Men’s Swimming: Wildcats take step forward but lose to Iowa


Daily file photo by Keshia Johnson

Will Hofstadter dives into the pool. The sophomore was one of Northwestern’s more successful swimmers against Iowa.

Sophie Mann, Copy Chief

Swimming and Diving

After beginning the winter season with a loss to Notre Dame, Northwestern showed progress on the road against conference-rival Iowa on Saturday.

Though the the Wildcats (5-6, 0-1 Big Ten) again fell short as a team, losing 166-134 to the Hawkeyes, a number of individual competitors impressed in the meet.

The medley relay team of juniors Almog Olshtein and Nick Petersen and sophomores Ryan Tate and Will Hofstadter came in first, headlining a short list of individual wins in the team loss.

“We’ve been taking steps forward every meet,” Tate said. “We were really close to beating Iowa. This is just another step toward Big Tens where we’ll kick it into high gear and hopefully beat them there.”

Olshtein and Hofstader also medaled in the meet against Notre Dame the previous weekend, demonstrating the collective strength of the younger swimmers. Recent strong showings from the team’s sophomores and juniors bode well for NU going forward.

“It’s very exciting to know that we can do great things this year and even greater things next year,” Olshtein said. “It’s a great sign for the future.”

Meanwhile, NU still has veteran leadership to anchor the lineup as it looks to turn things around.

Senior Jordan Wilimovsky, who set a pool record and qualified for the NCAA Championships in two events last week, led the way for the Cats in the 1,000-meter free event, where he took the top spot. His 9:06 time was 24 seconds faster than the second place finisher, sophomore Carter Page.

Wilimovsky said Iowa represented a great test for the team as it enters conference play, and that he’s improved since the Cats’ meet with the Fighting Irish the week before.

But even after moderate success against the Hawkeyes, NU will need to find a new gear in order to tackle a difficult weekend ahead as it heads to West Lafayette to take on Purdue and No. 16 Minnesota. The Cats will have to overcome recent struggles against both opponents. NU last beat the Boilermakers in 2006 and lost to the Golden Gophers by more than 100 points last year.

But Olshtein said the team isn’t focused on the past. The junior is hopeful about the team’s chances against both Purdue and Minnesota after the close match against Iowa.

Tate agreed, saying that the team will look to build on its recent success and get back on the winning track before the Big Ten Championships.

“We’ve seen what we can do and … we take steps and get better every meet,” Tate said. “We know our baselines, and we’re going to try to overcome that … try to race our hearts to the end and see how well we can do.”

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