March 2, 2013
Saturday Preliminary Session Results
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Northwestern placed three swimmers in scoring finals during Saturday preliminary action at the 2013 Big Ten Championships, with two Wildcats joining the all-time NU greats in their specific events.
Four events were held Saturday morning while a fifth, the 1,650 free, will be competed through the afternoon with the final heat kicking off Saturday's finals session. NU has a podium threat in that event in No. 3 overall seed Jordan Wilimovsky (Malibu, Calif./Malibu).
After becoming the fourth-fastest Wildcat ever in the 50 free on Thursday, junior Chase Stephens (Madison, Wis./Edgewood) performed the same feat in the 100 free Saturday morning. With an NCAA `B' consideration time of 43.14, Stephens jumped into fourth on NU's all-time top times list in the event, but more importantly, he qualified sixth overall for his first career Big Ten Championships `A' final.
Sophomore Matthew Margritier (Leawood, Kan./Rockhurst) finished the morning as first alternate for the 100 free bonus final with a career-best 44.49.
Freshman Van Donkersgoed
(Eden Prairie, Minn./Minnehaha Academy) advanced to his first-career Big Ten scoring final with a 15th-place preliminary time in the 200 breast of 1:57.91, an NCAA `B' effort that launched Donkersgoed up to third on NU's all-time top times list in the event behind former NCAA champion Mike Alexandrov
and All-American Alex Tyler
Sophomore Uula Auren (Helsinki, Finland/Mäkelänrinteen Lukio), who scored in the 200 breast last year, was unable to overcome the training lost due to injury early in the year, placing 32nd overall in the event with a 2:02.55.
Senior Charlie Rimkus (Tustin, Calif./Beckman) made it three events with a Wildcat in a scoring final when he qualified 15th overall for the 200 fly with an NCAA `B' time of 1:47.39 as NU's lone entry in the event.
In the 200 back, senior Varun Shivakumar (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Fremd) and freshman Grant Halsall (Laxey, Isle of Man, GBR) both were near the top of the qualifiers for the bonus final of the event. Shivakumar cut 2.23 seconds from his seed time to turn in an NCAA `B' cut of 1:45.71 and place 18th overall while Halsall was right on his back with a 19th-place `B' time of 1:46.32.
Perhaps the best story of the morning for Northwestern came from senior Daniel Salovesh (Casa Grande, Ariz./Casa Grande) in the 200 back. Throughout his career, Salovesh has shown the ability to cut massive amounts of time at the conference meet, but he never had earned a second-swim opportunity. Again dropping over six full seconds from his seed, Salovesh touched in a dead-heat for 25th place at 1:47.56, which is his best finish to date in any Big Ten Championships action and puts him in a tie for the first alternate spot for the bonus final.
In a swim-off for that first alternate status, Salovesh again went quicker, this time going 1:47.31 to pull away from his opponent by 1.47 seconds. By virtue of that win, should any scratches occur, Salovesh would have his very first second swim in the very last race of his career.
The 2013 Big Ten Championships continue today with 10-meter platform prelim competition and early heats of the 1,650 freestyle throughout the afternoon. The official finals session gets underway at 5:30 p.m. CT. Live Results are available at IUHoosiers.com.
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