Eastern Michigan Swimming Picks Off Northwestern

Photo Courtesy: Eastern Michigan Athletics

Eastern Michigan swimming picked off Northwestern at home with a 182-118 victory.  That’s EMU’s first win against Northwestern since 2011.

Eastern Michigan Press Release:

The Eastern Michigan University men’s swimming and diving team opened the 2015-16 season with a splash, Thursday, Oct. 15, knocking off Northwestern University. Freshman Tosh Kawaguchi (Cary, N.C.-Cary), senior Andrew Henry (Garner, N.C.-West Johnston), and junior Alex Chan (Toronto, Ontario-Neil McNeil Catholic) paced the Eagles, winning two events each to lead the Green and White to their first victory over the Wildcats since the 2011 season.

Coming out with plenty of energy, the Eagles touched in just ahead of the Wildcats in the 200 Medley relay. The Eagles’ veteran squad of junior Cole Bateman (Hutchinson, Minn.-Hutchinson), and seniors Chris Hodges (Lincolnshire, Ill.-Stevenson) and Erik Gissen (Karlstad, Sweden-Alvkullegymnasiet), and Henry edged the Wildcats top relay team, touching in with a time of 1:32.72. Close from the initial split, the Eagles distanced themselves as the race went on before Henry brought the team home to nab the first place finish. Kawaguchi led the Eagles’ second relay squad with junior Kyle Aerne (Lake Villa, Ill.-Lakes), senior Krzysztof Gilski (Dywity, Poland-Adam Mickiewicz State Secondary) and junior Erik Brinkoff (Bethel Park, Pa.-Bethel Park) rounding out the foursome. Together the new relay team put together a third place finish, less than a second behind Northwestern’s top relay team.

Northwestern evened the score in the second event, taking first and third in the 1000 freestyle while EMU junior Kyle Lichtenberg (Clarkston, Mich.) took second. The win by the Wildcats did little to shake the Eagles energy as Henry continued his impressive season-opener in the 200 Freestyle. Henry jumped out to an early lead on his way to taking first place while freshman Jake Tyson (Ypsilanti, Mich.-Northgate) finished third for the Eagles.

Kawaguchi took to the water for the first time in his collegiate career in the 100 backstroke alongside Bateman. The Cary, N.C. native opened his career with a win in the event, finishing in 49.95, just ahead of Northwestern’s Alex Snarski. Bateman finished on the heels of the Wildcats’ top finisher, rounding out the top three, posting a time of 50.59.

Three events after helping the Eagles to a first place finish in the 200 Medley relay, Hodges claimed the top spot in the 100 breastroke, needing just 56.83 seconds to complete the race. Aerne finished second with a time of 56.86, while the Wildcats placed third in the race.

The Wildcats posted their first place finish in the 200 butterfly, while junior Marcin Rzyski (Olsztyn, Poland-Liceum Ogolnoksztalcace #4) finished second. The win by Northwestern snapped a three-event win streak by the Eagles.

Northwestern earned first place honors in the 50 free but senior Dylan Crompton (Redford, Mich.-Thurston) and junior Kevin Moore (Phoenix, Ariz.-Boulder Creek) finished second and third, respectively, to keep the pressure on the Wildcats and the team score in favor of the Green and White.

After a brief break for the 1-meter dive, Henry used an early lead to cruise past Northwestern’s Almog Olshtein in the 100 free. Finishing in 45.54, Henry finished nearly a second ahead of the field.

Kawaguchi notched his second career victory, distancing himself after an impressive opening split to take first place in the 200 back. Finishing in 1:48.05, Kawaguchi finished just shy of four seconds ahead of the top Wildcat while Bateman placed second in the race.

Hodges and Aerne continued to one-two punch in the 200 breast, finishing three tenths of a second apart to earn first and second place finishes, respectively. Aerne held the edge through the first two splits but a late charge by Hodges gave him his second victory of the day.

After Lichtenberg added another second place finish to his day in the 500 free, the Eagles swept the 100 fly. Sophomore Connor Johnson (Fort Bragg, N.C.-Terry Sanford) finished in 50.40 seconds while Gissen (50.45) and Tyson (50.96) rounded out the top three.

The sweep by the Eagles was followed by a second place finish by Kawaguchi in the 200 IM before the 400 free relay team made up of Gissen, Crompton, Bateman, and Henry bested the Wildcats by one and half seconds. Northwestern held a slight edge through the first two splits before Bateman came from behind to take the lead before Henry closed out the race.

Chan swept the diving events, winning the 1-meter event with a score of 314.47 and the 3-meter event with a mark of 343.42. While Northwestern held control of the 1-meter event early on, Chan battled back for the win while senior Dan Gironza (New Hudson, Mich.-South Lyon) finished strong to earn a second place finish, scoring 295.35.

“We were very happy with our progress the last ten days and happy to pick up the win,” Head Coach Peter Linn said of his team’s performance. “It’s very early and there is a long way to go and much to accomplish before we can realize our team goals.”

The Eagles’ 182-118 win moves them to 1-0 on the season with a tough schedule ahead of them. Eastern Michigan returns to the pool, Saturday, Nov. 7, against Oakland. The meet is set to start at 1 p.m. in Jones Natatorium.

Northwestern Press Release:

Freshman Carter Page swept the distance freestyle events, but the Northwestern men’s swimming and diving team was edged 182-118 by Eastern Michigan in the Wildcats’ season-opening dual meet on Thursday afternoon.

Page opened his collegiate career by winning the 1000 free in a time of 9:29.94, topping the second-place finisher by over 10 seconds. Later in the meet, he touched the wall first in the 500 free in 4:36.33.

Two other Northwestern freshmen also were victorious on the day. Justin Hanson raced to victory in the 200 butterfly in 1:51.90 and Anthony Marcantonio earned the top spot in the 200 IM, winning in 1:53.13.

The Wildcats continued their success in the freestyle events when Almog Olshtein won convincingly in the 50 free, finishing in 20.97 to defeat the runner-up by 62 hundredths of a second.

NU got runner-up finishes in the individual events from Jonathan Lieberman in the 200 free, Alex Snarski in the 100 back, Olshtein in the 100 free and Andrew Cramer on the 3-meter diving board.

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Author: Jason Marsteller

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Jason Marsteller is the general manager of digital properties at Swimming World. He joined Swimming World in June 2006 as the managing editor after previous stints as a media relations professional at Indiana University, the University of Tennessee, Southern Utah University and the Utah Summer Games.

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