Nov. 11, 2010
Site: Madison, Wis. (Natatorium)
Score: Northwestern 165, Wisconsin 128
Records: NU (4-2, 1-2 Big Ten), Wisconsin (1-4, 0-3 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: Nov. 19-21 -- TYR Invitational (Norris Aquatics Center)
MADISON, Wis. -- Northwestern earned its first Big Ten dual-meet win in second-year head coach Jarod Schroeder's career Thursday night at Wisconsin, defeating the Badgers, 165-128, during the home team's Senior Night.
The win is Northwestern's first over a Big Ten foe in a dual meet since it topped then-No. 16 Penn State Feb. 1-2, 2008. The Wildcats came close to the feat in Schroeder's first season at the helm last year, but three times came up less than 10 points shy in conference dual-meet losses -- including a 153-144 setback against the Badgers.
"It was a great meet pitting our strengths against their strengths," Schroeder said. "Our guys stepped up and it was fun to see them get really excited. Winning today was a pretty big step for them in terms of believing in what we are doing."
Northwestern opened the meet with an advantage because the Wisconsin men's divers did not compete after traveling last week to the Trojan Invitational. Still, the Wildcats amassed more swimming points than their hosts to pull away even farther in the point totals. Freshman Amrit Trewn (Grosse Pointe, Mich./Cranbrook Kingswood) won the 1-meter board for the men with an NU-season-best score of 258.08 while classmate Tanner Nemkov (Littleton, Colo./Heritage) captured the 3-meter board with a 268.73.
Northwestern took second place in the first swimming event of the evening, the 200 medley relay. The Wildcat team of Dominik Cubelic (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South), Alex Tyler (Birmingham, Mich./Birmingham Groves), Sean Mathews (St. Louis, Mo./Lafayette) and Alexander Ratajczyk (Parlin, N.J./Sayreville War Memorial) swam a season-best 1:32.39 in the race.
(Tustin, Calif./Beckman) and Peter Park
(Princeton, N.J./Peddie School) swept the top-two spots in the 1,000 free, with Rimkus turning in a season-best 9:25.65 to top Park by nearly nine full seconds. Park's second-place effort of 9:34.40 put him more than six seconds ahead of the top Wisconsin swimmer in the event.
John Frutiger (Alma, Mich./Alma) took second as NU's top finisher in the 200 free, posting a time of 1:42.14. Cubelic then earned his second-straight win in the 100 back with a time of 50.78.
Tyler led a 1-2 Northwestern sweep of the 100 breast with a season-best time of 57.14, 1.01 seconds ahead of teammate Nathan Butler (Cincinnati, Ohio/Turpin) in second. Butler charged to the finish after sitting in third at the halfway point of the race, winning a four-way battle that created just a .20 of a second difference between second and fifth places.
The Wildcats then went 2-3-4 in the 200 fly led by Mathews in second with a 1:49.90. Park took third in 1:51.36 followed immediately by Tony Mattar's (Lake Orion, Mich./Lake Orion) season-best 1:51.42.
"Peter Park, John Frutiger, Tony Mattar, that whole distance group is putting in so much great work," Schroeder said. "They are seeing the fruits of that work so far this season."
Wisconsin kept the meet close with wins in both the 50 free and 100 free, but Northwestern mitigated those points by finishing 2-3 in both races. Ratajczyk took second in the events, out-touching a teammate by .01 of a second each time. In the 50 free, his 21.57 topped Ross McAuliffe's (Shapwick, United Kingdom/Millfield School) 21.58 while his 46.79 in the 100 bested Cubelic's season-best 46.80.
Varun Shivakumar (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Fremd) jumped out to a huge lead early in the 200 back, but was unable maintain his absolutely torrid pace and faded to a second-place finish in 1:51.66, just holding off a Badger by .03 of a second for that runner-up spot with a season-best effort.
Rimkus and Tyler got Northwestern back on track by dominating the 200 breast. Rimkus won the race with an NU-season-best time of 2:03.73, followed by Tyler's 2:04.59. No Wisconsin swimmer came within two seconds of the NU duo.
The Wildcat distance squad flexed its muscle again in the 500 free. Park captured a more-than four-second victory with a season-best 4:32.20. Mattar placed third in 4:38.78 and Frutiger fourth with a 4:39.59. Mattar's time represented nearly a four-second drop from his previous season-best in the event.
Mathews then was second in the 100 fly for Northwestern with a season-best effort of 50.08 for the senior.
Northwestern entered the 400 IM needing a win to lock up the victory, turning to a pair of veterans who requested the challenge to get it done. They responded, with Rimkus running away from the pack for a 2.40 second victory in a season-best 3:55.47. Tyler received third-place points with his season-best 3:59.10.
"Charlie (Rimkus) and Alex (Tyler) requested the 400 IM because they know it is a strong event for Wisconsin," Schroeder said. "They came out and Charlie took control right from the start and never looked back."
Wisconsin won the final 400 free relay over NU's team of McAuliffe, Frutiger, Mattar and Ratajczyk, but by then the outcome of the meet already had been decided. The NU squad still turned in a season-best 3:07.04 in the event.
Northwestern returns to action Nov. 19-21 at its own TYR Invitational at the Norris Aquatics Center. Preliminary sessions begin at 9 a.m. each day with finals scheduled for 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. on Sunday.
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