February 23, 2015

Chicago qualifies several to NCAA Championships

The Maroons recorded impressively low times at this past weekend’s Midwest Invitational.

On the men’s side, the Maroons took third of seven teams with 371 points, while Case Western Reserve won the pool with 511 points.  For the women, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee won the eight-team group with a total of 586.5 points. The Chicago women’s team placed second overall with 393 points.

This weekend marked the last chance for the Maroons to qualify for nationals, which will take place at the end of March. The men’s and women’s teams tallied five more B-cut times this weekend, with three from the men’s side and two from the women’s.

First-year Connor Turkatte led the men’s team with a standout performance in the 100-yard breaststroke. Turkatte’s time of 55.72 seconds broke both the school and pool record, and qualified him for nationals.

“Overall, I am pleased with my performance. Granted, my swims weren’t perfect, and there are many things I need to work on, but I am happy with my results because I know that I gave it my best,” Turkatte said. “I don’t think that any swimmer, or athlete, can have the perfect swim or competition, but I guess that is the true point of sports. For me, being an athlete means to keep striving for perfection and trying to improve, no matter how good or bad your results may be."

Two additional NCAA B-cut times were posted from the men’s side by fourth-year team captain Andrew Angeles and second-year Kevin Ku.

Angeles finished fourth in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 57.57, while Ku won the 200-yard butterfly with a mark of 1:51.79.

The women’s team also enjoyed many strong showings, with two NCAA B-Cut times and three additional event wins. Second-year Megan Wall was victorious in the 400-yard IM, and her time of 4:29.03 qualified her for nationals.

“[I] felt like there were some stellar performances, such as Megan Wall who swam the 200 free three times in order to drop time to go to nationals,” Ku said. “What’s even more impressive is that she succeeded each time.”

Third-year Ciara Hu also swam her way to a nationals qualifying time in the 200-yard butterfly, with a time of 2:06.45.

Second-year Michelle Law recorded a pair of event victories in the 100-yard butterfly and the 200-yard backstroke, with times of 57.67 and 2:06.40. First-year Emma Madden won the 100-yard backstroke with her time of 1:08.83.

“In regards to my feeling about my team’s performance, I am very proud of their efforts and results, and I am honored to be a part of such a dedicated team,” Turkatte said. “Everyone on the team is overwhelmingly dedicated to not only their personal success but also to the overall success of the team. The amount of energy that each individual brings is always super positive. It has been an honor to swim for UChicago, and I am humbled by their amazing success and effort this past season.”

The swimming and diving squads look to continue the success they had this weekend at mationals in late March. The swimmers will be taking a break from competition until NCAA Championships, while the divers will continue to compete at NCAA Diving Regionals this Friday.