Men’s Swimming: Northwestern looking to rebound against Iowa after tough loss


Daily file photo by Daniel Tian

Damian Becker contorts his body while diving. The freshman will be a big factor if Northwestern wants to win the diving portion of the match.

Tucker Johnson, Reporter

Swimming and Diving

After dusting off their racing suits last weekend, the Wildcats are set to host Iowa at the Norris Aquatics Center on Saturday.

Northwestern is coming off a tough loss last weekend at Notre Dame, where they lost 166-132. There, NU won 7-of-16 events and only missed out on other wins by small margins.

Although Iowa is currently unranked, coach Jarod Schroeder said he thinks they are a stronger team than last weekend’s opponent.

“They have a couple guys who have been to NCAA’s before, and they bring a little more experience than Notre Dame,” Schroeder said. “Notre Dame has a pretty young team as well.”

The Cats’ last meeting with Iowa did not go well for Schroeder’s squad. NU lost 171-129 to then-No. 19 Iowa one year ago, though they still managed to win all five individual freestyle events. Almog Olshtein won the 50- and 100-yard freestyle, Charlie Cole won the 200 and Jordan Wilimovsky carried the 500- and 1,000-yard competitions by large margins. The Cats also won the 1 meter diving event, as Andrew Cramer scored 292.73 points.

Wilimovsky is not with the team this season, as he is training for the 2016 Olympics after winning the 10-kilometer open water swim at the FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia, last summer. In Wilimovsky’s absence, freshman Carter Page has stepped up in the distance freestyle events.

After he won both the 500- and 1,000-yard freestyles in convincing fashion last weekend, Page was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week for the second time this year. His swim in the 1,000 against Notre Dame beat the second-place finisher by more than 8 seconds.

Redshirt freshman Anthony Marcantonio has also stepped up in the freestyle events, winning the 200-yard freestyle against Notre Dame in a personal best time that earned special praise from Schroeder.

“Everybody had at least one good swim last weekend,” sophomore Nick Petersen said. “If we do that again this weekend and win the close races, we’ll have a competitive meet.”

Iowa has not competed since the first week of December, when they hosted the Hawkeye Invitational against five other teams. Iowa won that meet in a close competition with the University of Denver, though the top two teams each scored nearly twice as many points as the third place team at the three day competition.

Schroder said the tough competition against the Hawkeyes will benefit NU in the long run. It will give the team a challenge and help them sharpen their races before the Big Ten Championships in late February, Schroeder said.

“We knocked off the cobwebs (against Notre Dame), we had a good meet, and Iowa is just another step towards Big Tens,” junior Andy Jovanovic said.

Twitter: @kentuckyjohnson