Wildcats defeat Missouri State, fall to Notre Dame
2012-13: Senior member of Northwestern's backstroke group ... Academic All-Big Ten ... Ranked on NU's top times list in three different events ... Was second in the 200 back, third in the 500 free and fourth in the 100 back ... Swam an NCAA `B' and season-best time of 1:45.71 to qualify for the bonus final of the 200 back at the Big Ten Championships, eventually finishing 19th after an evening 1:47.45 ... Also competed in the 100 back (33rd) and 50 free (66th) at the conference meet ... Scored points in all six of his events at Northwestern's own four-team TYR Invitational (11/16-11/18) ... Finished second in the 200 back and fourth in both the 50 and 100 backstroke events ... Also made the championship final of the TYR 500 free, where he cut 8.19 seconds from his preliminary swim to touch in a career-best 4:36.86 and finish fourth overall ... Moved on to the consolation finals of the 200 free (10th) and 200 IM (12th) at the TYR meet ... Member of a five-Wildcat contingent at the AT&T USA Swimming Winter Nationals (11/29-12/1), finishing 27th overall in the 200 back with a then-season-best 1:47.94 and 42nd in the 100 back with a then-season-best 50.22 ... Scored dual-meet points with 10 different top-five finishes ... Best dual-meet efforts were second-place finishes in the 100 back against UIC and Western Kentucky (11/2) and in the 200 back versus Eastern Michigan (10/19), UIC/WKU and at Milwaukee (1/16).
2011-12: Northwestern's top distance backstroker, ranked on NU's top times list in both backstroke distances ... Was first in the 200 back and third in the 100 back ... Qualified for the bonus final in the 200 back at the Big Ten Championships after an NCAA `B' provisional qualifying time of 1:46.37 in the prelims ... Eventually took 22nd overall in the event ... Also competed in the 100 back (27th) at the Championships ... Won both backstroke events in a double dual against UIC and North Dakota (11/12) ... Also won the 200 back versus Wisconsin (11/11) and the 500 free against Lewis and Carthage College (1/7) ... Had eight total top-three dual meet finishes this year ... Finished second in the 200 back and fifth in the 100 back at Northwestern's own five-team TYR Invitational (11/18-11/20) ... Won the consolation final of the 50 back and took 19th during the bonus final of the 500 free at the TYR Invite.
2010-11: Northwestern's top swimmer in the 200 back and second-quickest in the 100 back following the year ... Qualified for the first championship final of his career at the Big Ten Championships, swimming a career-best and NCAA `B' provisional qualifying time of 1:44.98 in the preliminary heat before ending up eighth overall ... That time placed him fifth on NU's all-time top times list in the event ... Made the bonus final of the 100 back at the conference meet with a career-best 49.26 in the morning session before taking 23rd overall ... Also competed in the 200 IM at the Big Ten Championships, turning in a career-best 1:53.79 to place 46th ... Won the 200 back, finished second in the 100 back and took third in the 50 back at NU's own five-team TYR Invitational (11/19-11/21) ... Won the bonus finals of the 500 free and 200 IM at the TYR ... Earned a dual-meet win in the 200 back at NU's quad dual (11/6) ... Scored dual-meet points with 12 top-five finishes in those meets.
2009-10: Held Northwestern's top time of the year in the 200 back while ranking second in the 100 back ... Qualified for the bonus finals in both backstroke distances at the Big Ten Championships ... Placed 18th in the 200 back with a career-best and NCAA `B' provisional qualifying time of 1:46.34 during the bonus heat ... That time put him fifth on NU's all-time top performers list in the event ... Swam a season-best 49.44 in the 100 back prelims before taking 19th overall with a 49.65 in the finals ... Finished third in the 200 back at the six-team TYR Invitational ... Qualified for the consolation final of the 100 back at the TYR, taking 10th overall ... Earned a spot in the bonus finals of the 200 fly and 200 IM at the TYR ... Picked up dual-meet victories in the 50 back and 100 back against UIC (11/14) ... Had seven total top-three dual-meet finishes on the year.
High School: Three-time state finalist in the 100-yard backstroke ... Achieved an All-America consideration time in the 100 back as a junior before earning an automatic All-America time as a senior ... Undefeated in dual-meet competition in the 100 back and 200 IM as a senior ... Led Fremd to the championship at the Barrington Sectional meet in 2008 and an undefeated regular season in 2009 ... Also played two years of water polo ... Swam club with the Palatine Park District from 1998-2009 ... Club won the 2009 SCY Speedo sectional meet at Brown Deer, Wis. ... Four-year "A" Honor Roll student ... Top 10 percent in his high school class ... National Merit Semifinalist ... Illinois State Scholar.
Personal: Born Varun Shivakumar in Chennai, India ... Son of Shivakumar Rajagopal and Usha Shivakumar ... Father played cricket at the senior Division/University level in Chennai ... Chose Northwestern over Princeton and Cornell ... Majoring in Economics with a minor in Business Institutions.