March 1, 2013
Friday Preliminary Session Results
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- NCAA `B' consideration cuts abounded for Northwestern Friday morning at the 2013 Men's Swimming and Diving Big Ten Championships, but in a fast and competitive session of action the majority of Wildcats earned their second swims in bonus finals.
Sophomore Mark Ferguson (Perth, Australia/John XXIII) picked up Northwestern's lone scoring spot in an individual Friday final when he swam a career-best and NCAA `B' consideration time of 48.05 in the 100 fly prelims to finish 13th overall. Freshman Grant Halsall (Laxey, Isle of Man, GBR) was close himself to a scoring spot when he lowered his previous collegiate-best time by 1.23 seconds to touch in an 18th-place time of 48.38.
Senior Charlie Rimkus (Tustin, Calif./Beckman) turned in an NCAA `B' time of 3:52.04 in Friday's first event, the 400 IM, to finish the preliminary heats in 17th overall position. Rimkus will get a second swim as the headliner in the bonus final Friday night.
Just behind Rimkus in 19th place was freshman Van Donkersgoed
(Eden Prairie, Minn./Minnehaha Academy), who slashed 8.50 seconds from his previous collegiate-best in the event to touch in an NCAA `B' time of 3:53.07 for quite an impressive first-ever swim at the Big Ten Championships.
Freshman Jordan Wilimovsky (Malibu, Calif./Malibu) also made a nice drop in time in the 400 IM, cutting 4.95 seconds from his seed to swim a collegiate-best 3:57.38 and place 29th overall.
In the 200 free, junior Chase Stephens (Madison, Wis./Edgewood) swam a career-best and NCAA `B' time of 1:37.22 to lead Northwestern with an 18th place overall finish. Just behind Stephens, also with a career-best swim in the event, was sophomore Matthew Margritier (Leawood, Kan./Rockhurst), whose NCAA `B' cut of 1:37.74 gave him a second swim bonus final lane with a 21st place finish in prelims.
Sophomore Uula Auren (Helsinki, Finland/Makelanrintee Lukio) and Donkersgoed each advanced to the bonus finals of the 100 breast with Auren swimming a season-best and `B' time of 54.83 to place 22nd while Donkergoed lowered his career-best in the event by 2.04 seconds to touch just behind Auren in a `B' cut of 55.05.
In his first Big Ten Championships after transferring from Maryland a year ago, sophomore Aaron Sears (Neenah, Minn./Neenah) lowered his season-best in the 100 breast by 2.62 seconds and shattered his career mark in the race to finish 28th overall in 56.05.
Northwestern's tough morning continued when junior Dominik Cubelic (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South) missed out on the scoring consolation final of the 100 back by just four one-hundredths of a second, swimming a `B' cut of 47.99 to place 17th overall after the morning.
Halsall snuck into the bonus final on the back end, swimming a 48.95 to finish the morning 24th overall and earn the final spot in the `C' heat. Ferguson was just .04 of a second away from joining Halsall with a career-best 48.99 that put him 26th overall after the morning.
The 2013 Big Ten Championships continue through the afternoon with 3-meter diving prelims before Friday's final session gets underway at 5:30 p.m. CT/6:30 p.m. ET in Bloomington.
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