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Chlorine Chronicles: Oct. 22, 2013

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Chuang.jpgThree Illini swimmers--Cara Chuang, Stephanie Hein and Erica Lynn--are teaming up to give fans an inside look at the Illinois swimming and diving program. In the second edition, Cara Chuang talks about insightful quotes, assistant coach Alec Hayden's bad handwriting, and last weekend's double dual meet with Northwestern and Eastern Michigan. The Illini are back in action this weekend with two dual meets in Michigan. The Illini face Liberty and Michigan State in a double-dual on Friday and head to Oakland--head coach Sue Novitsky's alma mater--on Saturday.

Hello, aficionados of the orange and blue!

In the two weeks since you've last tuned in, the Illini swimming and diving team has had its first taste of competition, and boy, was it bittersweet.

At the intra-squad meet on October 12, the veterans of the orange team suffered a heartbreaking loss to the "Babes (and Bros) in Blue" (a.k.a. the Boo Team). We take comfort in knowing that Orange team's shirts were much more entertaining, with insightful quotes like, "Blue is not orange. Orange is orange," by George Washington.

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That shirt was sported by none other than Coach Sue. Another personal favorite of mine was Annie's twist on a famous saying, "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who are blue don't matter and those who are orange don't mind."

But whether you're orange or blue, or both (I'm lookin' at you, Lynn family), we can all agree that the one color you don't want to be is purple,  specifically Wildcat purple.

On our way up to Northwestern last Friday, we jammed out to songs like T-swift's "22," despite the fact that only two swimmers (Annie and Grandma Erica) even fit the age demographic.

And despite losing to our Illinois rivals, the Illini churned out some incredible performances, including wins for both the medley and free relays. I'm no statistics major, but Meng leading and Pope anchoring seems to be the unbeatable combo! (Though I'm not quite sure what that had to do with statistics--something high probability of winning, I think?)

Anyway, we were thrilled by Subby's lifetime best in the 100 free and were all thoroughly impressed by Amelia's grueling line-up: 1000 and 200 free back-to-back, with a little 500 thrown in later. For rarely training butterfly, Gabbie's 200 fly was impressive as well. Freshmen: woot-woot!

Overall, the tri-meet was a fun learning experience: a season-opener that gave us just enough confidence to leave pleased, but just enough dissatisfaction to motivate us for the months ahead. 10/10 would compete again, but next time, with Illinois winning. (Duh).

Next week we swim Michigan State and Liberty; so if you're in the East Lansing area, be sure to dress warm, because it's cold up there. And, of course, be sure to come support your favorite swimming and diving Illini!


See you there!

Cara Chuang


P.S. On a side note, in the last edition of Chlorine Chronicles, we harped on Alec's grammar, a minor issue compared to his handwriting, which sometimes requires a magnifying glass and a little bit of magic to decipher. However, this has turned out to be a taboo subject, because the last time I mentioned it, our warm-up was written in feet instead of yards. But, we love you anyways, Alec! Just as much as we love air. (Pleasegiveusasetthathasmorethan4breaths). 

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