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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Cats Knock Off 1 Big Ten, 8 Pool Records In Win (Men’s Swimming)

By Brian ReganThe Daily Northwestern

Records were meant to be broken. And that is exactly what happened this weekend at the Norris Aquatics Center.

No. 9 Northwestern crushed eight pool records and one Big Ten record en route to an overall victory in the TYR NU Invite, defeating Michigan State, Southern Illinois and Kenyon.

Grevers broke six pool records and set a Big Ten record in the 200-yard backstroke as he won four individual events and was part of five winning relay teams over the course of the weekend.

He blew away the field in the 200 back with a time of 1:40.66 and beat teammate Kyle Bubolz in the 100-yard fly.

“The 100 fly is definitely still Kyle’s event,” Grevers said. “And I don’t want to barge in on him. It was exciting to got that fast in that event.”

With packed crowds and deafening noise, the Wildcats won 18 of 20 events and scored 1275 points, 453 more than second-place Southern Illinois.

Despite the Cats’ huge margin of victory, many of the races were extremely close.

Eric Nilsson and Southern Illinois’s Antonio Santoro dueled down the stretch in the 200-yard fly. Nilsson held off Santoro’s late charge in the final 25 yards and out-touched him by seven hundredths of a second.

“I was really happy,” Nilsson said. “I had best times in about every event and I am faster than I was at the end of last year. We just got fired up.”

Nilsson also was part of three pool records and won four events.

As the Cats’ big guns starred, several younger swimmers stepped up during the meet.

“Jake Vogel had a great weekend,” senior Matt Grevers said. “He’s an up-and-coming freshman who should be an important part of our team and improves every meet.”

Sophomore John Franklin won the first invitational race of his career in the 100-yard breaststroke and Daniel Walls got second in the 1650-yard free.

“There are more guys here that need to do that, but they are starting to,” NU coach Bob Groseth said. “We want to be a team racing at Big Tens, which we haven’t been in the past.”

Even though the season is still young, the Cats don’t compete at home for the rest of the season, making the final day of the meet a send-off for the seniors.

“It’s something you can’t explain,” senior Mike Alexandrov said. “It’s like when I was at the Olympics in 2004. It doesn’t hit you until a couple of days later and you are like, ‘Wow, that was really something.'”

Alexandrov was still on autopilot for most of the meet, recovering from an illness from the week, until he unleashed a pool record 1:55.58 in the 200-yard breaststroke.

His inspiration: Grevers’s swim in the 200-yard backstroke.

That type of flattery coming from a fellow All-American pushed Grevers to another pool record in the final home event of his career, the 400-yard free relay.

“It’s a great feeling. There was a lot of motivation for this meet,” Grevers said. “It was the last chance I (had) to leave my mark on our own boards. It definitely drove me to swim a little faster, harder and smarter.”

Reach Brian Regan at [email protected].

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Cats Knock Off 1 Big Ten, 8 Pool Records In Win (Men’s Swimming)