Nov. 18, 2012
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Freshman Jordan Wilimovsky (Malibu, Calif./Malibu) broke an eight-year-old Norris Aquatics Center pool record and came within two seconds of the school record in the 1,650 freestyle Sunday to highlight the final day of action and a big Northwestern victory at the Wildcats' own four-team TYR Invitational.
Northwestern had a big lead entering the final day's events and extended it all the way to the end. The `Cats finished with 1,293 team points. North Dakota was second (718), UIC came in third (632) and Division III school Kenyon finished fourth with 593 points.
For Wilimovsky, his swim broke Elliot Rushton of Kenyon's 2004 standard of 15:14.55 in the mile -- also set during that year's TYR Invitational -- and fell just 1.97 seconds shy of the school record set by Brian Davis in 2004.
Senior Charlie Rimkus (Tustin, Calif./Beckman) spotted himself an NCAA "B" consideration time with his 1:47.27 performance in the 200 fly. It was his second provisional qualifying time of the weekend and helped him be the meet's high point scorer with 116, 17 more than his nearest competition.
Several Wildcats will return to action Nov. 29-Dec. 1 at the USA Swimming Nationals in Austin, Texas, but the majority of the squad now turn their focus to fall quarter finals and NU's upcoming winter training trip.
Preliminary Portion of Sunday's Action:
Sophomore Mark Ferguson (Perth, Australia/John XXIII) picked up right where he left off Saturday when he won a pair of events, qualifying first in the 50 fly for the Wildcats. Ferguson swam a 22.64 to lead the pack. Senior Toni Valcic (Ribnica, Slovenia/Gimnazija Ledina) will join him in the "A" final, as he finished in the fifth spot in a time of 23.47. Sophomore Will Rosler (Bexley, Ohio/Columbus Academy) also put his name in the mix, earning a trip to the "B" final on Sunday night. Rosler came in 10th in the prelims. Senior Alexander Ratajczyk (Parlin, N.J./Sayreville War Memorial), junior Brien Gerber (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) and junior Ross McAuliffe (Shapwick, United Kingdom/Millfield School) all earned trips to the bonus final of the 50 fly.
There appeared to be no slowing down for the men in the day's second event. Freshman Grant Halsall (Laxey, Isle of Man, GBR) was in tight competition with his own teammate on his way to qualifying first in the 200 back in a time of 1:52.02, marking his season-best time. His only close competition came from senior Varun Shivakumar (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Fremd), who advanced to the final in the second spot in a time of 1:52.47. Not to be outdone, Wilimovsky also advanced to the "A" final as well, coming in fifth. Senior Daniel Salovesh (Casa Grande, Ariz./Casa Grande Union) just missed a chance for the top final, but he qualified in the top spot for the "B" final.
Junior Chase Stephens (Madison, Wis./Edgewood) was one of five Wildcats to qualify for the "A" final in the 100 free. Stephens finished second in a time 46.40 to lead all NU swimmers. The real race in the event appeared to be between Northwestern swimmers themselves. While Stephens finished second, junior Dominik Cubelic (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South) was third, Rimkus came in fourth, Ratajczyk qualified fifth and Ferguson finished with the sixth-best time. They were all separated by just .28 seconds. Valcic and junior Matt Wilcox (Bemidji, Minn./Bemidji) were able to advance to the "B" final of the 100 free with their finishes. Valcic was 14th and Wilcox was 15th. Two more `Cats made it into the bonus final of the event, as Rosler and sophomore Aaron Sears (Neenah, Minn./Neenah) made it nine NU swimmers to advance to Sunday night's final for this event.
The 200 breast was highlighted by freshman Van Donkersgoed (Eden Prairie, Minn./Minnehaha Academy) swimming his season-best time. Donkersgoed qualified for the final in the number one spot after his time of 2:06.32. Gerber also advanced to the "A" final of the event, finishing with a time 2:12.40, which was good for the seventh spot. Three Wildcats, Sears, junior Tim Smith (Oakland, Calif./De La Salle) and sophomore Andrew Seitz (Pleasanton, Calif./Amador Valley), put themselves in position for the "B" final on Sunday night.
In the 50 backstroke, Northwestern advanced six swimmers to the final, with five qualifying for the "A" portion of the event. Cubelic led the field with his time of 24.08. Halsall was third in 24.47 and Shivakumar was fourth with his time of 24.68. Stephens and Salovesh advanced in sixth and seventh, respectively. Rounding out the finalists for NU was Wilcox, who made it to the "B" final in the third spot. Overall, the `Cats claimed six of the 11 finalists.
Rimkus led the field in the 200 fly, advancing in the number one spot with a time of 1:55.29. Joining him in the "A" final will be Donkersgoed, who swam a 1:57.30, which was good for the fifth spot. Seitz was the third Wildcat to advance to Sunday afternoon in the event, coming in 13th.
Sunday morning the Northwestern divers competed in the 5-meter platform event, which featured only the Wildcats in the field. After falling to his teammate and classmate in both springboard events earlier in the weekend, junior Nick Pinkerton (Hudson, Ohio/Hudson) bested Tanner Nemkov (Littleton, Colo./Heritage) with a score of 177.95 to Nemkov's 168.80.
Finals Portion of Sunday's Action:
Ferguson opened up Friday night's final session on the men's side with a strong victory. His time of 22.27 was far ahead of the second-place finisher for such a short race. Valcic also swam well, finishing fourth in a time of 23.01. Rosler swam in the consolation final. He was third in his group, which was good for 11th overall.
The Wildcats also claimed the victor of the night's second event. Halsall cruised to victory in the 200 backstroke, crushing his season-best time with a 1:47.77. Right behind him was Shivakumar. He gave NU the 1-2 finish in a time of 1:49.06, which was his best of the season as well. Not to be outdone, Salovesh posted his season-best time, earning fifth place at 1:53.82.
Northwestern completely dominated the 100 free, claiming the top four spots. Stephens won by almost a full second, finishing the race in 44.76. The time was his best of the season. Cubelic came in second in 45.71, while Rimkus was third with a 45.78. Ferguson claimed fourth place, and Ratajczyk was sixth. In the consolation final, Wilcox placed 10th overall, while Valcic came in 16th. The swimmers picked up 89 team points in the event.
The only NU participant in the 1,650 free made it a special night. Wilimovsky won the race and broke the Norris Center pool record along the way. His time of 15:10.75 smashed the old record of 15:14.55, which was set in 2004. His performance brought the entire crowd to its feet. He led the rest of the pack by almost a full minute near the end of the race, which was the second-fastest mile ever swum by a Wildcat.
Donkersgoed raced out to a season-best time on his way to claiming first in the 200 breaststroke. His time of 2:03.16 blew the field away. It was a full three seconds better than the second-place finisher. Gerber was able to come away with a sixth-place finish for the `Cats, completing his swim in 2:10.16. The consolation final also gave NU some more team points as Sears finished ninth, Seitz came in 11th and Smith was 12th.
The Wildcats had five swimmers in the championship heat of the 50 backstroke final and came away with a first-place finish and a runner-up. Cubelic was the winner, swimming to the finish-line in just 22.80. Halsall finished directly behind in second with a time of 23.40. Shivakumar placed fourth in the event, coming in at a 24.25. Salovesh placed sixth, and Stephens touched in seventh-place. Wilcox swam for NU in the consolation final and placed 10th overall.
The winning continued for Northwestern in the 200 fly. Rimkus cruised to victory, setting a new season-best time at 1:47.27. The other NU participant in the championship final was Donkersgoed. He finished in sixth-place with a time of 1:56.45. In the consolation final, Seitz was third, giving him an 11th place finish overall.
The 400 free relay was a wild race between the Northwestern "A" team and Kenyon College. The race was a virtual tie after the first two legs, but number three swimmer Cubelic was able to pull out in front, swimming his leg in 44.93. The anchor, Stephens, extended the lead even more, putting forward a 44.66 effort. The total time stood at 3:00.66, which is a season-best. The "B" team for the `Cats finished in third-place. Rosler, Ratajczyk, Wilcox and Valcic combined for a 3:05.97 finish.
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