Men’s Swimming: Northwestern routed by Iowa on Senior Day


Noah Frick-Alofs/Daily Senior Staffer

A Northwestern swimmer takes a breath. The Wildcats lost to Iowa on Senior Day on Saturday.

Benjamin Rosenberg, Reporter

Swimming and Diving

Northwestern struggled Saturday against an Iowa team that sits just outside the top 25, picking up just three first-place finishes and falling to the Hawkeyes 194-101 on Senior Day.

A week after leading the entire meet at Southern Methodist University, the Wildcats (4-7, 0-2 Big Ten) trailed from the start against Iowa (4-1, 4-0). The Hawkeyes took the top two spots in the opening relay and never gave up the lead.

Freshman DJ Hwang won the next swimming event, the 1000-yard freestyle, to pull NU closer. The race was close for the first 500 meters before Hwang separated himself from the field.

“Last week, I made the mistake of going out really hard, and I faded toward the end,” said Hwang, who has been among the bright spots for the team in an otherwise rough season. “Today, I thought I’d try to hang with the competition the first 500, and then turn it on and come home really hard. That worked out pretty well.”

Iowa, however, took control from there, gradually widening its lead. Outside of Hwang’s win in the 1000 free, the Cats did not have a finish higher than third through four events.

The Hawkeyes’ depth was the difference in the meet. Iowa carries 30 swimmers and divers on its roster, compared to 21 for NU. In seven events, Hawkeye swimmers took both first and second place, while the Cats did that in just one.

NU’s other two first-place finishes belonged to junior Will Hofstadter, who won both the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke. In the 100, he finished in 55.84 seconds, ahead of junior Thanas Kountroubis, by 1.2 seconds, a wide margin for such a short race.

“We knew that (Iowa was) strong in a lot of events,” Hofstadter said. “I think breaststroke was a chance for us to pull up some ground, so we were shooting for some strong finishes with me and the other guys. We were pretty happy with our times, going one-two in the 100 and some strong times in the 200 as well.”

Despite carrying just one diver on their roster, the Cats had performed well in the diving events at their last few meets. That changed Saturday, however.

Junior Ben Magliato finished third in the 1-meter diving event and fourth in the 3-meter event. Helped in no small part by carrying five divers to NU’s one, Iowa won the two diving events by a combined score of 31-5.

The Cats honored their five seniors before the meet. The seniors had their accomplishments read aloud over the public address system and got to walk across the pool deck with their families. For Almog Olshtein, the experience was bittersweet because it came in a losing effort, but it gave him a chance to reflect on his four years with the program.

“It was fun walking over there when they called my name,” said Olshtein, who swam a season-best time in the 50 free despite finishing second. “I’m happy that I had a really positive experience here at Northwestern, that I got to share it with such amazing teammates.”

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @bxrosenberg