The University of Chicago men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams open up 2019 this weekend hosting Lewis and Olivet Nazarene on Friday, then traveling to DI opponent UW–Milwaukee this Saturday. The men’s team so far has one loss on the year to a non-DI opponent; they also have two losses to DI opponents Northwestern (204–76) and Illinois (176–118). The Maroons have beaten Wheaton, Claremont Mudd Scripps, as well as all 10 teams from the Phoenix Fall Classic to close out 2018. The South Siders’ only loss to a DIII opponent comes at the hands of the rival Bears from Wash U (197–83).
The women’s team so far on the season is undefeated against DIII teams. However, the women have lost three times to DI opponents Northwestern (206–85), UIC (178–121), and Illinois (224–75). Fourth-year diver Anna Girlich, who was the 2015–16 UAA Women’s Diver of the Year, has been very encouraged by her team’s progress so far this season.
Girlich said, “Our last meet of the fall was our Phoenix Fall Classic which is our largest invite of the year, and a taper meet for the swimmers. It was a really good checkpoint to see how we were doing so far in the season, and had amazing performances, and several records broken! Training trip was our hardest training we will have all season, but coming off of that and into winter quarter, we are feeling really prepared, and excited to see how we’ve improved since Phoenix!”
Looking forward to Friday night, the Maroons will have a rematch with No. 25 ranked Lewis. Lewis lost to UChicago 1,322.5–973 back at the Phoenix Fall Classic. The Flyer women come into Friday’s meet with a 4–6 record, also finishing second to UChicago on a 1,666–796 score. Olivet Nazarene University is a NAIA school who is winless on the season. The Tiger men have lost to DI opponents (Indiana, Purdue, Western Illinois, and UIC), and finished sixth out of six teams in the Wheaton Invite. Their women’s team possesses NAIA Swimmer of the Month Andrea Vega, but they have not seen any significant team results yet this season. Olivet has lost to DI opponents (Indiana State, Indiana, Purdue, Butler, Western Illinois, and UIC), but finished first of three teams in the Toby Tiger Invite and fifth of six in the Wheaton Invite.
The bigger challenge will come when both squads face off against UW–Milwaukee, whom the Maroon men knocked off last season. The Panther men are 1–2 so far this season, while the women are 2–1.
Girlich is extremely excited to get back in the water. She said, “We are all excited for our meets this weekend, it’s been a while since we’ve competed, so it will be really fun to see all of our hard work hopefully pay off! We are just hoping to keep the ball rolling this weekend, and for the rest of the season, since UAAs is going to come fast! We think this year will be one of the best seasons for us in a long time since it is already off to an awesome start—we are confident we will perform well at UAAs and into NCAAs and earn one of the top places at both of those meets.”
Friday’s meet takes place at home at 6 p.m., and then the Maroons will travel to Milwaukee for a 1 p.m. start time on Saturday.