October 30, 2019

Swim and Dive Makes a Splash at Season Opener against Wheaton

By Alison Gill   and Matthew Lee   

The University of Chicago men’s and women’s swimming teams drenched Wheaton College on the road, winning 26 out of 28 events on Saturday, October 26.

The men, ranked No. 6 nationally, won by a score of 197–64. Standout performers for the male team included first-year Alexander Sun, who came first in the 100-yard breaststroke. Fellow first-year Arthur Kiselnikov began his career as a Maroon with a splash, taking first in both the 200 and 500 freestyle events. Meanwhile, second-year Nick Ding took the gold in the 100 and 200 butterfly events. To cap it off, the Maroon men, in a team made up of Kiselnikov, first-year Lucius Gao, second-year Sam Nickson, and fourth-year Byrne Litschgi, took first in the 400 freestyle relay. All in all, 12 different Maroons contributed first-place finishes.

The women’s team dominated their Wheaton College foes 209–53. The women, ranked No. 7 nationally, won every single event in a thorough sweep for the Maroons. First-years performed well for the team: Filippa Kolokotsa won the 100- and 200-yard freestyle events; Morgan Simon took the 500 and 1000 events; and Chanell Kann won the 200-yard individual medley. The women’s freestyle relay team, made up of Kolokotsa, first-year Grace Schwieters, and third-years Nicole Lin and Gillian Gagnard, also claimed victory.

The aquatic Maroons have high hopes for the season. Following six consecutive seasons of top-15 finishes at the NCAA Division III national championship, UChicago looks to finally break through and claim the top spot this season. Last season saw the program reach unprecedented heights with highest-ever finishes for the women (sixth) and the men (eighth). The men graduated seven members but return a talented group, most notably among them fourth-year and 200-yard backstroke national champion Litschgi. The women graduated four All-Americans but similarly return with plenty of star power, headlined by fourth-year diver Agnes Lo, who finished as the national runner-up in the three-meter dive and third in the one-meter dive. 

“Our entire first-year classes on both sides are extremely talented as well, and with excellent leadership from our upperclassmen and captains, I think we can have another record-setting year,” head coach Jason Weber, who has coached 293 All-American performances in his 14 seasons at UChicago, said in the season preview. 

After the performances against Wheaton, the team should certainly feel confident. The veteran performers demonstrated their own talent and experience, while the first-years provided a great boost. The team are sure to get tested with a nationally competitive slate, especially in the UAA conference meet, which features five top-20 men’s teams and women’s teams apiece, including defending women’s national champion and men’s runner-up in Emory.  The Maroons will next dive into battle against Carthage at home on Saturday, November 2, at 1 p.m.