The Maroons continued their early season success this weekend in Wheaton IL, defeating Wheaton 147-97 in the men's events and 130-118 on the women’s side in the meet. Meanwhile, Chicago diving faced an early challenge in their second meet of the year as they went up against DI competition UIC and UW–Milwaukee.
This was the first true test of the swimmers in individual events Saturday, as their inaugural meet of the season consisted solely of relays.
The men’s squad placed first in eight of their 11 events with second-year Matthew Veldman finishing first in the 100-yard freestyle as well as the 400-yard freestyle and medley relays.
“I definitely felt more satisfied with my freestyle over my butterfly this weekend,” Veldman said. He swam the butterfly leg of his relay team’s first-place finish in the IM.
“It seems that I swim well in one stroke or the other but not both so far this season, so I need to work on putting together a complete performance through all my races, especially with our important Phoenix Invite quickly approaching,” Veldman said.
With all of the Maroon accomplishments at Wheaton this weekend, it could be easy to gloss over some of the hard-fought victories that had a deeper storyline than just another set of times on a sheet of paper.
“The most impressive accomplishment for the team was our women's team winning the meet in the 400 free relay,” Veldman said. “[T]he Wheaton women's team is one of the best in DIII swimming so we knew it would be a close one on the women's side. I was impressed by how much they stepped up and won races and showed their depth by getting second, third, and fourth in races, which is crucial in the point total. It ended up coming down to the last relay, and they needed to win the relay to win the meet.”
The Maroon women had an important comeback in their relays, taking first, third, and fifth in the 400 freestyle and second through fourth in the 400 IM.
“Our coach said that this meet would most likely come down to the last relay, and it did. From the beginning, the meet was extremely close,” first-year Alison Wall said, who swam with the Chicago ‘A’ relay team that placed second and first in the freestyle and medley relays respectively.
“At first, we were losing by a few points, but throughout the meet we were able to turn that around with some great swims and pull out a win in the end. It was really exciting to see all of our hard work in practice pay off in this meet,” she said.
On the diving side at UIC, third-years Sofia Gross and Anthony Restaino failed to place above third in each of their one- and three-meter dives. However, Restaino did mention before the meet that this would be a test for both of them, as the DI competition would be tougher than what they usually see.
The Maroons continue their string of Saturday meets this coming weekend at Washington University in St. Louis in some intra-conference competition.