Cats’ 18 new records not enough to topple Perdue (Men’s Swimming)

Michael Griffin

The Northwestern men’s swimming team posted a total of 18 new records at the Purdue Invitational this weekend. It’s hard to imagine, but that wasn’t enough to get them first place.

The Wildcats came away with a strong second-place finish with a total of 691.50 points, and would have easily taken first place from the host Boilermakers if the Cats had entered any divers in the competition.

From the start of the meet, NU showed Big Ten competitors Iowa, Ohio State and Purdue that the Cats are a swimming power to be reckoned with.

In the first event, the 200-yard free relay team of Tony Swanson, Matt Grevers, Matt Wever and Shelby Clark broke the pool record with a time of 1:21.40. But the Cats were just getting warmed up, as they broke four pool records through the first five events.

“It was certainly one of the best meets we’ve had in season,” coach Bob Groseth said. “We completely dominated all six swimming sessions over the three days.”

On Friday, senior Mark Hamming set a new pool record in the 200 individual medley with a time of 1:48.12. The senior had a brilliant Sunday as well, setting another record in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:46.06.

Senior Tony Swanson got in on the record-breaking weekend in the 200 backstroke. His time of 1:46.68 set a new Purdue pool record.

Phenom freshmen Grevers and Mike Alexandrov tapped into NU’s record books as well. Grevers’ time of 43.53 in the 100-yard freestyle and Alexandrov’s time of 1:57.91 in the 200-yard breaststroke are both NU records.

Groseth said he was also pleased with freshman Kevin Donohue’s performances.

Grevers is no stranger to rewriting the record books. The highly touted recruit has made an immediate impact on the team while breaking pool records in three different sites. At Purdue, the freshman broke five records. He swam a pool-best time of 20.05 in the 50-yard freestyle.

Swimming the 100-yard backstroke leg in a time of 48.05 in the 400-yard medley relay was good enough for another new record.

All the broken records were becoming a bit of a broken record. Much to the delight of coach Groseth.

“We were clearly the best swim team there,” Groseth said. “Our guys were on fire. We got off to a great start and just kept rolling.”

In the final event of the weekend, the Cats closed the meet out with yet another record-breaking performance. The 400-yard freestyle relay team of Swanson, Grevers, Alexandrov and Shelby Clark combined to swim a pool-best time of 2:58.14.

No. 20 NU looks to move up in the national rankings, which come out today.