Nov. 2, 2012
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Norris Aquatics Center)
Score: Northwestern 197, UIC 83
Score: Northwestern 143.5, Western Kentucky 133.5
Score: Western Kentucky 201, UIC 82
Records: NU (2-1), UIC (2-2), Western Kentucky (2-1)
Next NU Event: Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012 -- vs. Purdue (Norris Aquatics Center), 1 p.m. CT
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern swept a double-dual meet Friday in its home opener of the 2012-13 season, easily besting UIC, 197-83, while capturing a final winner-take-all 400 free relay to defeat Western Kentucky, 143.5-133.5.
The teams swam a modified 15-event schedule, beginning with the 100-yard races in all three strokes. WKU and NU were neck-and-neck for the entire meet, culminating in the final 400 free relay which the Wildcats took handily.
Northwestern earned a 1-2-3 sweep in the first event of the meet. Junior Dominik Cubelic (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South) won the 100 back race with a nearly 1.5 second margin of victory, turning in a 49.98. Senior Varun Shivakumar (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Fremd) took second in 51.37 while freshman Grant Halsall (Laxey, Isle of Man, GBR) finished in a dead heat for third in 51.65.
Western Kentucky returned the favor with a sweep of the 100 breast. Freshman Van Donkersgoed
(Eden Prairie, Minn./Minnehaha Academy) was NU's top finisher in a fourth-place overall time of 59.49. WKU also won the 100 fly when its top swimmer pulled away from the field in the final 50. Mark Ferguson
(Perth, Australia/John XXIII) came in second with a 49.78 effort, followed by three more Western Kentucky entries.
Freshman Jordan Wilimovsky (Malibu, Calif./Malibu) dominated the 1,000 free for the second time in his young collegiate career, touching the wall in 9:20.64. His time beat teammate and 2011 NCAA Championships qualifier Charlie Rimkus' (Tustin, Calif./Beckman) second-place time of 9:26.98.
Junior Chase Stephens (Madison, Wis./Edgewood) went out in 23.69 in the 200 free to build a .31 of a second edge, then maintained that throughout most of the rest of the race to claim a 1:41.02 victory. Sophomore Matthew Margritier (Leawood, Kan./Rockhurst) claimed third-place points in 1:41.99.
WKU's Heitor Rodrigues out-touched the field by five one-hundreths of a second in the 50 free, followed by a trio of NU swimmers. Rodrigues' 20.92 beat out Toni Valcic's (Ribnica, Slovenia/Gimnazija Ledina) 20.97 which was followed by Alexander Ratajczyk (Parlin, N.J./Sayreville War Memorial) in third (21.13) and Cubelic in fourth (21.28).
Western Kentucky's Connor Dwyer chased down Halsall in the freestyle leg of the 200 individual medley to defeat the Wildcat by nine one-hundredths. Halsall's 1:55.36 was the lone NU time in the top four.
During the first portion of the meet, UIC won the 3-meter diving competition though NU's lone entry, Nick Pinkerton (Hudson, Ohio/Hudson), came in second and beat all Western Kentucky divers with a 240.60.
WKU's Rodrigues won his third event of the meet when he out-dueled Rimkus down the stretch of the 200 fly, out-touching Rimkus' 1:50.61 by nine one-hundredths. Wilimovsky took fourth overall behind another WKU swimmer in 1:56.32.
Needing a win to rebound Northwestern's chances, Margritier held off a hard charge at the end of the 100 free to win in 46.07, out-touching a WKU entry by three one-hundredths of a second and his third-place teammate Ferguson by six one-hundredths. Ratajczyk came in fourth with a 46.43 to add two more important points to NU's total.
A Western Kentucky entry pulled away in the 200 back to top NU's Shivakumar (1:51.77) in second and Cubelic (1:52.36) in third overall. Pinkerton, however, got huge points back for NU by winning the 1-meter springboard with a 275.10, pulling out a strong performance to win by nearly five full points.
Northwestern trailed Western Kentucky by three points, 112.5-109.5, entering the 500 freestyle, where the Wildcats' Distance Big Two earned big points. Wilimovsky went out in the lead in the race while Rimkus battled side-by-side with WKU's Loui Little. With 150 yards to go, Rimkus shifted gears and pulled ahead to win in 4:33.63 against Wilimovsky's steady second-place 4:34.31. Stephens added two fourth-place points with a 4:39.85.
Western Kentucky won the 200 breast with Donkersgoed coming in third overall and second against WKU with a time of 2:07.67. Brien Gerber (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) slotted in fifth overall with a 2:08.86, a time that gave NU a one-point edge over WKU entering the final relay.
In that final 400 free relay, NU's team of Margritier, Stephens, Ferguson and Ratajczyk eased to a 3:02.90, winning in style against WKU's top time of 3:06.55 to capture the meet.
Northwestern returns to action at 1 p.m. CT tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 3, in a combined men's and women's dual meet against Big Ten foe Purdue at the Norris Aquatics Center.
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