Chicago started off the UAA competition with record-smashing success, and they hope to continue this trend through Saturday. The women broke school records in five of six events, and the men set two new records. Men’s and women’s swimming and diving compete this weekend for the UAA championship, hosted by Rochester at the Webster Aquatic Center outside of Rochester, NY.
The women, ranked 10th in D—III women’s swimming by CollegeSwimming.com, have a shot at finishing in the top two in the UAA if they can fend off Carnegie Mellon (11th) and Wash U (12th). The men will vie for another top three finish this year among tough competitors. Wash U, Carnegie, and Emory are all ranked ahead of the men in the UAA. Emory has won on both the men’s and women’s sides since 1998, and are showing no signs of abdicating their titles this year.
The divers kicked things off Wednesday evening with the men’s one-meter dive. Second—year Bobby Morales smashed his own school record of 375.13, set last year, securing sixth place with a final score of 435.50. Morales will compete for a title on Friday in the three-meter dive, an event in which he is seeded second. Second—year Becky Schmidt is looking to repeat her two-title performance last year at UAAs. Schmidt was halfway to reaching her goal Thursday evening, winning the three-meter dive with a score of 477.70. She is seeded first in the one-meter dive on Saturday.
Senior Ed Wagner hopes he enjoys the same success he did last year as well, when he won the 200-yard breaststroke and placed second in the 100-yard breaststroke. “This year may be a little faster in those events, but I think that I have a pretty good shot at finishing in that range this year,” Wagner said. “We are better prepared—physically, mentally—now than we have been in the past three years, so I know we will swim fast all weekend.”
First-year Eric Hallman set a new school record in the 200 IM final Thursday afternoon, finishing in third place with a time of 1:52.99. Hallman will also compete in the 100- and 200-yard butterfly events. Hallman and the rest of the men’s squad were sitting third in the seven-team pool before the final relay Thursday.
The women came out strong with a record-setting performance in the 200-yard freestyle relay, clocking in at 1:37.32 and finishing third. Continuing the record-breaking trend, Kathleen Taylor broke her own record in the next event, the 500-yard freestyle, and first-year Vivian Yuen followed her in the 200-yard IM by breaking the school record with a time that will likely send her to D-III nationals. Third-year Tara Levens finished fifth in the 50-yard freestyle, a swim that marked the fifth broken record of the day.
The women’s team finished the regular season with a 5–2 dual meet record and two first-place finishes in invitationals. The men ended up 2–5 in dual meets and also won both invitationals they hosted.