Men’s Swimming: Northwestern heads to Minnesota for the last meet of the regular season


Daily file photo by Noah Frick-Alofs

A Northwestern swimmer dives into the pool. The Wildcats will look to pick up their first conference victory of the season this weekend.

Lexie Modeas, Reporter

Swimming and Diving

Northwestern heads to Minneapolis this weekend, its last opportunity to race before the Big Ten Championships in February.

The Wildcats (4-7, 0-2 Big Ten) will face Big Ten rivals Purdue (4-3, 1-2 Big Ten) and Minnesota (2-3, 2-2 Big Ten) in their last meet of the regular season. The two-day competition will offer more events than traditional meets do, said senior Almog Olshtein.

“Basically, we add some events like the 400 IM and some more relays,” Olshtein said, “and just stretch out the meet over two days instead of one day so you get more rest.”

Olshtein said he is swimming the 50-yard freestyle, the 100-yard freestyle and two relays. Last weekend, at his last ever home meet against Iowa, Olshtein posted his season-best time in the 50 freestyle, clocking in at 20.64 seconds.

The freshmen swimmers also proved to be a powerful force last weekend. Freshman DJ Hwang picked up a win in the 1000-yard freestyle, winning by ten seconds with a time of 9:23.14. Later in the meet, Hwang finished second in the 500-yard free, with freshmen teammates Jeffrey Durmer and Liam Gately grabbing third and fourth.

With the freshmen performing well, the upcoming meet and championships should be successful, Olshtein said.

“I feel like we have a good thing going this year,” Olshtein said. “The freshmen are really contributing to the team and they integrated really well. … I’m excited to see what we can do.”

With the Big Ten Championship on the horizon, the team has begun to taper, Olshtein said. She added that practices have started to decline in intensity; they are shorter and many swimmers are swimming less yardage.

The change in practice style will help the team this weekend, Olshtein said. The swimmers will be more rested than they were last meet, which usually leads to better performances.
“Last week we were pretty tired coming into the meet because we were preparing for the Big Ten Championship that’s going to come in a month,” Olshtein said. “This week we got a little bit more rest, so I really hope to go faster than last week and go a season-best.”

Hwang said he also hopes to improve on his performance from last week, but is excited to become familiar with the Minnesota pool. The Golden Gophers will host the Big Ten Championship as well, so the weekend serves as an opportunity to become comfortable with the facilities.

Away meets can be overwhelming and stressful because of the traveling and unfamiliarity, Hwang said. However, Hwang said he does not think being away will affect the Cats’ performance this weekend.

“Being in a new environment is obviously tough just cause it’s something you’re not used to,” Hwang said. “But along with that, it brings a sense of excitement, a change of scenery, and it gives us a good opportunity to see what it’s like to race at Big Tens.”