At the 2017 UAA Championships this past week, the Chicago men’s and women’s teams broke 10 school records and garnered 23 All–UAA accolades on their way to fourth-and third-place team finishes, respectively. UChicago served as host of the four-day conference event, the first of four championship meets this year for the Maroons.
For the 19th consecutive year, Emory topped the overall team standings for both men and women. On the men’s side, UChicago came away fourth with 1,192.5 points, behind Emory (1,650.5), WashU (1,516.5), and NYU (1,269). Carnegie Mellon finished fifth with 1,033.5 points. Despite a lead over NYU after Thursday’s events, the women’s team fell just short of second place, closing out the week with 1,440 points to Emory’s 1,924.5 and NYU’s 1,468.5. Carnegie Mellon ended up fourth with 1,091 points.
The men broke school records in the 400-yard medley relay, 100-yard breaststroke, and 200-yard breaststroke. On Thursday, the team of first-year Byrne Litschgi, first-year Reona Yamaguchi, second-year Michael Todd, and second-year Alex Farrell set a new 400-yard medley relay record with a time of 3:19:67 and a third place finish. The next day, Yamaguchi earned second place with a new 100-yard breaststroke record of 54.22. First-year Lance Culjat broke his own record in the 200-yard breaststroke on Saturday, finishing second with a time of 2:00:69.
On the women’s side, first-year Yifan Mao and fourth-years Maya Scheidl, Alison Wall, and Jessie Ho were runners-up in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a new school record of 1:34:42. Wall took home third in the 200-yard individual medley, setting a record of 2:04:10 in prelims. In the 500-yard freestyle, second-year Hannah Eastman placed ninth in 4:58:40 for another record-setting performance. Scheidl broke records in two more events on Saturday, the 100-yard freestyle (51:08) and the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:24:82). Scheidl, Wall, Eastman,and second-year Daria Wick earned second-place in the final event of the meet.
Scheidl, who serves as one of the team’s captains, reflected on her last conference championships. “I am so proud of the team and how well we performed this year at UAAs,” she said. “Our conference keeps getting faster every year, and we really stepped up to the challenge. Being a fourth-year, it was definitely sentimental, and I am so happy with how the seniors swam, proving that the hard work and dedication pays off.”
During the awards ceremony, first-year Agnes Lo was crowned Women’s Diver of the Year after winning both boards and breaking two school records. Coach Abbey Bernardo was named Women’s Diving Coach of the Year.
The Maroons will compete as hosts this coming weekend at the Midwest Invitational, a two-day meet that kicks off Friday at 6 p.m. Four UChicago divers will return to the boards in two weeks for the NCAA Diving Regionals in Grand Rapids, MI. Both squads have already qualified a number of athletes for the season-finale NCAA Championships in March and hope to add more names to the list in the coming weeks.