Men’s Swimming: Northwestern prepares for Senior Day meet against Iowa


Daily file photo by Alec Carroll

Nick Petersen dives into the pool. The senior with race in his final home meet Friday against Iowa.

Benjamin Rosenberg, Reporter

Swimming and Diving

Coming off an impressive win in Dallas against Southern Methodist University last weekend, Northwestern will look to continue its momentum in its final home meet Saturday against Iowa.

The Wildcats (4-6, 0-1 Big Ten) led the whole way against the Mustangs, claiming 11 first-place finishes. The Hawkeyes (3-1, 3-0 Big Ten), however, will be a major step up in competition; Iowa sits just outside the top 25 in the latest NCAA rankings. The Hawkeyes have already beaten No. 24 Minnesota and Purdue, both of whom were ranked when Iowa beat them.

NU, though, spent extra time preparing for its winter season, training at the University of Hawaii for two weeks during winter break. There, the Cats practiced for five hours nearly every day, which junior Tyler Lis said has helped them stay conditioned for the final stretch of the season.

“We certainly feel in better shape,” Lis said. “We started working on a lot of the details and ironing out our final racing plans, so that when we show up to (the Big Ten Championships) at the end of the season, we will certainly be ready.”

Lis has shined as of late, swimming a season-best 1:48.18 in winning the 200-yard backstroke at SMU. He is part of a strong junior class that includes Will Hofstadter, Ryan Tate and Jack Thorne, who have been among the Cats’ most consistent performers this year.

Another junior has been helping NU significantly in recent competitions. Ben Magliato, the team’s only diver, made his season debut in mid-November after recovering from a concussion. Since his return, Magliato has won six of the seven events in which he has competed.

“While I was gone, (my teammates) noticed what happens when there are no divers,” Magliato said. “Those points that you expect to be there aren’t. It was cool to see that they saw the impact that was there when I wasn’t diving.”

Magliato mentioned the benefits of competing at home as a diver, because every diving board feels different and he will get more support competing alongside the women’s team, which has seven divers.

He also talked about reacclimating after the concussion, which he said was his third. Because the injury happened when he was diving, Magliato had to overcome the fear of hurting himself again, but says he is feeling good now despite not having practiced as much as his teammates.

“Coming back was difficult because I was out for so long and diving is the kind of sport that requires a lot of repetition, a lot of muscle memory,” Magliato said. “Those things can leave you when you’re gone.”

The Cats have struggled mightily against the Hawkeyes in recent years. NU has dropped eight of its last nine meets to Iowa, with the lone win coming in 2014. That meet, in which the Cats came from behind in the final relay, represents NU’s last win in a Big Ten dual.

Even so, Lis said that momentum from last week’s win, as well as the team’s energy in practice, will give the Cats a chance.

“I’m anticipating some good races,” Lis said. “We’ve been going fast in practice, so I’m excited to see guys translate that into dual meets and push the limit a little bit.”

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