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Swimming: Northwestern falls to Minnesota, Purdue in Senior Meet

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Swimming: Northwestern falls to Minnesota, Purdue in Senior Meet

A Northwestern swimmer does a lap in the pool. The Wildcats fell in their senior meet this weekend.

A Northwestern swimmer does a lap in the pool. The Wildcats fell in their senior meet this weekend.

Daily file photo Noah Frick Alofs

A Northwestern swimmer does a lap in the pool. The Wildcats fell in their senior meet this weekend.

Daily file photo Noah Frick Alofs

Daily file photo Noah Frick Alofs

A Northwestern swimmer does a lap in the pool. The Wildcats fell in their senior meet this weekend.

Benjamin Rosenberg, Assistant Sports Editor

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Swimming and Diving


Northwestern’s struggles against Minnesota and Purdue continued this weekend, with both the men’s and women’s teams coming up short against the Golden Gophers and Boilermakers. This marked the fourth straight year that neither program has beaten Minnesota or Purdue.

Despite the losses, the Wildcats still had some strong individual performances. NU started the two-day tri-dual off well when the women’s 200-yard medley relay team took home a victory in the very first event.

The relay win was one of just three first-place finishes for the Cats on the first day. Sophomore DJ Hwang won the men’s 1,000-yard freestyle, and sophomore Calypso Sheridan picked up a win in the women’s 200-yard individual medley.

“If you look at our times and we focus on our own results, I evaluate it as moving in the right direction going into (Big Ten Championships),” coach Jeremy Kipp said. “Performance-wise, we’re right where we need to be. From a team standpoint, it’s always disappointing to lose, especially against two Big Ten teams.”

The women (5-5, 2-4 Big Ten) came closest to securing a win, falling 186-167 to the Boilermakers (3-4, 3-2) in a meet decided by the final relay. The Golden Gophers (6-3, 3-1) defeated the NU women 202-151. The men (3-6, 0-5), meanwhile, fell 226-127 to Minnesota (6-2, 3-1) and 197-156 to Purdue (3-4, 3-2).

The Cats got three more individual wins on Saturday, from sophomore Ilektra Lebl in the women’s 400 IM, sophomore Jeffrey Durmer in the men’s 400 IM and freshman Manu Bacarizo in the men’s 200-yard backstroke.

Although the weekend was about honoring NU’s seniors, it was the underclassmen who shined brightest.

“I’m heading in the right direction,” Hwang said. “We’re at an unbelievable place as a team compared to last year… everyone is training really well. Obviously the scores don’t reflect how we’re actually performing.”

Saturday was the last meet in the Norris Aquatics Center pool for the Cats’ 14 seniors — eight men and six women — including Tyler Lis, Alex Grimes and Olivia Rosendahl.

Lis finished third in both the men’s 200 and 400 IM in his final home meet. Grimes took fourth in both the 100- and 200-yard butterfly events for the women, winning her heat in the 100. Rosendahl is the most accomplished of all of NU’s seniors, having won back-to-back national championships in the platform diving. This weekend, she finished second in both the 1-meter and 3-meter diving events.

“It’s really surreal, it’s gone so fast, and I tell the underclassmen that,” Grimes said. “I’m excited for the new chapter for sure. It’s an experience you can’t find anywhere else.”

The Cats now have some time off to prepare for Big Ten Championships. The women will compete from Feb. 20-23 in Bloomington, Indiana, while the men’s championships are the following week in Iowa City.

Kipp said the team will be tapering during the next few weeks, cutting out some of the morning practices and focusing on fine-tuning the details.

“The Big Ten is a great conference, and you have to be on your A-game,” Kipp said. “You can’t win the championships two weeks before, but you can certainly take yourself out of it if you try hard enough.”

Email: benjaminrosenberg2021@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @bxrosenberg

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