Last weekend, The University of Chicago swimming and diving teams kicked off their season with meets at Northwestern against the Division I Wildcats and at Wheaton College against the Division III Thunder. Both meets produced stellar performances on the men’s and the women’s sides. The men’s team was led by performances by second-year Reona Yamaguchi and third-year Michael Todd. On the women’s side, first-year Margaret Wolfson began her college career by placing second in the 200–yard breaststroke against Division I competition.
Fourth-year Natalie DeMuro commented on the first meet, “The competition at Northwestern was fast, but we had some strong performances that will give us confidence going into this weekend.”
The Maroons hope to continue their hot start this weekend with a home meet against University Athletic Association (UAA) rival, Washington University in St. Louis. When asked about Wash U and the rivalry with Chicago, DeMuro said, “Wash U has traditionally been a close meet and one that gives us an early look at how we compare to other top DIII programs. The girls’ side lost to Wash U by four points at the dual meet last year, but we came back and beat them by almost 400 points at UAAs in February. We're hoping to build on last year's conference results and come away with similar successes this weekend.”
A key to the Maroons early season success hinges on the productivity of the underclassmen and freshmen. Second-year Scott Wu discussed going into the meet against Wash U, “This past weekend there were flashes of brilliance, but we lacked depth.” Wu also mentioned the productivity so far of the first–year class particularly on the women’s side, “First-years Gillian Gagnard and Margaret Wolfson are leading the team with intense training, which translated which translated well to their swims at Northwestern.”
The Maroons face off against Wash U this weekend at the Myers-McLoraine Pool. DeMuro and Wu both pointed to that fact that if the Maroons are going to compete on a national level, the freshman talent must produce at the big meets, continuing their success started last weekend.