Men’s Swimming: Wildcats clutch first win as freshmen continue to adapt to collegiate swim environment


Daily file photo by Tucker Johnson

Freshman Anthony Marcantonio competes in the 300 meter freestyle. The Cats dominated all three opponents they faced on Saturday when they competed at the University of Chicago.

Kara Stevick, Reporter

Swimming and Diving

Northwestern clutched its first win of the season this past Saturday as it knocked off three opponents in a quad meet hosted by the University of Chicago.

Coming off their loss to Eastern Michigan on Oct. 15, the Wildcats swept all events excluding the breaststroke races in their victories.

NU competed against UChicago, Denison University and the University of Illinois at Chicago, and defeated all three, 226-67, 222-78 and 211-89 respectively. The Cats were led by junior Andy Jovanovic, who placed first in the 100 backstroke (50.6), the 100 freestyle (46.43) and the 100 butterfly (50.21).

Freshmen Justin Hanson and Carter Page also stepped up to contribute to this week’s wins. Hanson took first in the 200 butterfly with a time of 1:52.41 and closely followed UIC’s Christian Grobe to place second in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:10.49. Page, who has won nearly all of his events this season, snagged first in both the 500 and 1000 freestyles with times of 4:38.89 and 9:26.97, respectively.

“I think having … such a big young group is exactly what the program needs,” Jovanovic said. “They bring a lot to the table. They bring a lot of enthusiasm, they bring a lot of hard work and commitment.”

Jovanovic said he believes the atmosphere that has developed from having such a young team allows some of the older members of the team, such as himself, to gain new perspectives. Meanwhile, captain Stephen Shull said he believes the team still has a lot of work to do as they prepare for the Big Ten dual meets and their upcoming meet in Missouri.

Sophomore Almog Olshtein agrees, explaining that overall the freshmen have been successfully integrating into the group, though some are still navigating the process of adjusting to collegiate swimming.

Although Hanson agrees that several of his fellow freshmen are struggling to get used to the new training environment and program, he greatly values the input of his older teammates, like Shull, and said it helps learning from the older guys.

“I think that if they’re not doing as well as they want to, it’s just a matter of time,” Hanson said. “It’s going to work well for them eventually.”

According to Olshtein, as the focus of the season is getting to Big Tens, practices have begun to increase in difficulty and will continue to do so as the season progresses.

Shull agreed, explaining that the primary focus of training lately has been improving the team’s front-half speed, which will allow them to compete faster in events.

“I don’t think we’ve ever trained this hard for dual meet,” Olshtein said. “The coaches are really pushing us to the limit each practice.”

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