Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Swimming and Diving: Northwestern faces ranked Wisconsin team at home

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Maya Schwartz/The Daily Northwestern
Northwestern swimmers dive into the pool.

Northwestern’s swimming and diving squads faced tough conference competition against Wisconsin at their first home meet of the season Saturday. When the two teams faced off last winter, the Wildcats won the women’s meet 162-138, but the Badgers prevailed 181-119 in the men’s meet.

With the Norris Aquatics Center bleachers packed to the brim and divided by purple and red, both sides’ spectators prepared to watch the hosts compete against a Wisconsin team that was ranked 13th (women’s) and 22nd (men’s) in the CSSCA’s Top 25 preseason poll.

Graduate student Andrew Martin dominated the men’s 1,000-yard freestyle from the start, lapping the Wisconsin lanes early on and securing a first-place finish in a pool record time of 8:53.07. 

Pool records continued to fall Saturday, as graduate student Ayla Spitz set a new standard in the women’s 200 free, finishing her strongest swim of the meet in 1:44.75.

Notable performances by freshman Maggie Papanicholas and senior Annika Wagner in the 100-yard breaststroke kept the women’s team’s sharp pace, with Papanicholas and Wagner taking first and second-place finishes, respectively. 

NU’s success extended to Saturday’s diving events, as graduate student Markie Hopkins received two first-place finishes for her 1- and 3-meter dives. 

Facing especially daunting competition, sophomore Lindsay Ervin swam a close race in the 50 free, securing a second-place time of 22.46 — just milliseconds behind the Badgers’ undefeated Hailey Tierney.

Freshman David Gerchik nabbed a first-place finish for the Wildcat men after swimming a 47.32 in the 100-yard backstroke. 

The ‘Cats also honored their seniors on Saturday, sending 11 athletes through a Senior Day hand tunnel to raucous applause from teammates and the audience.

Despite early firepower, the matchup culminated in two losses for NU. The men’s squad fell 160-139, while the women’s team dropped Saturday’s meet 193-106. 

The ‘Cats will make their next stop in West Lafayette, Indiana, on February 2 and 3 for a weekend of Big Ten competition against Purdue, Minnesota and Iowa. 

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