Northwestern Racks Up Dual Meet Wins

EVANSTON, Illinois, November 2.NORTHWESTERN swept a double-dual meet Friday in its home opener of the 2012-13 season, easily besting UIC, 197-83, while capturing a final winner-take-all 400 free relay to defeat Western Kentucky, 143.5-133.5.

The teams swam a modified 15-event schedule, beginning with the 100-yard races in all three strokes. WKU and NU were neck-and-neck for the entire meet, culminating in the final 400 free relay which the Wildcats took handily.

Northwestern earned a 1-2-3 sweep in the first event of the meet. Junior Dominik Cubelic (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South) won the 100 back race with a nearly 1.5 second margin of victory, turning in a 49.98. Senior Varun Shivakumar (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Fremd) took second in 51.37 while freshman Grant Halsall (Laxey, Isle of Man, GBR) finished in a dead heat for third in 51.65.

Western Kentucky returned the favor with a sweep of the 100 breast. Freshman Van Donkersgoed (Eden Prairie, Minn./Minnehaha Academy) was NU's top finisher in a fourth-place overall time of 59.49. WKU also won the 100 fly when its top swimmer pulled away from the field in the final 50. Mark Ferguson (Perth, Australia/John XXIII) came in second with a 49.78 effort, followed by three more Western Kentucky entries.

Freshman Jordan Wilimovsky (Malibu, Calif./Malibu) dominated the 1,000 free for the second time in his young collegiate career, touching the wall in 9:20.64. His time beat teammate and 2011 NCAA Championships qualifier Charlie Rimkus' (Tustin, Calif./Beckman) second-place time of 9:26.98.

Junior Chase Stephens (Madison, Wis./Edgewood) went out in 23.69 in the 200 free to build a .31 of a second edge, then maintained that throughout most of the rest of the race to claim a 1:41.02 victory. Sophomore Matthew Margritier (Leawood, Kan./Rockhurst) claimed third-place points in 1:41.99.

WKU's Heitor Rodrigues out-touched the field by five one-hundreths of a second in the 50 free, followed by a trio of NU swimmers. Rodrigues' 20.92 beat out Toni Valcic's (Ribnica, Slovenia/Gimnazija Ledina) 20.97 which was followed by Alexander Ratajczyk (Parlin, N.J./Sayreville War Memorial) in third (21.13) and Cubelic in fourth (21.28).

Western Kentucky's Connor Dwyer chased down Halsall in the freestyle leg of the 200 individual medley to defeat the Wildcat by nine one-hundredths. Halsall's 1:55.36 was the lone NU time in the top four.

During the first portion of the meet, UIC won the 3-meter diving competition though NU's lone entry, Nick Pinkerton (Hudson, Ohio/Hudson), came in second and beat all Western Kentucky divers with a 240.60.

WKU's Rodrigues won his third event of the meet when he out-dueled Rimkus down the stretch of the 200 fly, out-touching Rimkus' 1:50.61 by nine one-hundredths. Wilimovsky took fourth overall behind another WKU swimmer in 1:56.32.

Needing a win to rebound Northwestern's chances, Margritier held off a hard charge at the end of the 100 free to win in 46.07, out-touching a WKU entry by three one-hundredths of a second and his third-place teammate Ferguson by six one-hundredths. Ratajczyk came in fourth with a 46.43 to add two more important points to NU's total.

A Western Kentucky entry pulled away in the 200 back to top NU's Shivakumar (1:51.77) in second and Cubelic (1:52.36) in third overall. Pinkerton, however, got huge points back for NU by winning the 1-meter springboard with a 275.10, pulling out a strong performance to win by nearly five full points.

Northwestern trailed Western Kentucky by three points, 112.5-109.5, entering the 500 freestyle, where the Wildcats' Distance Big Two earned big points. Wilimovsky went out in the lead in the race while Rimkus battled side-by-side with WKU's Loui Little. With 150 yards to go, Rimkus shifted gears and pulled ahead to win in 4:33.63 against Wilimovsky's steady second-place 4:34.31. Stephens added two fourth-place points with a 4:39.85.

Western Kentucky won the 200 breast with Donkersgoed coming in third overall and second against WKU with a time of 2:07.67. Brien Gerber (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) slotted in fifth overall with a 2:08.86, a time that gave NU a one-point edge over WKU entering the final relay.

In that final 400 free relay, NU's team of Margritier, Stephens, Ferguson and Ratajczyk eased to a 3:02.90, winning in style against WKU's top time of 3:06.55 to capture the meet.

Northwestern returns to action at 1 p.m. CT tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 3, in a combined men's and women's dual meet against Big Ten foe Purdue at the Norris Aquatics Center.

Northwestern opened its home 2012-13 season in impressive fashion Friday afternoon against UIC, winning all but two events for a commanding 185.5-94.5 victory.

The teams swam a modified 15-event schedule, beginning with the 100-yard races in all three strokes. The first race ended in a dead-heat, the second in a UIC win and third in a one-hundredth of a second victory for the Wildcats before NU proceeded to dominate the proceedings the rest of the way.

In the first event of the meet, the 100 back, sophomore Madeleine Klichowski (Chicago, Ill./Loyola Academy) swam to a dead-heat first-place finish alongside UIC's Anne Jacobsen, with the Wildcat swimming a 30.13 final 50 yards to reel in her Flame opponent and touch in an identical time of 59.18. Junior Erin Sosdian (The Woodlands, Texas/Woodlands College Prep) was third in 59.81 while freshman Brooke Wanser (Mission Viejo, Calif./Saddleback Valley Christian) also scored in fourth place.

In the 100 breast, UIC's Monica Pinkus was the winner followed by a trio of Wildcats. Freshman Shelly Patton (Littleton, Colo./Heritage) touched second in 1:06.41 followed closely by teammates Katie McCullough (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central) in third with a 1:06.47 and Julianne Kurke (Atlanta, Ga./Parkview) in fourth with a 1:06.76.

Trailing midway through the 100 fly by four-tenths of a second, freshman Julia Pratt (Vincennes, Ind./Vincennes Rivet) made a furious comeback to out-touch the top UIC swimmer by one one-hundredth of a second, 59.68 to 59.69. Classmate Karen Turner (Lake Oswego, Ore./Lakeridge) took fourth in 1:00.15.

After building a huge early lead in the 1,000 free, freshman Emily Launer (DeKalb, Ill./Rosary) held off a steady charge over the final 400 yards to win the event by .29 of a second over her nearest challenger, turning in a 10:24.85. Megan Goss (Brentwood, Tenn./Ravenwood) captured third-place points in 10:31.39.

Freshman Ellen Anderson (Montgomery Village, Md./Gaithersburg) led a 1-2 Northwestern sweep in the 200 free, easing her way to a more than three full second victory over Sosdian in second. Anderson swam a 1:52.96 while Sosdian came in at 1:55.03.

Northwestern made a clean sweep of the 50 free with senior Marybeth Hall (Brighton, Mich./Brighton) leading the charge in 24.09. Katie McCullough (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central) took second in 24.23, Pratt was third with a 24.49 and Valerie Nubbe (Huntsville, Ala./Huntsville) came in fourth with a 24.55. NU then went into the first break with a top-three sweep of the 200 IM led by Becca Soderholm (Madison, Wis./Madison East) in 2:08.06. Turner took second with a 2:09.65 and Klichowski came in third in 2:14.09.

Junior Cosima Lenz (Altadena, Calif./Polytechnic School) and Caroline Grant (Winnetka, Ill./New Trier) took 1-2 on the 3-meter springboard during the first portion of the meet. Lenz scored a 266.25 while Grant had a 242.22 to stay well separated from the rest of the field.

Coming out of the break, Soderholm won her second event of the meet with a 2:05.61 in the 200 fly. She was followed by Hall in second with a 2:06.94. In a four-person 100 free race, Patton came from behind with a 52.61 at the wall to win by five one-hundredths of a second while Nubbe took third in 53.13.

Anderson won her second event of the meet to lead a top-four sweep of the 200 back. Her 2:06.21 bested the field by 2.38 seconds and was followed by Sosdian in second (2:08.59), Klichowski in third (2:09.44) and Wanser in fourth (2:10.69). King then captured the 500 free with a 5:06.92 over second-place teammate Launer's 5:08.82.

During the second part of the meet, Lenz earned her second win with a 265.10 on the 1-meter springboard. Mary Kate Campbell (Burr Ridge, Ill./Fenwick) came in third with a 243.15 while Grant placed fourth.

UIC got its first win of the meet since the second event in the 200 breast, though Goss (2:26.36), Meaghan Fenn (New Rochelle, N.Y./The Ursuline School) (2:27.25) and Soderholm (2:28.16) went 2-3-4.

In the lone relay and final event of the evening, Northwestern's 400 free relay squad of McCullough, Sosdian, Anderson and Patton swam a 3:32.90 to win by .53 of a second.

Northwestern returns to action at 1 p.m. CT tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 3, in a combined men's and women's dual meet against Big Ten foe Purdue at the Norris Aquatics Center.

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