Swimming and Diving: Houseman, Burdisso set new school records at Big Ten Championships, lead men to a sixth-place finish


Daily file photo by Joanne Haner

Northwestern finished sixth at the men’s Big Ten Championships, setting a program record of 796 points.

Kate Walter, Reporter

Northwestern finished sixth at the Big Ten Championships with 796 points, a new program record for points scored at conference championships. 

Kevin Houseman and Federico Burdisso’s individual school records highlighted this historic performance. NU also finished in sixth place in 2021, but improved upon the record they set last year of 722 points this time around. Over the course of the week at Purdue, the Cats broke three school records and qualified for several finals in individual events.

Things heated up on the first night of competition with a fourth-place finish by senior Manuel Martos Bacarizo, Houseman, Burdisso and senior Andrew Zhang in the 200-yard medley relay. With a time of 1:23.54, the Cats snagged an NCAA ‘A’ cut and a new team record to kick off the meet. 

On Thursday, freshman Tyler Lu touched the wall in 1:44.49 in the 200-yard IM, good for 10th place. Burdisso finished ninth in the 50-yard freestyle in 19.53.

Burdisso and Houseman took charge on night three, with each competing in A finals of their respective events and setting new school records.

As the bronze medalist from the 2021 Tokyo Olympics in the 200-meter butterfly, Burdisso snagged a new school record of 45.53 in the 100-yard butterfly, finishing sixth overall.

Houseman, a member of the U.S. National Team, achieved NU’s highest individual finish at Big Ten’s with an impressive second place in the 100-yard breaststroke. His time of 51.23 was good for an NCAA ‘A’ cut, a new school record and All-Big Ten Second Team honors.

But the night wasn’t over yet. Seniors Ryan Gridley and Bacarizo finished sixth and seventh in the 100-yard backstroke, touching the wall in 46.75 and 47.53, respectively.  

The Cats closed out the last day of competition with top-10 finishes. In the 200-yard backstroke, NU made up three of the top 10 finishers. Bacarizo, Lu, and Gridley went eighth, ninth and 10th in a strong showing for the Cats. 

In a similar fashion, junior Marcus Mok, freshman Connor Morikawa and Houseman finished sixth (1:54.36), seventh (1:54.53) and ninth (1:54.61) in the 200-yard breaststroke, respectively. 

NU did not let up in the last individual event of the meet. Burdisso touched the wall fourth in the 200-yard butterfly in 1:41.82, with senior Connor Lamastra close behind in sixth in 1:42.93.

For the diving squad, junior Henry Schirmer and senior Evan Labuda placed 14th and 16th, respectively, in the platform diving contest.

Indiana won its fourth Big Ten title in six seasons, with Ohio State and Michigan rounding out the podium.

This season hasn’t seen the last of the Cats. A group of swimmers will represent NU at the Men’s NCAA Championships in Atlanta from March 23 to 26.

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