Men’s Swimming: Wildcats can’t catch any breaks in Iowa City

John Paschall, Reporter

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The seniors hoped Saturday’s meet with Iowa would become a lasting memory. Now, they are trying to make it a distant one after a 161-122 defeat in Iowa City.

“We got to forget about it,” coach Jarod Schroeder said. “We got to move on to Notre Dame and Missouri State. But they’ll get up for that. They always seem to get up for Notre Dame.”

Although the Wildcats came up short in getting the win, many swimmers posted season-best times. That alone has coach Jarod Schroeder leaving Iowa feeling optimistic.

“That was probably our best in-season meet we’ve had this year,” Schroeder said. “We win a couple of those races where we got touched out, and it changes things tremendously.”

Freshman Jordan Wilimovsky continued his tremendous first-year campaign with another win in the 1,000-yard freestyle. The California native has yet to lose in the 1,650 or 1,000-yard freestyle.

Not only has he gone undefeated, but he’s been crushing his opponents in the process. He’s won the 1,000 free by an average of 15.64 seconds and 34.09 seconds in the 1,650 free. Wilimovsky credits his training as the reason for his success.

“I started doing an extra workout a week right before the training trip and then continued through the training trip,” Wilimovsky said. “Doing more yards has definitely helped. I’m pretty happy with how I won here because I was out well and was able to lay off at the end and still had a fast time.”

The Cats finished the meet strong with three consecutive wins in the platform diving, 400 IM and 200-yard freestyle relay, which saw senior Alex Ratajczyk out-touch Iowa’s anchor for the victory.

But even with all the good that came from Iowa, there are some areas that the Cats need to work on in the coming weeks. Schroeder said Iowa City illuminated those struggles.

“It was apparent to me where our weaknesses are,” Schroeder said. “The early speed and the late finish are where we are struggling right now. When you swim against a team like this, the errors become more apparent.”

Senior Charlie Rimkus also said the squad needed to do more research on its opponent, a factor that cost them a meet earlier in the year against Wisconsin.

“Some of us did our homework on where a certain swimmer finishes hard or whatever,” Rimkus said. “It’s just the small things that hurt us.”

The Cats wrap up their regular season this weekend with the NU Invite in Evanston. But it won’t be a cakewalk on senior day for the Cats as they welcome in Notre Dame and Missouri State, two very strong programs. Rimkus said as the season goes on, the reality of his collegiate career ending is quickly approaching.

“Everything is getting more and more real as it passes by,” the senior said. “At Nationals, I was saying to Alex (Ratajczyk) that this is our last USA swimming meet. We’ve been doing this since we were seven. But it’s not a reason to be nervous. It’s a reason to end on a high note.”