NU hopes taper, early success set up strong finishes

Steven Montero

Northwestern will conclude its regular season this weekend when it heads to South Bend, Ind., to compete in the Shamrock Invitational.

NU will face off against Notre Dame, Ohio State, Iowa and Denver. The Cats have beaten all three of the conference opponents at the meet, but have yet to face Denver this season.

Junior Jenny Wilson said the invitational will act as preparation for the Big Ten tournament in February.

“Our success isn’t really captured in our record,” she said. “What matters is what you do at the end of the year. The work we’ve been putting in this season will really pay off.”

Wilson said a new training routine, including different practice and strength training techniques, have improved the swimmers’ times.

“We’ve changed up a few things in our training from last season, how we’re lifting and what we’re doing in the water,” Wilson said.

She said the team’s goal is to swim well at the Big Ten Tournament, as this is where individual performances are ranked. The rest of the season, including the upcoming invitational, carries less importance for the swimmers.

After the Shamrock Invitational, Wilson said the team will start to gear up for the Big Ten Tournament.

“It’s so end-of-the-season focused, it’s not that hard to get excited because everyone is so excited naturally,” Wilson said. “We can really share that and build positive energy going into the meet.”

As the Cats’ energy builds, their workouts will become less intense. Wilson said two weeks before the Big Ten Tournament, the team starts to taper in hopes of improving its end times.

“The taper is really great when it finally arrives,” Wilson said. “The two weeks leading up when we’re doing more quality, less quantity. That kind of builds the atmosphere. You are more focused on what your body’s doing in the water.”

– Steven Montero and Ali Elkin