The Maroons finished this weekend’s Chicago Invitational with two team wins to kick off the winter quarter. The women’s team totaled 1,045 points while the men totaled 1,250 points.
Fourth-year diver Matthew Staab placed first in the three-meter, while also breaking a pool and school record with a score of 553.85. Fellow fourth-year Anthony Restaino was runner-up, with a score of 512.50. Both Staab and Restaino made NCAA provisional qualifying scores on both boards.
First-year swimmer Alex Lin praised the divers’ performances. “The divers absolutely killed it and many made zone cuts even though it has only been our first meet after two weeks of break,” he said.
On the women’s side, first-year Natalie DeMuro had a standout performance, winning the one-meter and making the NCAA provisional qualifying score. DeMuro credits the team’s strong diving to a successful week at training camp in Florida.
“Training trip definitely got us more comfortable on the boards and brought us a lot closer as a team. We were able to focus on just diving, something that can be hard to do when we’re at school,” she said. “We came back from break ready to compete and its always fun to perform in front of a home crowd.”
The swimmers also had a successful weekend. Lin finished first in both the 400 yard IM (4:13:93) and the 200-yard backstroke (1:56:79). Matthew Chen, Thomas Meek, Kevin Ku, and Mantim Lee also all placed first in their respective events.
On the women’s side, fourth-year Jennifer Hill finished first in the 400-yard IM (4:40:00), while second-year Michelle Law also took home a first place finish in the 200-yard backstroke (2:13:42). First-year Sydney Wong also won first in the 200-yard butterfly (2:11:84).
With the UAA Championships nearing closer, the teams are excited about the confidence that this weekend’s wins will bring them. “I think that the strong performances will help build confidence going into UAAs because even though we are in the middle of our hardest training we still managed to pull off some good performances,” said Lin.
UAAs are on the teams’ collective minds, but so are National Championships. “Five of us earned qualifying scores for Zones, so Matt, Kevin, and Dean now have secured spots at that meet,” DeMuro said. “We’re really excited about our results going into conference championships and hopefully some of the divers will make Nationals.”
The South Siders’ next meet is on Saturday, January 17 at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.