Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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NU Athletes Of The Year

Man of the Year: Matt Grevers

After becoming Northwestern’s first men’s swimming national champion since 1958, Matt Grevers could have easily gotten complacent.

But he didn’t.

Instead he only furthered his dominance. And for the second year in a row, Grevers has earned Man of the Year honors.

The junior defended his NCAA championship in the 100-yard backstroke in March, rewriting NU’s record books again, becoming the Wildcats’ first back-to-back NCAA champion since Bill Heusner did it in 1948-1949.

Grevers also left his mark in other events.

Along with his win in the backstroke, he finished sixth in the 100-yard freestyle and 10th in the 50-yard free at the NCAAs. Proving he is more than a one-race pony.

The 6-foot-7 Grevers also left his mark on the Big Ten, leading NU’s squad to a fourth place finish at the conference championships. Grevers finished first in each of the five events he entered, three individual and two relay, en route to capturing co-Big Ten swimmer of the year honors.

NU has a small squad, but that hasn’t stopped them. The combination of Grevers and junior Mike Alexandrov form a potent duo for the Cats, who finished 10th in the NCAA Championships as a team this year.

Grevers might not have the name recognition of other worthy candidates, like Brett Basanez, Tyrell Sutton and Vedran Vukusic. But none have the championship credentials of NU’s star swimmer.

And for Grevers, winning back-to-back honors is nothing new.

Woman of the Year: Kristen Kjellman

We looked, searched and scoured for somebody else. But at the end of the day, lacrosse junior Kristen Kjellman is again paired with her male counterpart, swimmer Matt Grevers, atop Northwestern athletics.

Somehow Kjellman was shafted from the Tewaaraton Trophy last year as the nation’s top lacrosse player, but she hasn’t let that slow her momentum.

This junior midfielder has fought off face guards game after game to post a team-high 68 goals and 93 points this season. At the end of the regular season, she ranked fourth in the nation in draw controls with 4.71 per game and seventh in the nation in scoring with 4.94 goals per game.

For her efforts, Kjellman garnered American Lacrosse Conference Player of the Year honors for the second-straight year, along with being named to the IWLCA All-Region First-Team for the third consecutive season.

If Kjellman doesn’t pick up lacrosse’s equivalent of the Heisman this year, we’ll be more than upset. It’s bad enough the lacrosse world embarrassed itself when it denied NU its rightful No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Message to the East Coast “elite” – do the right thing and give Kjellman her due, no matter how the Cats perform in this weekend’s Final Four.

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
NU Athletes Of The Year