EVANSTON, Ill., February 2. BABY, it may be 40 below outside but in the pool, Northwestern freshman backstroker-sprint freestyler Matt Grevers — a "mere broth of a lad" at 6-7, 215 pounds — is burning up the waves.
The Wildcat rookie — Swimming World's "High School Swimmer of the Year" for 2003 — splashed to a pair of victories and prs in the 100-200
yard backstroke against Michigan Saturday here (47.31r, 47.86/1:44.30) and for his efforts has been named Big Ten Swimmer of the Week.
This marks the second time this season Grevers has been honored with swimmer of the week accolades. It is also the second week in a row a Wildcat has been given the award. Tony Swanson won the award last week.
Grevers was simply dominant against the Wolverines with two pool records and one school record. His leadoff leg on the Wildcats' 400 medley relay(47.31) is not only his pr and a Northwestern University record, but also breaks the old 17-18 National Age Group (NAG) record of 47.34 by current Stanford star Jayme Cramer from the 2000 YMCA Nationals in Ft. Lauderdale. Cramer's pr for the Cardinal is 46.59
The relay foursome's overall time of 3:15.22 is also a Wildcat record and an automatic NCAA "A" qualifying standadard.
Grevers' 47.31 is fifth on the all-time Big 10 performers' list and second among active swimmers. Only Wisconsin's Adam Mania's 47.07 from the
Longhorn Invitational at Texas in December is faster. The Big 10 record is 46.85 by Minnesota's Todd Smolinski leading off the Golden Gophers' medley realy at Georgia two seasons ago during NCAAs, and it would appear both Grevers and Mania are capable of breaking that standard at this year's Big 10 Championships the end of the month.
Grevers' 1:44.30 200 back ranks him third on the all-time Wildcat list
behind Brian Walters' record 1:42.70 from NCAAs five years ago and Tony
Swanson's 1:42.94. Swanson is a senior on this season's team and his battle for dorsal supremacy with his rookie teammate should be one of the
highlights of the Big 10 meet, slated for the last weekend of this month at Purdue, site of last year's women's championships.
Grevers now ranks fifth on the all-time Big 10 200 back list, with former
Michiganders Derya Buyukuncu (1:42.24) and Royce Sharp (1:42.30) occupying
the top two spots. Then comes the 'Cat pair of Walters (1:42.70) and
Swanson (1:42.94), then Grevers. It should be noted, howwever, that all four swimmers ahead of Grevers did their time either at Big 10s or NCAAs, so when the kid is shaved and tapered… Who knows?
Grevers also has a pr 43.53 100 free this season and has been under 20.0
seconds for the 50. His coach, Bob Groseth, says his star protege hasn't nearly tapped his full potential yet.
Grevers also swam a blistering split of 42.89 in the 'Cats' record-breaking 400 freestyle relay. Grevers and the Wildcats are back in action Fri., Feburary 6th when they travel to Iowa for a dual meet with the Hawkeyes.
Grevers won't turn 19 unti lthe end of March, so he has plenty of time to try and better his NAG backstroke record and perhaps take a crack at Anthony Ervin's 17-18 NAG 50-100 free records (19.50/43.54).