Men’s Swimming: Northwestern snaps losing streak with weekend wins over local rivals


Daily file photo by Alec Carroll

Nick Petersen swims. The senior and the Wildcats earned their first two wins of the season over the weekend.

Lexie Modeas, Reporter

Swimming and Diving

Northwestern secured its first wins of the season Saturday, beating local rivals Illinois-Chicago and University of Chicago to end a seven-meet regular season skid dating to January.

The Wildcats (2-3) dominated the tri-meet, beating UChicago (0-3) 158.5-110.5 and UIC (2-2) 175-114. Freshman Lyon Zhang said the success came as a relief after three straight losses to start the season.

“It feels refreshing, and it’s especially nice to do this at home and have two (wins) under our belt at once,” Zhang said. “We needed that to come together as a team.”

It was the third straight season NU has beaten both the Flames and UChicago.

The Cats made the last two events exhibitions, so those results didn’t count toward the final total, but Zhang nonetheless posted the fastest 200-yard individual medley time. He also finished third in the 200-yard breaststroke earlier in the day.

The freshman said the team took advantage of a relatively easy matchup, which helped take the pressure off, and senior Alex Snarski said the circumstances allowed NU swimmers to compete in different events than usual. For the fourth meet in a row, the Cats did not participate in the diving slate.

Snarski accounted for two of NU’s 12 first-place finishes, winning the 100-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke. He set a personal best in the 100 free with a time of 46.01.

“I actually did a lot better than I thought I was going to do,” Snarski said. “I was kind of surprised by my times.”

The freshman swimmers also impressed. Liam Gately and Robert Cecil finished first and second, respectively, in the 200-yard freestyle, picking up two top finishes early in the day. Star junior Will Hofstadter placed first in the 50-yard freestyle and secured a tight victory in the 200 breaststroke, winning by just .03 seconds.

NU’s strong weekend also featured a masterful effort in the relay events. The Cats posted the fastest time in both the 200 medley and the 400 free relays.

Freshman DJ Hwang led the distance swimmers again, winning both the 1000- and 500- yard freestyles. Hwang says his 500 free time of 4:36.51 was a personal best, the outcome of hours of practice in the pool.

Hwang said Saturday’s victories set the tone for the rest of the season, which stretches through the winter.

“This meet was a reminder that we are a good team, which is good for confidence to carry throughout the rest of the season,” Hwang said.

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