Swimming: Northwestern women split with Iowa and Wisconsin while the men fall twice


Daily file photo by Noah Frick-Alofs

A Northwestern swimmer swims freestyle. The women’s team split its matches this weekend in Iowa

Benjamin Rosenberg, Assistant Sports Editor

Swimming and Diving

The Northwestern women fared well in Iowa City on Saturday, picking up a win over the host Hawkeyes and hanging tough against No. 14 Wisconsin, but the men fell to both programs and are still looking for their first win in a Big Ten dual in five years.

The women (4-2, 2-2 Big Ten) defeated Iowa (4-6, 2-4) 178-122 while falling to the Badgers (5-2, 3-1) by a respectable score of 166.5-133.5. The men (2-3, 0-3) continued to struggle against tough competition, losing 188.5-111.5 to Wisconsin (4-3, 2-2) and 194-104 to the Hawkeyes (5-2, 3-1).

“There were a lot of races where our swimmers were pretty sharp,” coach Jeremy Kipp said. “We were a little rusty; we hadn’t competed in two months… That showed a little bit.”

Sophomore DJ Hwang had the only first-place finish on the men’s side, winning the 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 9:13.96, beating out the rest of the field by more than 10 seconds. Hwang also finished second in the 500 free, with fellow sophomore Liam Gately taking third.

But the men’s team struggled across the board, only picking up two second-place finishes outside of the distance freestyle events. Freshman Yohan Eskrick-Parkinson finished second in the 1-meter diving and freshman Manu Bacarizo touched in second in the 200-yard backstroke.

“I had a really good racing strategy and I executed really well,” Hwang said. “We were coming off a really good, solid month and a half of training, and the work we’ve been putting in in the pool and outside the pool is finally paying off.”

The women had considerably more success throughout the day, with an NU athlete coming in first or second in 10 out of 16 events. Senior Olivia Rosendahl, the two-time defending national champion in the platform diving, won both the 1-meter and 3-meter diving events on Saturday. She now has won eight straight events in which she has competed and has nine wins in 10 events for the season.

The Wildcats dominated the breaststroke events, with sophomore Sophie Angus winning both the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke. Freshman Tara Vovk took second in the 100, with sophomore Becky Kamau placing second in the 200. NU also got a first-place finish from sophomore Ilektra Lebl in the 500 free.

“I wanted to go out smooth but strong,” Angus said. “Everyone raced really hard. There’s a lot of small details that we still have to work on, but I think everyone was pretty satisfied with the way they competed, especially getting close to the championship season.”

The Cats now have two weekends of competition remaining before Big Ten Championships in late February. NU will make a pair of stops along the Ohio River next weekend, taking on the Cardinals in Louisville on Friday and the Bearcats in Cincinnati on Saturday.

Hwang reiterated that the Cats need to work on some of the little things as they move toward the end of the season.

“The biggest takeaway from this weekend for me and for a lot of the team is trust and confidence,” Hwang said. “Trusting in the work that we’re doing, trusting in the coaches… and having confidence when we’re getting up on the blocks and racing.”

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