Jan. 22, 2011
Site: Iowa City, Iowa (Campus Recreation and Wellness Center)
Score: No. 24 Iowa 156, Northwestern 142
Records: NU (7-4, 1-3 Big Ten), Iowa (4-1, 3-1 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: Jan. 28-29 -- at Big Ten Quad Dual (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- In an incredibly close meet that came down to the wire Saturday at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center, Northwestern and No. 24 Iowa entered the last event separated by a single point, but a disqualification in the final relay allowed the ranked Hawkeyes to escape with a 156-142 win over the Wildcats.
Northwestern began the meet with a big win in the 200 medley relay, opening up a lead with Dominik Cubelic's (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South) backstroke leg and Alex Tyler's (Birmingham, Mich./Birmingham Groves) breaststroke leg. Sean Mathews (St. Louis, Mo./Lafayette) and Jake Grosser (St. Charles, Ill./Saint Charles East) then held off a Hawkeye charge for a .28 of a second victory in 1:31.37.
The Wildcats followed that victory with a big 1-2 finish in the 1,000 free. Peter Park (Princeton, N.J./Peddie School) swam a 9:24.02 to win by more than eight full seconds over teammate Charlie Rimkus' (Tustin, Calif./Beckman) 9:32.79.
The Hawkeyes came back to claim the 200 free, but NU swimmers recorded the next four fastest times to limit the damage to a single point. John Frutiger (Alma, Mich./Alma) took second place to lead the 'Cat contingent with a 1:40.70. Jan Hanulik (Cavlsov, Czech Republic/Sportovni Gymnazium) was third in 1:42.06, Matt Wilcox (Bemidji, Minn./Bemidji) was fourth in 1:42.55 and Tony Mattar (Lake Orion, Mich./Lake Orion) rounded out NU's entries with a fifth-place time of 1:42.89.
Iowa then took a chunk out of Northwestern's lead with a 1-2 result in the 100 back. Cubelic was NU's top finisher in third with a 50.44, just .08 of a second behind the second-place Hawkeye.
Tyler then held off a strong charge from Iowa's Sean Hagan in the 100 breast to win the race for the Wildcats and establish a pool-record time of 56.48, .07 of a second in front of Hagan. Iowa opened its current swimming home in August of 2010 after 83 years in its Field House Pool, which was the world's largest indoor pool at the time it opened in 1927. Tyler now is a part of the early history of the new facility with his 100 breast pool record.
Mathews earned the victory in his signature event, the 200 fly, with a 1:49.06, winning by 1.72 seconds.
Iowa, though, swept the top two spots in the 50 free heading into the mid-meet break, followed by NU's Grosser in third with an NU-season-best time of 20.81.
In diving, Iowa fielded just one diver compared to Northwestern's three. Although the Hawkeye captured the 1-meter springboard at the mid-meet break, the three Wildcats scored nine points as well by finishing 2-3-4 to make the event a wash in the meet's overall score. Amrit Trewn (Grosse Point, Mich./Cranbrook Kingswood) was NU's top diver in the 1-meter event with a 243.68.
Coming out of the break, Iowa went 1-2 in the 100 free followed by Cubelic's third-place 45.99 for NU. The freshman went out hard in the race, taking an early lead at the first wall before the Hawkeyes caught him; he was out-touched by .05 of a second for second place.
Iowa took the top-two spots again in the 200 back with Varun Shivakumar (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Fremd) leading NU in third place with a 1:50.38.
Needing a big result to climb back into the meet, Tyler won his second individual event with a 2:03.05 in the 200 breast, topping Iowa's Hagan by 1.74 seconds. Rimkus placed third for the Wildcats in 2:05.36 to pull NU back within 10 points, 99-89.
The comeback continued in the 500 free, where Park won his second event with a 4:34.02, holding off a charging Iowa swimmer by less than a second to win the 20-lap race. Rimkus was third in 4:35.23 and Frutiger placed fourth in 4:36.59 to cut the deficit all the way down to a point, 104-103.
Iowa pushed back in front with a win in the 100 fly. Mathews dueled Iowa's top two sprint flyers, ending up in second place between the two Hawkeyes after a time of 49.45.
Iowa's lone diver claimed victory again in the 3-meter springboard event, followed by Tanner Nemkov (Littleton, Colo./Heritage) with NU's top score of 264.15. Again, the event was a wash in the team score with Iowa earning nine points for the win while the Wildcats' 2-3-4 finish provided nine points to the visitors.
In the 200 IM, Northwestern got a 1-3-5 finish to again make it a one-point, winner-take-all meet heading into the final 400 free relay. Tyler won his third race of the day in 1:50.91 while Mathews was third in 1:53.43 and senior Jake Vogel (Canton, Ill./Canton) claimed a point in fifth with a 1:54.45 to make the score 141-140 in favor of the ranked Hawkeyes.
The final relay proved to be a letdown for Northwestern after its `A' squad was disqualified during the race, allowing Iowa to take the top two spots and win the meet, 156-142.
Northwestern returns to action Jan. 28-29 in a Big Ten quad dual against No. 13 Michigan, No. 8 Ohio State and Penn State in Ann Arbor, Mich.
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