Men’s Swimming: Northwestern suits up for TYR Invitational


Daily file photo by Alec Carroll

A Northwestern swimmer plows through the water. The Wildcats will host the TYR Invitational this weekend.

Lexie Modeas, Reporter

Swimming and Diving

Northwestern will host the annual TYR Invitational this weekend, the last meet of its fall season. Eight teams will travel to Evanston to compete, including Big Ten rival Michigan State and crosstown foes Illinois-Chicago and Illinois State.

The Wildcats (3-6, 0-1 Big Ten) won the meet last year, earning a total of 979 points and beating the Spartans by only half a point. Junior Justin Hanson said NU hopes to win again this year, and by a larger margin. In preparation for this weekend, the week of training consisted of lower-intensity sets and less yardage, Hanson said.

“Practices are about fine-tuning the details before our big meet, focusing on stuff like our starts and our turns,” Hanson said. “Not necessarily easy practices but more technique focused.”

Hanson said the swimmers will substitute their normal practice swimsuits with racing suits for the invitational, which they have not done for any other meet this season. Wearing a racing suit, Hanson said, instills confidence and excitement in a swimmer. With racing suits on and less intense practices, he said the team will be a force to be reckoned with.

At last year’s invitational, Hanson placed second in the 200-yard butterfly in 1:49.30. He said he’ll face tough competition in this year’s event, but thinks it will only motivate him to swim faster.

“I know Grand Canyon University has a really fast 200 butterflier,” Hanson said. “He is trying to qualify for NCAAs, so competing with him will be great.”

Hanson said he will compete in the 200- and 400-yard individual medleys, as well as the 100 fly.

Freshman D.J. Hwang hopes to impress at his first TYR Invitational. In the meet against Wisconsin, Hwang posted an in-season best time in the 1000-yard freestyle. He said he plans on dropping more time this weekend, but added that the three-day meet structure makes it challenging.

The meet starts Friday morning and ends Sunday evening. The preliminaries take place each morning, and those who place in the top 24 will race again at night.

The Cats have been successful at the TYR Invitational in previous years, with four NCAA ‘B’ qualifying times and a sweep in the diving events last year. For NU, which has suffered three losses in the last two weeks, success at the invite would help end the fall season on a good note.

“Mentally it will be a little bit tougher because we will be doing a lot of racing over the three days,” Hwang said. “Having my teammates with me along the entire way will be a big factor.”

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