Northwestern sweeps Cincinnati, splits with Wisconsin in Madison


Daily file photo by Alison Albelda

Calypso Sheridan dives in the pool. The junior swimmer was one of four who broke NU’s 200-yard medley relay.

Patrick Andres, Reporter

Swimming and Diving

Bidding goodbye to the Norris Aquatics Center for the 2019-2020 season, Northwestern’s swimmers and divers put together a dominant pair of wins over Cincinnati on Friday.

The Wildcat men, 167-130 winners over the Bearcats, notched their highest point total in a dual meet since Nov. 2 against Michigan State, and also ensured NU’s first winning streak in dual play since starting the season 3-0 nearly four months prior. On the women’s side, the Cats took an authoritative 184-111 victory, running their record to a strong 10-2 in dual meets.

“Cincinnati’s a very good mid-major program,” Coach Jeremy Kipp said. “We’re gonna use this… to really evaluate our conference championship roster.”

Of the 32 events staged, the Cats won 23, dismantling three pool records and three school records in the process. Juniors Calypso Sheridan, Sophie Angus, Maddie Smith and senior Malorie Han won the 200-yard medley relay in 1:37.60, beating the old record of 1:39.80 from 2017.

Freshman Federico Burdisso continued his record-shattering campaign with a 1:34.15 200-yard freestyle, 0.69 seconds ahead of the previous mark of 1:34.84. Freshman Aly Larson got into the spirit with her own milestone, setting a school record with a 1:56.32 in the 200-yard butterfly. The final records to fall were the pool and school marks in the 400-yard freestyle relay, with Smith, Sheridan, Larson and Han making the voyage in 3:17.45.

“What’s nice about non-conference (competition) is that it’s a little less intense,” Kipp said. “Because maybe you don’t know the competition as well, it’s not as personal. It’s a much more relaxed racing environment.”

The racing environment on Saturday was much different. Unlike Friday’s match against Cincinnati, NU’s Saturday showdown with Wisconsin in Madison was not an easy one by any means.

“One of the reasons that we do this (compete in home and away meets on back-to-back days) is to really test the team,” Kipp said. “That’s the mark of every good team… you gotta go on the road and face some tough competition.”

The Cats divided a dual meet for the first time since Jan. 4, when NU’s women won and the men lost versus Arizona State in Tempe. The final scores were 166.5-133.5 Cats on the women’s side, and 161-139 Badgers on the men’s.

Outstanding individual performances for NU in Madison included three more wins by Burdisso (the 50-yard freestyle, the 100-yard freestyle and the 100-yard butterfly) and victories by juniors Ilektra Lebl and DJ Hwang in the 500- and 1000-yard freestyles.

The Cats will now travel to West Lafayette to meet Purdue and Minnesota in a three-way meet, NU’s last before the Big Ten Championships in Bloomington.

“Swimming and diving is unique because you could lose every meet you have and still be Top 10 in the country,” Kipp said. “There’s no bowl game, the conference standings don’t really affect you. But having said that, you don’t wanna lose every meet. You gotta put your team in position, so when you do have an ideal situation like the Big Ten championships where everything is neutral, you’ve been tested.”

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