After two months away from competition, the Maroon men’s and women’s swim and dive teams came out on top in their tri-meet against Lewis University and Olivet Nazarene University on Friday. The meet was highlighted by many very strong individual performances, lifting their respective teams to an undefeated day.
On the women’s side, the Maroons topped Lewis 203–91 and Olivet Nazarene 224–73 with 10 event winners and four multi-event winners. Fourth-year Daria Wick came in first in both the 100- and 200-yard freestyles while third-year Audrey Mason came out on top in the 500- and 1,000-yard events. Second-year Hadley Ackerman won her races, the 200-yard butterfly and the 200-yard IM. In the relays, the team was very successful, winning the 400-yard freestyle relay thanks to the efforts of first-years Hannah Subramaniam and Chloe Fong, and second-years Nicole Lin and Elizabeth Shen. The Maroons also finished first in the 400-yard medley, swum by second-years Gillian Gagnard and Nadia Redza, third-year Nicole Garcia, and Shen. The divers also had a great meet, with first-years Elizabeth Cron and Alice Saparov finishing first in the one- and three-meter dives, respectively. Cron, Saparov, and fourth-year Anna Girlich all put up NCAA provisional qualifying scores.
The men, too, had a very successful meet, defeating Olivet Nazarene 194–78 and Lewis 160–116 with six individual winners. Second-year Joseph Zhao won both the one- and three-meter dives, while first-year Martin Baffico won the 200-yard backstroke and third-year Taye Baldinazzo took first in the 200-yard IM. Additionally, the Maroons won the 400-yard freestyle relay and the 400-yard medley relay.
Gagnard is ready for competition to start again. “Speaking for the whole team, I think we’re all excited for meets to be starting up again. Training is really tough, especially around this time of year, and having an upcoming competition helps us push through and work harder. It’s really great to see everyone’s hard work pay off.” Those two months off from competition were devoted to hard work, and she believes this will be critical come championship time. “Through training trip and the last few months of training, the coaches and team have been really working on our attention to detail and generally strengthening our unity as a team. Going through the season’s hardest weeks of training and into championship season, it’s important for morale that we are all on the same page.” Looking ahead, “I’m excited for championship season to start up. UAAs are mid-February, followed by Midwest Invite and then NCAAs. I think I speak for everyone in that this is the most satisfying, exciting part of the season because that’s when all the training and early mornings finally come to fruition. We’re all well rested and tapered and able to see what we’re really capable of whilst trying to get best times or nationals cuts.” The Maroons compete next weekend against Calvin and DePauw.