischoff finished second in the 100-yard backstroke while her third-year teammate Maya Scheidl captured third place in the 100-yard free.
When asked about last week’s meet, Scheidl said, “The team as a whole did really well last weekend. We had pretty tough competition, including the Division I Northwestern swim team, so I think we really stepped up and swam exceptionally well considering it’s still so early in the season.”
Looking ahead to this coming Saturday, the team looks to carry that momentum to claim a vital win against a motivated Wheaton squad. Upperclassman Scheidl commented on the team’s morale, saying, “Going into this weekend against Wheaton, I think many of us are taking that momentum from last weekend and using it to get excited about the season.”
Wheaton is opening its season this weekend against Chicago, and the squad can certainly expect an energized team. The Thunder also returns two of its top swimmers: fourth-year Kirsty Nitz, who will be defending her three-time College Conference of Illinois and Wiscosin (CCIW) Women’s Swimmer of the Year title, and second-year Jack O’Connor, who as a first-year was the CCIW champion in four different events.
While last weekend was the first of many tests for this up-and-coming Maroon team, the swimmers and divers hope to use their diverse talents to prove themselves this weekend. “Last weekend we were looking to swim fast and use the other teams to push us,” Scheidl said. “This weekend, I think we are looking to come out with a win and I know as a team we are strong enough to do that.”
With motivation and dedication, Chicago is anticipating making its mark this coming Saturday, beginning at 11 a.m. at Wheaton.