After hosting the UAA Conference Championships this past weekend, the Chicago team will participate in the second meet of their championship season. This upcoming Friday and Saturday, the Maroons will host the annual Midwest Invitational. During the meet, the South Siders will go up against Case Western, Grinnell College, and Wash U.
Last weekend’s meet was an exciting and overall successful one for the Maroons. In a very close competition, the men’s team finished fourth, while the women’s squad managed to achieve a third-place finish. Over the course of the weekend, the team broke ten school records, achieved 23 All-UAA performances, and posted several personal bests. Additionally, many swimmers achieved times that are all but guaranteed to qualify for the NCAA National Championships in March.
Although the Conference Championships took place here at UChicago, only a fraction of the Maroons’ team was able to compete. In order to abide by NCAA regulations, both the men’s and women’s squads—each of which consists of over 30 swimmers and divers—had to be whittled down to only 22 participants. The upcoming Midwest Invitational will therefore function as a championship meet for those who were not able to compete. Earlier this season, many such swimmers posted times that would have been competitive at Conference. This fact, paired with the team’s success last weekend, indicates that Midwest is sure to be a meet of many fast swims and personal bests.
Having chosen to conclude their seasons last weekend, several Maroons who participated at Conference will not be swimming in this weekend’s competition. However, the fact there will be less than 100 percent participation does not mean that there will be any lack of enthusiasm or support for those who are competing.
“Everyone swimming has really been looking and feeling great leading up to Midwest,” said second-year Dalton Mitchell. “They are ready and excited to swim fast and post personal bests, and the whole team will be there to celebrate when they do,” he concluded.
First-year Michaela Mullison wholeheartedly agreed with her teammate. “Our team has been working hard all season, and I’m excited to see what we can do!” she said. “I’m most excited to just appreciate the last [home] meet with the team.”
In addition to being the team’s last home meet, Midwest is also the team’s last meet before Nationals. This makes the meet an extremely important opportunity for those right on the bubble of qualifying for Nationals. Many swimmers who swam at Conference will seek to improve on the times they went last weekend, hoping to post times that will rank high enough to be invited to the meet when selections are made early next week.
The Midwest Invitational will begin on Friday, February 17, and will take place at the Myers-McLoraine Pool here at the University of Chicago. The meet will start at 6 p.m. Friday night, 11 a.m. Saturday morning, and 5 p.m. Saturday night.