Cats prepare for Big Ten championships with Iowa (Men’s swimming)

After more than three months of grueling training and competition, No. 14 Northwestern (4-4, 1-3 Big Ten) is entering a period of decreased activity in order to peak in time for the Big Ten championships at the end of the month.

“We’re starting to rest everyone for Big Tens,” coach Bob Groseth said.

After a weekend off, NU swims against Iowa (3-9, 0-6) Friday and Saturday in its last meet before Big Ten championships.

It will be the Cats’ first home meet since November.

Groseth said he hopes the return to the Norris Aquatics Center will benefit his swimmers.

“You’d like to believe your kids will swim a little bit better at home, since they’re on a pretty regular schedule,” he said. “Generally at this time of the year you expect some spotty performances.”

The final tune-up against the Hawkeyes has become an annual occurrence for the Cats.

The event started as a double dual meet between NU, Iowa and Ohio State. The coaches of the teams used the two-day format as a dress rehearsal for the Big Ten championships, swimming every event.

Although it remains two days long, Ohio State dropped out in 2002, and the Cats have beaten the Hawkeyes ever since.

Groseth said he expects much of the same this year.

“Competition-wise, it probably won’t be much of a meet,” he said. “We should have the meet well in hand unless we fall on our face.”

With this in mind, the Cats look to use this weekend’s races to reinforce their chance to compete in the conference championships.

“We need each individual doing what he needs to do to get ready for the big meet,” Groseth said. “Some guys will be looking to show well to get spots on relays.”

–David Morrison