Jan. 30, 2010
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- In a close Big Ten meet against Penn State, the Nittany Lions pulled out a final event 166-162 victory over Northwestern during a two-day quad dual also featuring No. 6 Michigan and host No. 9 Ohio State. NU fell to UM, 261-67, and OSU, 263-67.
The losses drop the Wildcats to 4-7 on the season. Northwestern had entered Saturday's portion of the competition with a slim four-point lead over Penn State before the PSU flipped the margin on its head. The Wildcats chose to focus on individual events over relays against the Nittany Lions, successfully building a lead, but a 1-2 finish for NU's foe in the 200 free relay was the difference.
NU started Saturday with a seventh-place finish overall in the 200 medley relay, second in relation to PSU. The team of Varun Shivakumar (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Fremd), Nathan Butler (Cincinnati, Ohio/Turpin), Brian Kerr (East Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids) and Sean Mathews (St. Louis, Mo./Lafayette) swam a 1:32.63.
Charlie Rimkus (Tustin, Calif./Beckman) took sixth overall in the 500 free with a season-best time of 4:30.70. He topped all Penn State swimmers in the race, while Peter Park's (Princeton, N.J./Peddie School) 4:35.37 and Tony Mattar's (Lake Orion, Mich./Lake Orion) 4:35.77 gave NU a 1-3-4 finish against the Nittany Lions in the event.
In the 200 IM, Alex Tyler (Birmingham, Mich./Birmingham Groves) surged into second place with an NCAA `B' provisional qualifying time of 1:49.08, using a 26.31 freestyle split to chase down Ohio State's Justin Farra and beat him by .2 of a second. In the meet against Penn State, Tyler was followed by two PSU competitors with John Frutiger (Alma, Mich./Alma) coming in fourth with a 1:55.15.
Mathews swam a 49.66 in the 100 fly, good enough to win against Penn State and finish sixth overall in the quad dual. Chris Doman
(Pittsburgh, Pa./St. Charles Prep (Columbus, Ohio)) took third versus PSU with a 50.81 and Rimkus was fourth with a 51.48. The duo took 10th and 11th overall in the race.
In diving, senior Kalister Harmon (Olympia, Wash./Capital) scored a 261.65 on the 3-meter board, placing him fourth overall and first against Penn State.
Tyler came in 12th overall with a 51.85 as NU's top finisher in the 100 back, then Mathews was eighth overall with a 45.89 in the 100 free, placing him second in the Penn State meet.
Butler 56.33 in the 100 breast was good for third place overall, leading a 1-2 finish in the event against Penn State. Tyler swam a 56.68 to place eighth overall and in front of all Nittany Lions.
Northwestern finished off the meet with a 1:24.84 in the 200 free relay, placing the team of Alexander Ratajczyk (Parlin, N.J./Sayreville War Memorial), Doman, Frutiger and Butler in 9th overall and third against Penn State.
Northwestern now is off until the Big Ten Championships Feb. 24-27 in Columbus.