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 Swims Past Irish (Men’s Swimming)

By Brian ReganThe Daily Northwestern

Northwestern went into Friday’s meet against No. 16 Notre Dame knowing it needed a strong performance from its younger swimmers to remain undefeated.

The team not only got a boost, but sophomore John Franklin channeled bits of senior Mike Alexandrov en route to sweeping the breaststroke events of the meet as the Wildcats defeated the Irish 167-131.

“I had a pretty good weekend,” Franklin said. “I’ve been doing a lot of the things Mike has been doing in practice and it felt nice to have it pay off.”

Franklin had a come from behind victory in the 100-yard breaststroke to beat the Irish’s Sam Pendergast with a time of 56.47 seconds. Franklin’s teammate Alex Hostoffer came in third, giving the Wildcats a strong overall performance in the event.

“I was really happy with our swims, especially those of the younger swimmers,” coach Bob Groseth said. “The most impressive swimmer of this group was John Franklin, who did a great job of filling Mike Alexandrov’s shoes.”

With Alexandrov not competing this weekend for religious reasons, senior Matt Grevers was purely in control of the meet.

Grevers won the 200-yard backstroke by almost two seconds and destroyed the field in one of Alexandrov’s top events, the 200-yard IM.

His time of 1:45.12 was more than 10 seconds ahead of second place finisher Jake Vogel and only .03 seconds off Alexandrov’s school record.

“Matt had some great performances this weekend,” said sophomore Eric Nilsson. “I wasn’t feeling very well due to a bug going around the team, but I still swam alright.”

Nilsson won three individual events and won another as part of the 400-yard free relay.

Echoing Franklin’s finishes, senior Kyle Bubolz surged ahead in the last 50 yards of the 100-yard backstroke to claim the win in addition to his win in the 100-yard butterfly.

Despite the team’s success this season, their reviews are not all great.

“The criticism of our team is we just have a couple good swimmers and not much else,” Groseth said. “The challenge for our guys is to take down their second, third and fourth-place opposites.”

Groseth’s comments were reflected in some of the meet’s events, especially the freestyle ones.

The Cats won the 100-, 200- and 500-yard freestyles, but Notre Dame took the rest of the point-giving places, something that could spell trouble for the team down the road.

“In these events we need the other guys to step up and close the gap behind Matt (Grevers), Kyle (Bubolz) or Bruno (Barbic),” Groseth said. “Especially against programs like Michigan or at the Big Tens.”

Having a swimmer like Franklin step up is just the beginning on a team loaded with people looking to take over after Grevers and Alexandrov graduate this spring.

“Our young swimmers are starting to come around,” Groseth said. “Look at Bryan Pinkston in the butterfly, who is a freshman and is starting to show he is going to make a contribution to us winning.”

Reach Brian Regan at [email protected].

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NU Swims Past Irish (Men’s Swimming)