Wisconsin vs. Northwestern

EVANSTON, Illinois, November 11. NORTHWESTERN opened its 2011-12 home season in resounding fashion Friday night at the Norris Aquatics Center, swimming fast throughout its entire lineup for a 161-121 victory over Wisconsin.
Northwestern's `A' team cruised to a victory in the 200 medley relay to begin Friday's festivities, getting a season-best 1:30.59 from the team of Dominik Cubelic (Glenview, Ill./Glenview South), Uula Auren (Helsinki, Finland/Mäkelänrinteen Lukio), Jake Grosser (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles) and Matthew Margritier (Leawood, Kan./Rockhurst) to win by nearly two full seconds.

In the 1,000 freestyle, junior Charlie Rimkus (Tustin, Calif./Beckman) swam neck-and-neck with Wisconsin's Tyler Hines for the first 750 yards before immediately turning on the jets as the race entered its final quarter. Within 25 yards, Rimkus had a half-body length lead on the Badger, pulling away and then holding off a late charge for a 1.03 second victory in a season-best 9:32.19.

The 200 freestyle was much the same as the 1,000 in terms of racing, but the results flip-flopped. This time Wisconsin's swimmer edged senior John Frutiger (Alma, Mich./Alma) by .27 of a second to out-touch the Wildcat's season-best 1:39.37. Jan Hanulik (Cavisov, Czech Republic/Sportovni Gymnazium) took third in 1:40.99 and Chase Stephens (Madison, Wis./Edgewood) was fourth in 1:42.18 to mitigate the damage of the loss.

Cubelic crushed the field by 1.38 seconds to win the 100 back in a season-best 49.52 while teammates Mark Ferguson (Perth, Australia/John XXIII) and Varun Shivakumar (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Fremd) tied for third with identical 51.68 times.

Auren duplicated Cubelic's efforts with a 2.65 second win in the 100 breast, turning in a season-best 56.21. Brien Gerber (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) took third-place points with a season-best 59.65.

Senior Tony Mattar (Lake Orion, Mich./Lake Orion) won the 200 fly by exactly 1.5 seconds with a season-best 1:50.61 while freshman John Kim (Newport Coast, Calif./Corona del Mar) was third in a season-best 1:53.66.

Junior transfer Toni Valcic (Ribnica, Slovenia/Gimnazija Ledina) led a 1-2-3 Northwestern sweep of the 50 free from lane seven with a season-best 20.78. All three NU swimmers went sub-21.00 in the race with Margritier turning in a 20.80 and Grosser recording a 20.98.

During the first half of the meet, the men competed in both diving events. Wisconsin did not travel any male divers for Friday's competition, leading to NU sweeps on both boards. Tanner Nemkov (Littleton, Colo./Heritage) won the 3-meter board with a career-best 325.80, which was just in front of Nick Pinkerton's (Hudson, Ohio/Hudson) career-best tally of 322.20. In the 1-meter event, Pinkerton again recorded a career-best score to win, this time putting a 303.60 on the board to win by a whopping 95 points.

In the 100 free, Margritier turned on the jets with a 23.44 final 50 yards to win in a season-best 45.77, .14 of a second ahead of Wisconsin's top swimmer. Alexander Ratajczyk (Parlin, N.J./Sayreville War Memorial) took third with a season-best 46.58 and Matt Wilcox (Bemidji, Minn./Bemidji picked up two points in fourth with a season-best 46.68.

Shivakumar was on cruise control in leading a 1-2 Northwestern sweep of the 200 back, earning a season-best 1:50.20 in front of Cubelic's season-best 1:52.01. The 200 breast also resulted in a 1-2 Wildcat victory when Auren blazed to a season-best 2:07.17 to win in front of Rimkus' second-place 2:08.55.

Those performances gave Northwestern enough of a cushion that the Wildcats exhibitioned their scores in the final few events, meaning their times counted but they did not score any points after the 200 breast.

Hanulik was the 500 freestyle winner for Northwestern, besting his teammate Frutiger by less than a second with a season-best 4:34.19. The victory was the first-ever in a dual meet for Hanulik, who is a junior. Frutiger's time also was a season-best 4:34.98.

Wisconsin won the 100 fly followed by Grosser in second place with a season-best 50.10. Mattar then won the 400 IM in a season-best 4:04.14 before the Wildcat team of Margritier, Cubelic, Ratajczyk and Stephens swam a season-best 3:02.33 to win the 400 free relay.

Northwestern returns to action at 11 a.m. CT tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 12, against both UIC and North Dakota in a double-dual meet at the Norris Aquatics Center.

Northwestern opened its 2011-12 home schedule Friday night against Big Ten foe Wisconsin, falling to the Badgers, 163-132, despite a bevy of season-best efforts.

Wisconsin went 1-2 in the opening 200 medley relay to take an early lead Friday, though the third-place team of Wildcats comprised of Meaghan Fenn (New Rochelle, N.Y./The Ursuline School), Jenny Wilson (Bethesda, Md./Sidwell Friends School), Meghan Cavanaugh (Anchorage, Alaska/East Anchorage) and Marybeth Hall (Brighton, Mich./Brighton) did turn in a season-best time of 1:46.05.

Megan Goss (Brentwood, Tenn./Ravenwood) was Northwestern's top finisher in the 1,000 free with a third-place time of 10:16.39, then sophomore Jackie Powell (Madison, Wis./James Madison Memorial) found herself in a fight in the 200 free. She and Wisconsin's Laura Miller were neck-and-neck for the entire race, but it was Miller pulling out a .26 of a second victory in the end over Powell's season-best 1:50.47.

Wisconsin swept the top three spots in the 100 backstroke, then Ashley Wanland of Wisconsin nearly broke the pool record in winning the 100 breast with an NCAA `B' provisional qualifying standard. NU's Wilson grabbed second-place points in the event with a 1:04.03, holding off a Badger rally for the spot by .21 of a second.

Northwestern roared back with a 1-2-3 sweep of the 200 fly, led by Meredith King (Louisville, Ky./duPont Manual) and her season-best 2:04.18. Cavanaugh was second in 2:05.67 and Becca Soderholm (Madison, Wis./Madison East) was third with a season-best 2:05.74.

The Badgers earned their second NCAA `B' cut of the meet to win the 50 free. NU freshman Tori Larsen (Elmhurst, Ill./York Community) was the best NU swimmer in the event, taking third in a season-best 23.71.

In diving action during the first half of Friday's meet, Northwestern sophomore Cosima Lenz (Altadena, Calif./Polytechnic School) shattered her career-best score on the 3-meter springboard with a 356.91 to edge her older sister, Felicitas Lenz (Altadena, Calif./Polytechnic School), by 1.11 points. Felicitas' score of 355.80 also was a career-best for her.

On the 1-meter springboard, it was more of the same. Cosima tallied a career-best 301.50 while Felicitas was just behind her younger sibling with a 299.88. Both sweeps gave Northwestern a big boost in the meet's points.

When the swimming resumed after the meet's first break, Wisconsin went 1-2 in the 100 free with Powell swimming a Northwestern-best and season-best 51.39. Powell was just out-touched by .01 of a second for second-place points in the race.

Fenn went out hard and held a lead through much of the 200 back for Northwestern before being chased down and placing second by .26 of a second. Fenn's time of 2:04.58 was easily a season-best. Wilson followed with second-place points of her own in the 200 breast, turning in a time of 2:20.48.

Erin Sosdian (The Woodlands, Texas/Woodlands College Park) was Northwestern's top finisher in the 500 free with a season-best and sub-5:00 4:59.11 to take third overall, then a Badger swimmer narrowly out-touched Cavanaugh (56.43) and Hall (56.89) in the 100 fly.

Lauren Clifford (Pollock Pines, Calif./El Dorado) won the 400 IM for Northwestern with an NU-season-best time of 4:25.75. Senior Jacquie Godbe (Rapid City, S.D./Stevens) had the third-fastest time in the event with a season-best 4:26.52.

NU's team of Hall, Sheila O'Neill (Dunwoody, Ga./Marist School), Katie McCullough (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central) and Powell swam an NU-season-best 3:29.06 in the 400 free relay to round out Friday night's meet.

Northwestern returns to action at 11 a.m. CT tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 12, against both UIC and North Dakota in a double-dual meet at the Norris Aquatics Center.

The above article is a press release submitted to Swimming World Magazine. It has been posted in its entirety without editing. Swimming World offers all outlets the chance to reach our audience by contacting us at Newsmaster@swimmingworldmagazine.com. However, Swimming World reserves the right to choose what material is posted.

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