The Chicago Maroons’ season is officially in full swing as they prepare for the annual Phoenix Fall Classic in which they will compete against seven competitive Midwest colleges within the span of just three days.
Chicago has pushed off to a great start in what is still a relatively young season. With a strong showing at Denison/UIC/Northwestern, a win against Wheaton, and a women’s victory and a men’s tough defeat against Wash U, the Maroons are prepared to display their improvement over the past few weeks. As the big weekend approaches, each swimmer and diver understands the importance of maintaining a strong work ethic, one that has gotten them this far in the competition.
Although the competition has been getting tougher as the season progresses, players have created special bonds as a team and personally as well.
High-achieving third-year Maya Scheidl claims, “I think this team has done exceptionally well this season and I can’t wait to see how that momentum will take us through this meet.”
When looking at past years, the Chicago team has raced considerably well at the fall classic, leaving significant room for hope in making a mark this weekend. Regardless of the situation, the Maroons refuse to lose the focus and concentration they have instilled.
Scheidl expresses her excitement for the big meet, saying, “I’m really excited for the fast racing we will see this weekend, especially with the relays.”
Scheidl’s excitement for the relays is appropriate; the South Siders have had top finishes in the 200-yard and 400-yard freestyle relays in every meet so far this year. The women also churned out a win in the 200-yard medley, further exemplifying Chicago’s versatility and teamwork.
The squad is also flipping out about what’s going on with Anna Girlich on the diving board. The first-year swept the diving events against Wash U, and she was only 10 points away from a NCAA provisional score.
On the men’s side, first-year Alexander Farrell comes into the invite riding three first-place finishes against Wash U. Farrell was involved in half of the first-place wins at that meet.
All the swimmers have been expressing the intense training as they head into the weekend.
“At all of our other meets we have been swimming tired and sore, but we’ve had a drop taper for Phoenix this week so we will be feeling faster in the water,” Scheidl said.
A drop taper is the cutting down of training in the days leading up to the event in order to feel more rested and is thought to optimize performance.
With the support of an immensely talented coaching staff, the Maroons hope to make strides toward reaching the level they want to be at for Nationals and various other important meets down the line.
As the Maroons prepare, Scheidl acknowledges the importance of this upcoming classic, saying, “this is our biggest meet of the quarter and it is also a good chance for relays and individuals to make NCAA cuts.”
The Phoenix Fall Classic will begin on Friday, November 20 and will continue through Sunday, November 22.