As winter quarter begins and the sports season is back in action, the men’s and women’s swimming & diving teams look to finish their highly strenuous season like they started it as they reach the home stretch. The Maroons hope to leave their mark this Saturday against Lewis and Olivet Nazarene as they compete in their first meet since winter break ended.
The teams, with the looming championship meets in sight, will look to their experienced and post-season veteran group of upperclassmen to carry them to a strong showing alongside their group of energetic and fresh first-years. On the men’s side, the Maroons will likely turn to co-captain and fourth-year Kent Bischoff. However, many other swimmers continue to exert their leadership skills in their collegiate careers this season.
Bischoff says, “Expectations going into the second half of our season include winning the first meet of our season this weekend and, in doing so, set a good precedent for our next five meets.” Winning this meet certainly seems attainable for the Maroons: both Lewis and Olivet Nazarene have posted fewer wins than Chicago, and while wins and losses aren’t the only factors in determining which team will come out on top, they are surely a good indication.
Bischoff explains that the team “typically takes the dual meets at this time in the season as opportunities to work on our race strategies and concentrate on nailing down fundamentals.” While the team as a whole work towards perfection, they collectively believe that individual success is equally as important as the team’s performance. Moreover, “improving individual performances and qualifying as many [members] as possible for NCAAs are also key goals to improve our chances of placing higher in the top 10 teams in the nation.”
Overall, he claims, "The season has been successful with many great performances during the fall, and we believe that we are on track to achieve our end of season goals.” While winter break posed a break in training for the team, they do not believe it will affect their immediate performance in any way. Bischoff says, “We were away for a week during the winter break on our team training trip, where we were able to significantly increase our daily workload with two-a-day workouts and a productive environment that allows us to concentrate on getting into peak form.”
Since it’s only seven weeks away from the championship, it is crucial for the team to continue working hard. The women’s side of the squad wants to continue its hot streak: they are entering the tri-meet undefeated. One of their wins was against WashU, which certainly bodes well for the UAA Championships to come. In terms of goals for the remainder of the season, Chicago will “come out the next five meets prepared for our conference championship and break our recent streak of coming in runner-up to Emory with a win.”
The highly anticipated meet will begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday against Lewis and Olivet Nazarene at Gerald Ratner Athletics Center.