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    Northwestern Leads TYR Invitational Following Day One Action

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Charlie Rimkus won both the 500 free and 200 IM events Friday during the opening day of the TYR Invitational.
    Charlie Rimkus won both the 500 free and 200 IM events Friday during the opening day of the TYR Invitational.

    Nov. 16, 2012


    EVANSTON, Ill. -- Following the first day of action Friday at the three-day TYR Invitational, Northwestern leads the four-team field by an exceptionally comfortable margin after it recorded wins in six of seven events.

    Northwestern has 407 total points following seven events, pacing North Dakota's second-place total of 229 by 178 points. Division III powerhouse Kenyon College is third with 172 points while UIC is in fourth with 166 points.

    Day two of the TYR Invitational begins at 9 a.m. CT tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 17, with preliminary action. Finals will get underway at 5 p.m. Saturday evening. Live results can be found at by clicking here.

    Preliminary Portion of Friday's Action

    In the first event of the day, sophomore Uula Auren (Helsinki, Finland/Makelanrinteen Lukio) swam his way into the 50 breast championship with the event's second-best time at 26.39. Senior Toni Valcic (Ribnica, Slovenia/Gimnazija Ledina) and freshman Van Donkersgoed (Eden Prairie, Minn./Minnehaha Academy) finished fifth and sixth, respectively, claiming their spots in the final round. The next wave of finalists included three more Wildcats. Sophomore Aaron Sears (Neenah, Minn./Neenah) was ninth in the preliminary round. Junior Brien Gerber (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) came up 13th and junior Tim Smith (Oakland, Calif./De La Salle) was 15th.



    Senior Charlie Rimkus (Tustin, Calif./Beckman) led the way for Northwestern in the 500 free, finishing with the event's second-best qualifying time at 4:36.03. Freshman Jordan Wilimovsky (Malibu, Calif./Malibu) was right behind him, finishing in a time of 4:36.26 to qualify third. Junior Chase Stephens (Madison, Wis./Edgewood) also advanced to the top final, coming in sixth, and an eighth-place finish for senior Varun Shivakumar (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Fremd) made him the fourth Wildcat to qualify for the eight-man group "A" final. Sophomore Andrew Seitz (Pleasanton, Calif./Amador Valley) was able to sneak into the other final scoring heat, claiming the 16th spot in the preliminary round. One swimmer, senior Daniel Salovesh (Casa Grande, Ariz./Casa Grande Union) advanced to the bonus final.

    Rimkus continued his strong performance in Friday's preliminary session, finishing second in the 200 IM. He qualified in a time of 1:55.77. Gerber and Donkersgoed also swam well, earning the final two spots in the top heat for the championship round. Four Wildcats qualified for the "B" section of the final, including freshman Grant Halsall (Laxey, Isle of Man, GBR), who was ninth. Shivakumar, Wilimovsky, and sophomore Mark Ferguson (Perth, Australia/John XXIII) all made it to that final as well. Seitz will swim in the bonus final.

    Northwestern advanced five swimmers to the final of the 50 free with four of them competing in the top heat. Stephens qualified second in 20.88, one-tenth of a second off the lead. Valcic was third, junior Dominik Cubelic (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South) came in fourth, and senior Alex Ratajczyk (Parlin, N.J./Sayreville War Memorial) finished eighth. Ferguson will represent NU in the "B" final, as he placed 10th in the preliminary round. Junior Ross McAuliffe (Shapwick, United Kingdom/Millfield School), junior Matt Wilcox (Bemidji, Minn./Bemidji), and sophomore Will Rosler (Bexley, Ohio/Columbus Academy) all qualified for the 50 free bonus round.

    Finals Portion of Friday's Action:

    The Wildcat men started Friday night's final just like they wanted to with a dominant showing in the 200 freestyle relay. The team of Stephens, Cubelic, Ratajczyk and Valcic cruised to victory, leading after each split. Valcic anchored the relay and spread the margin to a comfortable 2.61 seconds on the way to first place in a time of 1:20.95.

    A great performance by Auren earned him a first-place finish in the championship final of the 50 breaststroke. His time of 25.32 was almost a full second better than the second-place finisher. Valcic came in third for NU at 26.55. The third swimmer for Northwestern in the championship final, Donkersgoed, clinched sixth-place with a 26.90. In the consolation final, the Wildcats had three more place-winners. Sears finished first in the heat for ninth overall, while Gerber was 11th and Smith was 15th. The six Wildcats that placed in the event garnered a total of 66 team points.

    It was almost a Wildcat sweep as four Wildcats placed in the top five in the 500 freestyle. Rimkus led the pack with a time of 4:25.74, turning it on mid-race to pull away from the field. Wilimovsky, Shivakuma and Stephens placed second, fourth and fifth, respectively. Seitz won the consolation final, ranking him ninth overall. Their combined efforts earned the `Cats a whopping 75 points.

    In the 200 IM, Rimkus found himself in third place entering the final 50 yard freestyle leg, but he turned on the jets to swim a 25.17 split, 1.29 seconds faster than anyone else in the pool, to win going away in 1:52.17. Donkersgoed turned in a great race -- he was right in the hunt after the breaststroke -- before ending up third in 1:53.81. Gerber finished in sixth in 1:57.19 to round out NU's championship final contenders.

    In the consolation heat, NU swept the top four spots led by a resounding Halsall win in 1:53.50. He was followed by Ferguson in 10th, Wilimovsky in 11th and Shivakumar in 12th. Seitz won the bonus final for NU.

    An outstanding performance by the men clenched a top four sweep of the 50 free for the Wildcats. Stephens, Ratajczyk, Cubelic and Valcic placed in the top four, respectively, racking up 68 points in the championship final. Stephen's winning time was 20.57, which superseded his season record of 20.67. Ferguson added another nine points with his ninth overall finish in 21.01.

    During first-day diving action, junior Tanner Nemkov (Littleton, Colo./Heritage) made his season debut with a second-place finish in the 1-meter springboard event. Nemkov's finals score of 281.95 bettered his third-place classmate Nick Pinkerton's (Hudson, Ohio/Hudson) score of 278.90. Pinkerton had been a narrow second after the prelims when he tallied a season-best 296.20.

    In the final 400 medley relay, NU's team of Cubelic, Auren, Ferguson and Stephens swam a season-best 3:19.47 to win by nearly seven full seconds.


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