The UChicago men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams were dominant this past weekend, each adding three wins to their record as their regular season begins to come to an end.
On Friday, UChicago faced both Lewis University and Olivet Nazarene University in a dual meet. The women were triumphant with a 228–64 win over Lewis and a 238–61 win over Olivet Nazarene, while the men were equally successful with a 189–98 win and a 218–65 win over Lewis and Olivet Nazarene, respectively.
Despite the great results on Friday, the win on Saturday vs. Wisconsin–Milwaukee proved to be even more memorable. The meet marked the first time that the women defeated the NCAA Division I Panthers, signifying the first time that both the UChicago men and women beat the DI team from Wisconsin–Milwaukee in the same meet.
The Maroons’ success against Wisconsin–Milwaukee included outstanding performances on both the men’s side and women’s side. For the women, first-year Chanell Kann (100 and 200 breaststroke, 100 IM), second-year Chloe Fong (100 and 200 freestyle), and third-year Hadley Ackerman (100 and 200 butterfly) had key victories. On the men’s side, fourth-years Byrne Litschgi (100 and 200 backstroke), Taye Baldinazzo (200 and 500 freestyle), and Reona Yamaguchi (100 and 200 breaststroke, 100 IM) had impressive results in their events. The 200 medley relay team consisting of fourth-years Litschgi, Yamaguchi, George Reuter, and Aidan Meara also recorded the fastest time for their event, clocking in at 1:34.18.
In addition to first-place finishes, Andrew Chen, Yamaguchi, and Kann each broke school records on the day as well. Chen set a school record for the men’s one-meter dive, while Yamaguchi broke his own school record in the men’s 100 IM, and Kann posted a new record for the women’s 100 IM.
According to Baldinazzo, “Even though we are in the middle of some of the hardest training of the season, it was exciting to see people putting up quick times. This shows how good we are, and how good we will be when we have some rest before our bigger meets.”
The victory on Saturday not only marked the teams’ last regular-season home meet or the first time that they both defeated a DI program: It also acted as a celebration for the 16 men and women who dedicated their past four years to the program.
For Baldinazzo, reflecting on his time as a member of the team, the dedication not only from himself but his teammates, as well as the relationships he has made, will stay with him for the rest of his life. This Saturday was the culmination of all their hard work and will be remembered by each of them. “It meant everything to me and my fellow teammates to make it to this point and celebrate four years of hard work. To see most of us make it through four tough years, and still be contributing to the team in the manner we are was amazing. I look forward to seeing the other classes do the same.”
The Maroons hope to further their success as they compete away from home next weekend in a dual meet against Illinois–Chicago and DePauw.
The 16 fourth-years on the swimming and diving teams are: Taye Baldinazzo, Nicole Garcia, Anton Generalov, Sydney Grube, Sedef Ishaque, Iris Jacobs, Byrne Litschgi, Agnes Lo, Yifan Mao, Audrey Mason, Aidan Meara, Michaela Mullison, George Reuter, Tina Rodriguez, Scott Wu, and Reona Yamaguchi.