The rumored reputation of host school University of Chicago is said to be, “where fun comes to die.” The Phoenix certainly killed the fun for their opponents as they dominated the University of Chicago Invitational this past weekend, taking first overall on both the men’s and women’s sides.
As for the Vikings, there were ups and downs. The men finished seventh overall, as senior Evan Flack was definitely missed over the weekend. Lawrence’s best men’s finish came through another senior, Charlie Mann, who finished eighth in the 200-yard backstroke (2:10.50). The relay team consisting of seniors Charlie Mann and Pat Vincent, freshman Christian Bell and sophomore Grant Wilkie finished seventh in the 200-yard freestyle, which was the men’s best team effort (1:31.59). “This meet is probably the best of the year. There was really good competition there, so for us to come in seventh place was not a bad feat at all. A lot of our guys swam fast and it was great to get competition from teams in some of the best Conferences in the nation,” Mann said about the Vikings performance.
The Lawrence women’s team had an outstanding weekend, finishing fourth overall. Out of the nine teams competing, there were a few heads turning as the women shocked with their performance. Some top finishes on the women’s side came in the form of junior Taylor Winter, who finished second in the 1,650-yard freestyle (18:19.00) and third in the 500 freestyle (5:20.90). Other mentionable performances contributing to the team’s 380 points came through senior Hannah Gabriel, as she managed a fifth place finish in the 200 freestyle (2:20.70), while sophomores Hayley Cardinal and Emily Flack took fourth and fifth in their respective events, the 100 breaststroke (1:10.10) and 100 backstroke (1:02.89). Nonetheless, it was freshman Paige Witter who had the team’s next best finish with her second place in the 100- yard butterfly (1:02.71).
“It was definitely the best meet we had so far, spirits were high. It showed that all the winter training had paid off. Staying on campus and training was a key factor, but also the opportunity to train down in Florida over the break really helped a lot,” commented sophomore Emily Flack.
“I just wanted to prove a point to myself that even though we have been training so hard and it is the mid-point of the season, I wanted to perform really well. Also we wanted to prove to our coaches that we are serious and want to do well towards the end of the season and the Conference championships,” added Flack on her expectations.
Be sure to catch the Vikings in action on Saturday, Jan. 18 at 1:00 p.m., as they host the Lawrence Triangular at Boldt Natatorium.