Swimming: Women and men prepare for home meet packed with Big Ten competitors


Daily file photo by Angeli Mittal

Northwestern men and women will host Iowa, Minnesota and Purdue at home this weekend in their last team meet before the Big Ten Championships.

Alyce Brown, Assistant Audience Engagement Editor

A big weekend is ahead for both of Northwestern’s swimming teams as they face off against Purdue, Iowa and Minnesota at the Norris Aquatics Center Friday and Saturday. 

The large conference matchup is the last meet for the men and women’s teams before the First Chance meets and then the Big Ten Championships in Ann Arbor, Michigan in February. Each side heads into the weekend with very different experiences and goals in the back of their minds.

For the women, the No. 26 Wildcats (6-1, 2-1 Big Ten) upset No. 17 Wisconsin 162-138 on the road last weekend. They hope to improve to 3-1 in the conference and 7-1 overall – which would be their best conference record since the 2019-2020 season. 

Out of this weekend’s competitors, No. 25 Minnesota has been neck-and-neck with NU’s women’s team in the rankings this season and will pose some stiff competition. 

Due to a shoulder injury, the Cats’ star junior Jasmine Nocentini — a multi-time Big Ten swimmer of the week and holder of NU’s 50-free record — was ruled out of competition for the foreseeable future. She hasn’t competed with the team since November, and the announcement, made on Tuesday, sounds some alarm bells as the team starts looking towards the conference championship. 

On the other side of the pool, the men are looking to pick up their first conference victory after falling to Wisconsin 181-119 last week. Coming into this meet, their situation is more dire — the men’s team needs to make up ground and pick up a good finish in this Big Ten matchup. 

NU has been without senior star Federico Burdisso for a sizable stretch of the season, after he left in early December to focus on the 2024 Olympics. Senior Ben Miller has stepped up in his place. 

In last weekend’s meet against Wisconsin, Miller won the 100- and 200-yard Fly events and is looking to carry that momentum into this meet, alongside other Jan. 21 men’s winners sophomore Tyler Lu (200-yard IM), senior Marcus Mok (200-yard Breast) and senior Aleksa Bobar (100-yard Free). 

The meet will be a vital piece of both teams’ seasons, and will take place at 5 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday.

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Twitter: @alycebrownn

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