Men’s Swimming: Northwestern heads home from Minneapolis with two losses


Daily file photo by Noah Frick-Alofs

A Northwestern swimmer takes a breath. The Wildcats took two hard defeats against Minnesota and Purdue last weekend.

Lexie Modeas, Reporter

Swimming and Diving

Northwestern returned from Minneapolis this weekend with no first-place finishes and two Big Ten losses.

The Wildcats (4-9, 0-4 Big Ten) suffered losses to both Purdue (5-4, 2-3) and Minnesota (4-3, 4-2) in their last meet of the regular season. Freshman D.J. Hwang said the tough competition made the meet challenging, but the team still performed as best as it could.

“I think our guys had a little bit of a rough time this weekend, but we all still raced our hardest,” Hwang said. “It goes to show how much of a tough conference the Big Ten Conference is. We can’t use this meet as an indication of where we are as a team.”

Though NU could not edge out either team, the Cats had some good performances. NU placed third in the 200-yard medley relay, consisting of senior Nick Peterson, junior Will Hofstadter, junior Arjun Sharma and senior Almog Olshtein.

The upperclassmen continued to lead the team in other events. Hofstadter placed fourth in the 100-yard breaststroke, with a time of 55.93, and Olshtein picked up second in the 50 freestyle. Junior Justin Hanson grabbed fourth in the 200 butterfly, with a time of 1:50.30.

However, the freshmen did not let the upperclassmen steal the show. Freshman Peter Lewczyk was the fastest NU swimmer in the 200 free, finishing seventh with a time of 1:42.71.

Hwang proved himself a powerful force in the distance events this weekend. He finished second in the 1000 free with a time of 9:19.77. Hwang said though he was happy with the race, he wishes to improve on certain areas before swimming the event at Big Tens.

“I learned there are a lot of changes I need to make,” Hwang said. “I’ve been taking a lot more strokes compared to my competitors, which is kind of inefficient, so I have been trying to stretch out my stroke a little bit more and get a lot better distance-per-stroke.”

However, despite a few impressive swims, the Cats lost by a landslide to both teams. The final scores were 146-50 against Purdue and 144-59 against Minnesota.

With the regular season over, Hwang said the team will shift their focus to training for Big Tens in February. The end of the season entails more focus on technique and strategy, Hwang said.

“We are in the stage where we are fine-tuning … the small details: making sure we are hitting pace, making sure we are getting the turns down, race strategy, starts,” he said. “Every little thing that we don’t really think about when we usually practice, right now is the time to think about it.”