Northwestern Men Beat Big 10 Rival Wisconsin; Badger Women Defeat Wildcats

EVANSTON, Illinois, November 15. ON an otherwise quiet day for collegiate swimming in the United States, the Northwestern Wildcats pulled off what should be viewed as an upset, defeating the Wisconsin men’s swimming and diving team in dual-meet action today with a score of 165-135. The Wisconsin women, however, were able to hold off Northwestern for their meet victory, 162-136.

Why would Northwestern’s win be considered an upset? Because Wisconsin is ranked 23rd in the College Swim Coaches Association of America’s most recent men’s poll, and Northwestern has yet to receive a vote from the committee this season. But that might change with next week’s new rankings.

Northwestern’s men’s team won nine events, including both relays and one diving event. One of the standouts today for the Wildcats was senior Chase Stevens, who won both sprint freestyles today. Stevens posted a 20.21 in the 50 free and 44.91 in the 100 free, both season-best times for him. In the 100 free, he went stroke-for-stroke with Wisconsin’s Brett Pinfold, but got to the wall ahead of Pinfold’s 44.95.

Jordan Wilimovsky, a member of the world championship open water team for the United States, won both distance freestyle events. He took over the lead from Wisconsin’s Nick Caldwell about two-thirds of the way through the 1000 free and won by four seconds with a 9:10.81. He returned later to post a 4:29.89 in the 500 free. Wilimovsky’s time in the 1000 puts him in the top 15 among college swimmers so far this season.

Other wins for the Northwestern men included Uula Auren in the 100 breast (56.15), Grant Halsall in the 200 fly (1:53.06) and Mark Ferguson in the 100 fly (49.23).

Wisconsin’s men, as usual, were led by NCAA champion Drew teDuits, who took both backstroke events. He had a tight battle with Ferguson in the 100 back, but managed to get the win, 49.15 to 49.51. He cruised to the win in his specialty, the 200 back, posting a 1:48.90 that’s a full three seconds off his season best.

Though he couldn’t get the win in the 100 free, Pinfold got to the wall first in the 200 free with a 1:37.88, improving his season best by almost a second. Nick Schafer and Josh Anderson registered the other wins for Wisconsin, with Schafer taking the 200 breast in 2:02.03 and Anderson winning the 400 IM in 4:02.14 by .02 over teDuits. teDuits lost the five-second lead he had after backstroke on the breaststroke leg, and couldn’t get ahead of Anderson at the finish.

The women’s meet was a nearly complete reversal of the men’s meet, with the Badgers taking nine events including both relays and one diving event. Rebecka Palm and Anna Meinholz were the double winners for Wisconsin. Palm won the 200 free with a 1:51.86 and beat out Ivy Martin by .07 in the 100 fly with a time of 55.09. Meinholz swept the breaststroke events in 1:03.87 and 2:19.63.

Martin did not swim the 50 free, but put up a solid 49.83 in the 100 free today. Chase Kinney won the 50 free in Martin’s place with a 23.24, about seven tenths off her fifth-ranked time of 22.57. Aja Van Hout was the other winner for Wisconsin, taking the 400 IM in 4:23.27. She held off a strong freestyle leg from Northwestern’s Becca Soderholm, who was second with a 4:24.51.

Northwestern made a big push for points in the 500 free late in the meet, but it proved too late to get the overall victory. Lauren Abruzzo, who won the 1000 in 10:02.56, led a 1-2-3 Northwestern sweep with a 4:54.92. Ellen Anderson (4:56.27) and Erin Sosdian (5:01.98) also scored points. Ellen Purdy’s 5:02.00 was fourth-fastest, but was swum as exhibition, as only three swimmers per team can score in one event.

Lacey Locke was another double winner. She won the 100 back in 55.41 and the 200 back with a 2:00.03. Ellen Stello rounded out the Wildcat victories with a 2:01.74 to win the 200 fly.

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