Swimming: Wildcats men’s, women’s teams put together inconsistent meet

Tyler Kendall, Reporter

Swimming and Diving

Northwestern’s swimming teams had a weekend of mixed results.

The Wildcats combined to split a Quad Meet in Kentucky, with men’s winning two of three matchups and women’s winning one of three.

The men’s team defeated their host 208-145 and Southern Illinois 249-104, but fell to Missouri 221-127.

“I was hoping that we would be more competitive against Missouri, which was a top 20 program last year,” coach Jarod Schroeder said. “When you have an opportunity to swim against one of the better teams in the country, you have to raise your game, and I don’t think we did a good job of doing that.”

Junior Jordan Wilimovsky swept the competition, placing first in the 1,000 yard freestyle, 500 yard freestyle and 400 yard individual medley events.

“Jordan was great again,” Schroeder said. “Every week he comes in and he swims really fast and he always steps up. I think he’s seventh in the country right now in the 500 free, and that was great to see him do that because that’s not even his primary event. To take a step forward like that was big for him.”

Wilimovsky’s winning streak has had a positive effect on the team.

“Jordan went 4:25 in the 500 freestyle and 9:12 in the 1,000 freestyle,” junior captain Van Donkersgoed said. “Both of those times are top 15 times and a really encouraging sign because it’s well ahead of where he was last year. I think that the big thing that is important for us is that he’s a really positive energy force on the team, and he kind of inspires all of us to swim faster, too.”

Schroeder praised the performance of sophomore Charlie Cole, who placed second in the 200 freestyle. Schroeder also noted the 400 yard freestyle relay, which was won by sophomore Andy Jovanovic and freshmen Almog Olshtein, Gage Kohner and Nick Petersen.

NU will head to Wisconsin on Thursday to race the No. 13 Badgers.

“If we’re going to beat a team like Missouri or Wisconsin this weekend, we have to swim better than we have all season,” Schroeder said. “That kind of was the frustrating thing. We went down there and had a good meet, but we didn’t have a great meet. And that’s what you need against great competition like we faced.”

The women’s team didn’t fare as well, with the Cats falling to Kentucky 206-147 and Missouri 222-131 and beating Southern Illinois by wide a margin, 257-96.

NU displayed a stronger performance during the second round of competition.

“If you just took the second day scores, against Missouri we only lost 88-80, and against Kentucky we only lost 85-82,” coach Jimmy Tierney said. “We were much, much sharper and competitive on that second day. There were a couple of events on the first day where we knew we weren’t as fast as them, so I thought we competed well. We just didn’t have the opportunity to score big points. We then turned it around quite a bit and made a much, much better show of ourselves on Saturday.”

Sophomore Lauren Abruzzo won the 1,000 yard freestyle, followed closely by freshman Sydney Modeas who placed second in the event. Freshman Mary Warren won the 50 free and also contributed to the Wildcat’s 400 yard freestyle relay victory. Tierney also noted strong performances from sophomore Ellen Stello who placed second in both the 200 butterfly and 400 individual medley competitions.

“Winning the last relay was really exciting because we had talked about stepping up our relay performances,” Tierney said. “I thought they really did a nice job with that, and it was an exciting way for us to finish up the meet.”

Along with the men’s team, NU will travel to Wisconsin on Thursday to swim against the No. 19 Badgers.

“It’s going to be a great challenge for us, but we’re excited,” Tierney said. “We need to go out there with the idea of winning more races than they do and we need to continue our emphasis on getting our hands on the wall ahead of our competitors. It’s stuff that we’ve talked about all year long, and I think that the girls are excited enough to just go there ready to race and compete.”

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