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    Northwestern Opens Season Friday at Indiana

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Senior Alex Kraus as the Wildcats open the 2010-11 season Friday at Indiana.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Senior Alex Kraus as the Wildcats open the 2010-11 season Friday at Indiana.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    Oct. 20, 2010

    Northwestern (0-0) at Indiana (0-0)
    Friday, Oct. 23 • 2 p.m. CT
    Counsilman Billingsley Aquatic Center
    Bloomington, Ind.
    Live Results: IUHoosiers.com

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- Armed with a deep and talented squad but looking to replace a lot of production lost to graduation, Northwestern returns to the pool to open the 2010-11 season at 2 p.m. CT Friday, Oct. 23 at perennial Big Ten 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 graduated both of its NCAA qualifiers from a year ago in Emily Wong and Kassia Shishkoff, and now seeks to replace the top-end speed of the duo that proved a boon during dual-meet competition.

    "We will be looking to the freshman class to contribute right away," head coach Jimmy Tierney said, "but we also have some upperclassmen who are really pushing and working hard to become our `go-to' competitors."

    In particular, senior Alex Kraus (Birmingham, Ala./Vestavia Hills) and junior Meghan Cavanaugh (Anchorage, Alaska/East Anchorage) earned mention for stepping up their offseason work, while senior Ellen Grigg (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Latin School) hopes to regain her All-America form from 2008. Grigg took the summer off to heal a shoulder injury, and has been swimming well upon her return.

    Junior Jacquie Godbe (Rapid City, S.D./Stevens) also is due for a breakout season if she is able to attack her races as she has attacked her work in the weight room and during practice.

     

     

    The entire program has been attacking the weight room and practice much harder this season, setting a different expectation after results at the Big Ten and NCAA meets were not what was hoped for in the last couple of years. Tierney and the `Cats expect extra workouts and more intense dryland sessions will set the team up for better results at the Championship meets.

    "A lot of our freshmen have not gone through training this intense during their careers," Tierney said. "They are being challenged and we are excited to see what they can do as the season goes on."

    Jackie Powell (Madison, Wis./James Madison Memorial), the No. 3 ranked recruit in Wisconsin last year according to Collegeswimming.com, will fight to score points early in her career as will fellow Wisconsin-native (and No. 1-ranked recruit from the state) Emily Russart (Lake Geneva, Wis./Badger). Erin Sosdian (The Woodlands, Texas./Woodlands College Park) and Megan Goss (Brentwood, Tenn./Ravenwood) also are expected to make noise early based on their performances during preseason workouts.

    A big plus for the Wildcats entering 2010-11 is a much larger diving corps -- both in quantity and quality. Led by sisters Felicitas (a sophomore) and Cosima Lenz (a freshman) (Altadena, Calif./Polytechnic School), head diving coach Alik Sarkisian has five women's divers on his team -- by far the most in his five-year tenure. Felicitas narrowly missed qualifying for the NCAA Championships last year after placing fifth on the platform at NCAA Zone competiton.

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