Oct. 20, 2010
Northwestern (0-0) at Indiana (0-0)
Friday, Oct. 23 2 p.m. CT
Counsilman Billingsley Aquatic Center
Live Results: IUHoosiers.com
EVANSTON, Ill. -- After pulling in the nation's No. 19-ranked recruiting class according to Collegeswimming.com in his first year as head coach, Jarod Schroeder and those young Wildcats open the 2010-11 season with a stiff test at 2 p.m. CT Friday, Oct. 23, at perennial power Indiana.
Both the Wildcat men's and women's teams will head to Bloomington for a combined dual meet to kick off this year's competition schedule. Live results will be available at iuhoosiers.com.
Northwestern returns a pair of NCAA qualifiers from a year ago in seniors Sean Mathews (St. Louis, Mo./Lafayette) and Alex Tyler (Birmingham, Mich./Birmingham Groves). Tyler earned honorable mention All-America honors with a 15th-place finish in the 200 IM. They lead a 23-man roster featuring 10 freshmen who will be counted on to make an immediate impact in the Wildcat lineup.
"We are a lot further along at this point than we were last year," Schroeder said. "The freshmen work ethic is really good and the upperclassmen have set the tone. We are training very well and I'm excited to get started and see how everyone performs."
Schroeder expects a pair of freshmen to contribute immediately and in a big way in the sprint freestyle events. Local product Dominik Cubelic (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South), who is Collegeswimming.com's No. 1 ranked recruit in Illinois and 50th overall in the nation, and British sprinter Ross McAuliffe (Shapwick, United Kingdom/Millfield School) are poised to become the Wildcats' best 1-2 punch since Olympic gold medalist Matt Grevers and NCAA champions Kyle Bubolz and Bruno Barbic patrolled the waters for NU in 2007 and 2008.
"Dominik especially has come in and impressed me with what he's been able to do," Schroeder said. "Ross is a little bit behind Dominik, but he is a talented kid and it is just a matter of time before it clicks for him, too."
Head diving coach Alik Sarkisian also has a youthful, though much larger, men's squad this year. Three freshman comprise his team after the Wildcats had just one men's diver a year ago.
Schroeder is focused on the season in two parts, beginning with the dual-meet portion prior to the Wildcats' training trip in December before the remaining dual meets in January leading up to the Big Ten and NCAA Championships. After facing Indiana, Northwestern opens its home schedule at 5 p.m. CT Friday, Nov. 5, in the Norris Aquatics Center against another perennially tough program, Purdue.
"Typically we are a second half team," Schroeder said. "This year has been pretty good so far, though, so I'm hoping we get rolling right away."
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