January 24, 2009

It's rivalry day and today it felt like one. Ever since adding Wheaton to our schedule, we've done a double-dual with Chicago. Ths year Chicago opted to swim UW-Milwaukee thereby giving us the opportunity to have a head-to-head match with our top conference rivals. It also gives each team a chance to race in the pool that will host conference.

The results were good and give us a lot of confidence as we head into conference and our best shot to add more NCAA qualifiers. Especially consdering what a good week we had. I dislike hearing coaches saying things like, "We swam well considering we are pretty tired . . ." I like to think we swam really well AND we were tired. Example: Bryan Pelka cranked about 66,050 yards (the goal was about 72K, but I gave them Monday morning off). Tom Stowe threw up a new personal best on the bench press this morning.

The meet itself was good - Wheaton got out to an early lead and led by as much as thirteen. But three lead changes later, it was the Red Men with the win. More importantly - there was some great racing. A 1-2 Thunder finish in the Medley Relay energized the Wheaton crowd. Every event had some races that kept the fans on their feet. I don't know that I'd heard louder cheering at a dual meet as when Ethan Cramer, Alex, and Eric were battling it out for third place in the 1000. THIRD PLACE!

As mentioned, Wheaton went 1-2 on us in the Medley Relays, but we also served up a 1-2-3 sweep in the 400 Freestyle Relay. Other races of note (not necessarily highlights) included a 100 backstroke where just 0.04 separated first from third; a rare upset of Stephen in the 100 breast; Andy Bax swimming the most beautiful 100 free seen in recent memory; Bob Pellican going lifetime in the 200 Back; Ripley and Glover going toe-to-toe over ten laps; and watching four guys go sub-54 in the fly. Click the results link above to get the full story.



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