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    Season-Bests, Strong Racing Not Enough in 161-122 Loss at No. 20 Iowa

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Senior Toni Valcic won the 50 free Saturday with a season-best effort.
    Senior Toni Valcic won the 50 free Saturday with a season-best effort.

    Jan. 26, 2013

    Site: Iowa City, Iowa (University of Iowa Aquatic Center)
    Score: No. 20 Iowa 161, Northwestern 122
    Records: NU (3-4, 0-3 Big Ten), Iowa (4-3, 2-3 Big Ten)
    Next NU Event: Friday-Saturday, Feb. 1-2, 2013 -- Northwestern Invitational (Evanston, Ill.)

    Final Results Get Acrobat Reader

    IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Northwestern set multiple season-best times and raced well Saturday in a dual meet at No. 20 Iowa, but the Hawkeyes turned in several NCAA `B' qualifying times and pulled away for a 161-122 meet victory over the Wildcats.

    Northwestern's opening 200 medley relay set the racing tone for Saturday's meet, cutting more than two seconds from its season-best time in the event in a tight second-place finish against Iowa's top entry. NU's team of Dominik Cubelic (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South), Uula Auren (Helsinki, Finland/Mäkelänrinteen Lukio), Mark Ferguson (Perth, Australia/John XXIII) and Toni Valcic (Ribnica, Slovenia/Gimnazija Ledina) touched in 1:29.29 to top its previous 2012-13 best of 1:31.36.

    Freshman Jordan Wilimovsky (Malibu, Calif./Malibu) continued his strong season with a dominating 9:27.14 to win the 1,000 freestyle by more than 10 full seconds, but Iowa battled back with a 1-2 result in the 200 free in front of NU's Chase Stephens (Madison, Wis./Edgewood) and his 1:41.55.

    Cubelic was the Wildcats' top finisher in the 100 back with a third-place 49.43 behind an Iowa swimmer's NCAA `B' provisional qualifying time to win the race. In the 100 breast, Auren smashed his season-best by almost two seconds to swim a 55.87, but he placed fourth overall in the event behind two more Iowa `B' cuts.

    Senior Charlie Rimkus (Tustin, Calif./Beckman) had the most exciting race of the night in the 200 fly, but came up just one one-hundredth of a second shy at the wall. Trailing by .52 of a second at the 100 yard mark, Rimkus came on incredibly strong in the next 50 yards to close to within four one-hundredths of his Iowa opponent. He was unable to completely make up the gap, however, turning in a 1:48.28. Freshman Grant Halsall (Laxey, Isle of Man, GBR) took third place in 1:51.28.

    In the 50 free, Northwestern earned four the top five spots at the wall, led by Valcic's season-best 20.67. Stephens nearly caught his teammate at the end to turn in a 20.68, then sophomore Matthew Margritier (Leawood, Kan./Rockhurst) (20.82) and senior Alexander Ratajczyk (Parlin, N.J./Sayreville War Memorial) (21.16) came in fourth and fifth for NU.

    Junior Nick Pinkerton (Hudson, Ohio/Hudson), NU's lone diver in the meet, won the 1-meter springboard with a 285.00 during the first half of Saturday's meet.

    Iowa got revenge on NU for the 50 free by sweeping the 100 free to start the second half of the meet, then Halsall's 1:50.07 was good for a Northwestern-best third place result in the 200 back.

    In the 200 breast, freshman Van Donkersgoed (Eden Prairie, Minn./Minnehaha Academy) continued his excellent season with his third season-best time in the race in as many meets. Donkersgoed's 2:02.12 was good for second place on Saturday while Auren also had a season-best time of 2:04.67 to place fourth.

    Rimkus and Wilimovsky went 1-2 for Northwestern in the 500 free with Rimkus swimming a 4:31.90 and Wilimovsky a 4:33.50 to finish more than seven seconds ahead of any Iowa entry. Ferguson then rolled out a season-best 48.77 in the 100 fly in a great race than fell just short of a winning NCAA `B' time from an Iowa swimmer.

    Pinkerton came in second in the 10-meter platform diving competition, then Rimkus won his second event of the afternoon with a 3:59.35 in the 400 IM. NU closed the meet just as it began it, winning the 200 free relay with a 1:21.91 from the squad of Margritier, Valcic, Stephens and Ratajczyk.

    Northwestern returns to action Feb. 1-2 in its final regular season meet of 2012-13, the Northwestern Invitational at the Norris Aquatics Center. The two-day, three-session meet is comprised of all timed finals with action at 5 p.m. CT Friday afternoon and 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT on Saturday. In addition, next weekend marks the NU Hall of Fame Induction for 2007 graduate and six-time Olympic medalist Matt Grevers.


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