Jan. 9, 2010
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Northwestern put together its most complete dual meet of the season, earning eight season-best times in scoring finishes in its first competition after winter break to defeat Notre Dame Saturday, 158.5-139.5.
The win improves Northwestern to 2-3 on the dual-meet season. Notre Dame entered the meet receiving votes in the most recent College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) top-25 rankings.
Northwestern opened the meet in style with more than a full-second victory in the 200 medley relay. Alex Tyler (Birmingham, Mich./Birmingham Groves), Nathan Butler (Cincinnati, Ohio/Turpin), Brian Kerr (East Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids) and Sean Mathews (St. Louis, Mo./Lafayette) combined for a 1:32.31 to win the race.
Charlie Rimkus (Tustin, Calif./Beckman) and Peter Park (Princeton, N.J./Peddie School) then swept the 1,000 freestyle, with Rimkus turning in a season-best 9:26.54 and Park also notching a season-best time with a 9:31.51.
John Frutiger (Alma, Mich./Alma) was the top Wildcat in the 200 free, placing third with a 1:42.20 and narrowly losing a dash to the wall for second place against Andrew Hoffman's 1:42.13. Notre Dame also won the 100 backstroke with Petar Petrovic using a strong second 50 yards to get home in just under a half-second faster than Northwestern's Jan Hanulik (Cavisov, Czech Republic/Sportovni Gymnazium), who swam a season-best time of 51.98.
Butler and Tyler swept the top two spots in the 100 breast to keep Northwestern on top early in the meet. Butler sliced his season-best time in the event to 56.98 to win Saturday's race, followed by Tyler's time of 57.46.
Mathews then captured the 200 fly with a time of 1:48.79. Park took third-place points in the race with a season-best 1:51.90. Kerr led Northwestern in the 50 free with a season-best 21.20, good for second place heading into the meet's halfway point break.
During the break, the men completed the 3-meter diving event in which Kalister Harmon (Olympia, Wash./Capital) gave Northwestern huge points in the meet with a tremendous victory over four Irish divers. Harmon's season-high score of 328.88 bested Wesley Villaflor's second-place total by a mere .54 of a point. The total qualified Harmon for NCAA Zone Diving competition later in the year.
Back in the pool, Mathews and Kerr swept the 100 free coming out of the rest with times of 46.32 and 46.42, respectively. ND's Petrovic won his second backstroke event of the day in the 200, but Hanulik again placed second for the Wildcats, this time with a 1:52.64.
Northwestern's top two breaststrokers swept the top spots in the stroke again in the 200, this time switching places. Tyler won with a 2:04.23 while Butler recorded his second season-best time of the day to place second with a 2:06.55. Jay Calhoun (Palos Verdes Peninsula, Calif./Palos Verdes Peninsula) made it a clean NU sweep on top with a third-place effort of 2:10.59 in the race.
Rimkus' second win of the day came via a 4:34.75 in the 500 free. He led teammate Tony Mattar (Lake Orion, Mich./Lake Orion), whose 4:39.36 gave him second-place honors in the event.
Mathews' time of 50.00 in the 100 fly gave him his third victory of the meet. Chris Doman (Pittsburgh, Pa./St. Charles Prep (Columbus, Ohio)) swam a 50.91 to take third and give NU its second-straight 1-3 finish headed into the second break of the meet.
On the 1-meter board, Harmon did not repeat his heroics from the 3-meter event, but he did garner third-place points with a score of 262.50.
Tyler then rounded out the individual races with a 1:50.42 in the 200 IM, good for another first-place Northwestern finish.
With the meet already decided, Notre Dame won the final 400 free relay over NU's second-place team of Kerr, Doman, Hanulik and Alexander Ratajczyk (Parlin, N.J./Sayreville War Memorial).
Northwestern returns to action at 1 p.m. CT Saturday, Jan. 9, against both Carthage and Lewis at the Norris Aquatics Center.