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    No. 18 Purdue Pulls Away From Northwestern, 172-126

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Sophomore Mark Ferguson won the 100 back and the 100 fly Saturday against No. 18 Purdue, the first two dual-meet wins of his collegiate career.
    Sophomore Mark Ferguson won the 100 back and the 100 fly Saturday against No. 18 Purdue, the first two dual-meet wins of his collegiate career.

    Nov. 3, 2012


    Site: Evanston, Ill. (Norris Aquatics Center)
    Score: No. 18 Purdue 172, Northwestern 126
    Records: NU (2-2, 0-1 Big Ten), Purdue (2-1, 1-0 Big Ten)
    Next NU Event: Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012 -- at Wisconsin (Madison, Wis.), 3:30 p.m. CT

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern hung with No. 18 Purdue through the first half of a Saturday meet at the Norris Aquatics Center, but the ranked Boilermakers were able to pull away for a 172-126 win over the Wildcats.

    While Purdue won the opening 400 medley relay, Northwestern's teams took second and third to mitigate the early Boilermaker advantage. NU's squad of Dominik Cubelic (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South), Brien Gerber (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley), Mark Ferguson (Perth, Australia/John XXIII) and Matthew Margritier (Leawood, Kan./Rockhurst) came in second in 3:23.06 while Varun Shivakumar (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Fremd), Van Donkersgoed (Eden Prairie, Minn./Minnehana Academy), Grant Halsall (Laxey, Isle of Man, GBR) and Alexander Ratajczyk (Parlin, N.J./Sayreville War Memorial) were third in 3:26.63.



    Swimming the mile for the first time this season, Northwestern jumped out to the lead with a 1-2 finish and a glimpse of the abilities of precocious freshman Jordan Wilimovsky (Malibu, Calif./Malibu). Splitting 28s the entire way save for a couple of high 27s over the latter portion of the race, Wilimovsky (15:33.77) won the race by 26 seconds over teammate and 2011 NCAA Championships qualifier in the event Charlie Rimkus (Tustin, Calif./Beckman), who swam a 16:00.12.

    Chase Stephens (Madison, Wis./Edgewood) ground out a win in the 200 free, pulling away in the final 50 for a 1:41.41 and a .56 of a second win over two Purdue swimmers. Margritier garnered fourth-place points with a 1:44.90.

    Ferguson made it three wins in a row for Northwestern when he broke the 50 second barrier in the 100 back, swimming a 49.95 to lead a 1-3 Wildcats' finish that featured Cubelic in third with a 50.25. Purdue fought back to win the 100 breast, though Donkersgoed (59.08) and Gerber (59.65) finished second and third to help limit the damage.

    Rimkus annihilated the field in the final 50 of the 200 fly, swimming a 28.36 split that was .73 of a second faster than any other split in the pool to finish in 1:50.32. Purdue then got a win in the 50 free to defeat second-place Stephens (20.67) and third-place Toni Valcic (Ribnica, Slovenia/Gimnazija Ledina) (21.11).

    During the diving portion of the first half of the meet, Purdue swept the top four spots on the 1-meter springboard to give the visitors a 14-point swing in that event alone and an 81-68 lead entering the break.

    Purdue won the 100 free coming out of the break, though Margritier (46.03), Ferguson (46.18) and Stephens (46.50) placed second, third and fourth, respectively. The Boilermakers again won followed immediately by multiple Wildcats in the 200 back, this time with Halsall (1:52.05) and Shivakumar (1:53.04) taking second and third.

    The trend continued in the 200 breast with Donkersgoed (2:07.20) and Gerber (2:10.89) coming in second and third, then Purdue's Alec La Mothe tracked down NU's Wilimovsky at the wall to win the 500 free by three one-hundredths of a second, 4:35.97 to 4:36.00.

    Ferguson won his second race of the meet and of his career in an extremely exciting 100 fly. Trailing by a large .74 of a second margin at the 50 yard mark, Ferguson came all the way back, helped by a tremendous final turn to win by 16 one-hundredths, 49.41 to 49.57. Halsall was third in a time of 50.83 and Cubelic got a point for a fifth-place 51.63.

    In the 200 IM, Rimkus pulled ahead early and eased his way to a large margin of victory in the event with a time of 1:52.15. Then, in the final 200 free relay, NU's team of Valcic, Margritier, Stephens and Ratajczyk placed second with a time of 1:22.15.

    Northwestern returns to action at 3:30 p.m. CT Thursday, Nov. 8, in a combined men's and women's dual meet at Big Ten foe Wisconsin in Madison.


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