The University of Chicago men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams open up the season this Saturday at home against a stacked field of Division I and III opponents. The teams will face off against Rutgers, UIC, Northwestern, and Wheaton. The Northwestern men are coming off losses to Georgia and Georgia Tech, while the women picked up some individual victories but lost their two contests as well. The Rutgers women are 0–1, and do not have a men’s team. The UIC men have started off 1–1, beating Valparaiso but losing to Green Bay. The Flames are 3–0, winning their first three meets by no less than 50 points. The only other DIII team in the field, Wheaton, has not yet swam in a meet this year.
This meet will also be the first of the season for the South Siders. Last year, UChicago men had a successful season, finishing fourth out of eight in the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championships, and accruing an 11th place finish at the DIII NCAA Championships. The Maroons totaled 40 All-Americans in 21 events on the men’s and women’s sides. While the men relied on many fourth-years, underclassman also powered last year’s squad to NCAA success. The Maroons will rely heavily on third-year Alexander Farrell, second-year Reona Yamaguchi, second-year Lance Culjat, and second-year Aaron Guo.
The women also experienced success last year, finishing third in the UAA and 11th overall in the DIII championships. The women will look to replace top graduates Alison Wall, Cara LoPiano, and Maya Scheidl. Coming up to fill the voids left are second-year diver Agnes Lo and third-year Hannah Eastman.
“So far the team has been working very hard in preparation for the new season with four 6 a.m. practices a week, but also [having] lots of fun with intrasquad competition,” said second-year Sedef Ishaque.
The men’s squad, which is No. 7 in preseason rankings, and the women’s squad, which is #9 in preseason rankings, will look to start off the season strong this Saturday at Ratner Athletics Center at 10 a.m. The Maroons will then compete in a series of other meets before taking on a loaded UAA competition. Six of the eight UAA men’s swimming and diving teams are ranked in the preseason top 25. The women’s side is extremely competitive as well.