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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Big Weekend Ahead In Columbus (Men’s Swimming)

By Brian ReganThe Daily Northwestern

In a season where a Northwestern swimmer has earned Big Ten swimmer of the week honors after each NU meet, the No. 8 Wildcats (6-0) need only to win this weekend to finish the season undefeated at dual meets and invitationals.

The Cats face off against two ranked conference foes, No. 12 Michigan (6-4-1) and No. 14 Ohio State (6-1) today and Saturday in Columbus, Ohio.

“Michigan is a very good program and Ohio State is really an up-and-coming team,” coach Bob Groseth said. “Michigan is going to be one of the top teams in the Big Ten and we have to send them a message this weekend.”

Ohio State’s one loss this season came to No. 15 Indiana by just eight points and Michigan hasn’t lost a Big Ten dual meet in 38 outings, dating back to 1999.

The Wolverines also were the top collegiate team at the U.S. Open back in December, where NU finished third, but has struggled of late, losing to three top-10 programs this season.

But the Cats aren’t focusing on what is going on in the Buckeyes’ or Wolverines’ heads.

“We’re just looking to perform well at the meet,” sophomore Eric Nilsson said. “All we can do is swim our fastest.”

The Cats also are looking to break one of swimming’s longest losing streaks.

“We are really motivated and haven’t beaten Michigan since the 1920’s in a dual meet,” senior Matt Grevers said. “I think this is our strongest chance since then to break it.”

Due to the team’s success, several of the Cats have yet to lose races this season.

Grevers and Mike Alexandrov are both undefeated this year in individual races, but say they are more satisfied the team is doing well.

“It’s been our goal (to be undefeated) all year long,” Grevers said. “It proves to people that we are a dual team now, not just a good big meet team. We can do it all.”

While Michigan and Ohio State are formidable opponents, the Cats so far have nine NCAA “A” (or automatic qualifying) times, more than both Michigan and Ohio State combined.

With the Big Ten championship just three weeks away, the tri-meet in Columbus could produce fast times and even better competition.

“Winning would be a big confidence booster,” Nilsson said. “We would know we could swim with the best and beat the best.”

Reach Brian Regan at [email protected].

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Big Weekend Ahead In Columbus (Men’s Swimming)