Northwestern Swimming and Diving made the trek up to chilly Madison, Wisconsin this past Saturday to take on the Badgers. The dual was well fought, and in the end, the clash between the ferocious mammals came up even. Let’s dig into it.
The female Wildcats came out strong, winning 10 events on their way to usurping the No. 17 Badgers, coming away with a 162-138 victory. With this meet win, the women are now 6-1 on the year and in a good position to finish strong in the conference. In the most recent CSCAA poll, the ‘Cats were ranked 26th, so this upset might vault them into the top 25.
It was at this meet that the first-years began to make themselves known. Four of the brand new ‘Cats won individual events, and five total earned medals. Audrey Yu (50 Free), Lindsay Ervin (100 Free), Hana Shimizu-Bowers (200 Fly) and Jamie Brennan (200 IM) all dominated, and Riley Huddleston contributed in the relays.
Coach Kris Jorgensen’s diving unit continued their strong form as well, sweeping the podium in both the platform and 1m to make hefty point contributions to the Wildcats’ total. Markie Hopkins won the platform event, which was good for her seventh win of the season, while Jaye Patrick took the top spot for the 1 m. This was the squad’s third meet in a row sweeping the podiums, a testament to the experience that they have on the boards with four seniors.
Their male counterparts, on the other hand, fought valiantly, but six event wins were unable to get the job done against No. 24 Wisconsin as they fell, 181-119. This dropped them to 3-2 overall and 0-2 in conference. Serious ground will need to be made up if they want to make waves going forward. They currently sit in last in points scored in the conference with 773.05.
Individually, Ben Miller filled the hole left by Federico Burdisso, who left to concentrate on the 2024 Paris Olympics. The senior won both the 100 and 200 Fly events. The rest of the men’s wins came from Tyler Lu (200 IM), Markus Mok (200 Breast), Henry Schirmer (Platform) and Aleksa Bobar (100 Free).
The ‘Cats will be back in the pool next weekend in Evanston for a quad meet with Purdue, Iowa and Minnesota. This meet could shake up the Big Ten power structure, so Northwestern will look to pounce on its opportunities.