Over the weekend, the UChicago swimming and diving team began their grueling season with two meets. The first meet was this last Friday up at Northwestern University versus DI competition such as Northwestern, Illinois, and University of Illinois at Chicago. The first meet allowed for the opportunity to relish the role of the underdog and to swim without any pressure. As second-year Nadia Redza put it, “We went into Northwestern as the underdogs and had great performances from everyone on the team, which bodes well for the rest of the season.” While the Maroons did not shock the swimming world and dominate three DI programs, they did compete extremely well and came away with a total of nine top finishes. Additionally, the first-years contributed six of those nine top finishes, an impressive feat for their first collegiate swimming meet. Overall, it was a solid start to their weekend by holding their own against DI competition.
However, the Maroons were not done for the weekend, as they hosted another meet against Wheaton College on Saturday. If the first meet was not enough to make fans optimistic for the upcoming season, the second surely would justify great optimism. The Maroons utterly dominated Wheaton with the men’s and women’s teams winning by huge margins. The women’s team won 14 of 16 events and swept seven events (the 100-yard backstroke, the 100-yard butterfly, the 200-yard backstroke, the 200-yard IM, the 400-yard medley relay, and both diving events). Four women led the way with two titles as second-years Nicole Lin, Elizabeth Shen, Taylor Hammill and first-year Alice Ye all won individual events as well as the relay. The men’s team was nearly as successful, winning 13 of 16 events and sweeping five events (the 100-yard backstroke, the 100-yard butterfly, the 200-yard free, the 200-yard breaststroke, and the 400-yard medley relay). Two men led the way with three titles each: Third-years Byrne Litschgi and Lance Culjat could do no wrong on Saturday.
According to Redza, the win meant they were “on the way [to] fulfilling one of our team goals: undefeated against DIII teams for all dual meets.” All in all, it was a dominating display coming at the end of a grueling week. Lin and Redza were both thrilled with the performances, considering the fatigue from practices and midterms of the past week. The weekend was a great way to welcome in a new season for the Maroons.