Nov. 11, 2011
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Norris Aquatics Center)
Score: Northwestern 161, Wisconsin 121
Records: NU (2-1, 1-1 Big Ten), Wisconsin (1-5, 0-3 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: Saturday, Nov. 12 -- vs. UIC/North Dakota (Norris Aquatics Center), 11 a.m. CT
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern opened its 2011-12 home season in resounding fashion Friday night at the Norris Aquatics Center, swimming fast throughout its entire lineup for a 161-121 victory over Wisconsin.
"I thought we looked good today," Northwestern head coach Jarod Schroeder said. "We are starting to come down in preparation for our TYR Invitational next week and it showed. The guys swam well and got some pretty big drops."
Northwestern's `A' team cruised to a victory in the 200 medley relay to begin Friday's festivities, getting a season-best 1:30.59 from the team of Dominik Cubelic (Glenview, Ill./Glenview South), Uula Auren (Helsinki, Finland/Mäkelänrinteen Lukio), Jake Grosser (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles) and Matthew Margritier (Leawood, Kan./Rockhurst) to win by nearly two full seconds.
In the 1,000 freestyle, junior Charlie Rimkus (Tustin, Calif./Beckman) swam neck-and-neck with Wisconsin's Tyler Hines for the first 750 yards before immediately turning on the jets as the race entered its final quarter. Within 25 yards, Rimkus had a half-body length lead on the Badger, pulling away and then holding off a late charge for a 1.03 second victory in a season-best 9:32.19.
The 200 freestyle was much the same as the 1,000 in terms of racing, but the results flip-flopped. This time Wisconsin's swimmer edged senior John Frutiger (Alma, Mich./Alma) by .27 of a second to out-touch the Wildcat's season-best 1:39.37. Jan Hanulik (Cavisov, Czech Republic/Sportovni Gymnazium) took third in 1:40.99 and Chase Stephens (Madison, Wis./Edgewood) was fourth in 1:42.18 to mitigate the damage of the loss.
Cubelic crushed the field by 1.38 seconds to win the 100 back in a season-best 49.52 while teammates Mark Ferguson
(Perth, Australia/John XXIII) and Varun Shivakumar
(Hoffman Estates, Ill./Fremd) tied for third with identical 51.68 times.
Auren duplicated Cubelic's efforts with a 2.65 second win in the 100 breast, turning in a season-best 56.21. Brien Gerber (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) took third-place points with a season-best 59.65.
Senior Tony Mattar (Lake Orion, Mich./Lake Orion) won the 200 fly by exactly 1.5 seconds with a season-best 1:50.61 while freshman John Kim (Newport Coast, Calif./Corona del Mar) was third in a season-best 1:53.66.
Junior transfer Toni Valcic (Ribnica, Slovenia/Gimnazija Ledina) led a 1-2-3 Northwestern sweep of the 50 free from lane seven with a season-best 20.78. All three NU swimmers went sub-21.00 in the race with Margritier turning in a 20.80 and Grosser recording a 20.98.
During the first half of the meet, the men competed in both diving events. Wisconsin did not travel any male divers for Friday's competition, leading to NU sweeps on both boards. Tanner Nemkov (Littleton, Colo./Heritage) won the 3-meter board with a career-best 325.80, which was just in front of Nick Pinkerton's (Hudson, Ohio/Hudson) career-best tally of 322.20. In the 1-meter event, Pinkerton again recorded a career-best score to win, this time putting a 303.60 on the board to win by a whopping 95 points.
In the 100 free, Margritier turned on the jets with a 23.44 final 50 yards to win in a season-best 45.77, .14 of a second ahead of Wisconsin's top swimmer. Alexander Ratajczyk (Parlin, N.J./Sayreville War Memorial) took third with a season-best 46.58 and Matt Wilcox (Bemidji, Minn./Bemidji picked up two points in fourth with a season-best 46.68.
Shivakumar was on cruise control in leading a 1-2 Northwestern sweep of the 200 back, earning a season-best 1:50.20 in front of Cubelic's season-best 1:52.01. The 200 breast also resulted in a 1-2 Wildcat victory when Auren blazed to a season-best 2:07.17 to win in front of Rimkus' second-place 2:08.55.
Those performances gave Northwestern enough of a cushion that the Wildcats exhibitioned their scores in the final few events, meaning their times counted but they did not score any points after the 200 breast.
Hanulik was the 500 freestyle winner for Northwestern, besting his teammate Frutiger by less than a second with a season-best 4:34.19. The victory was the first-ever in a dual meet for Hanulik, who is a junior. Frutiger's time also was a season-best 4:34.98.
Wisconsin won the 100 fly followed by Grosser in second place with a season-best 50.10. Mattar then won the 400 IM in a season-best 4:04.14 before the Wildcat team of Margritier, Cubelic, Ratajczyk and Stephens swam a season-best 3:02.33 to win the 400 free relay.
Northwestern returns to action at 11 a.m. CT tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 12, against both UIC and North Dakota in a double-dual meet at the Norris Aquatics Center.
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