It is that time of the year when postseason play is upon us. If teams want to win it all, they are going to have to sink or swim. For Northwestern swimming and diving, it was literally that this week at the Big Ten Championship. Traveling to Ann Arbor, both men’s and women’s swimming and diving finished in the bottom half of the meet. The men's team finished in seventh with 618 points, and the women's team came in sixth with 710 points.
On the women’s side, Lola Mull started off for the Wildcats, finishing seventh in the 1650 freestyle. In the 200-yard backstroke, Justine Murdock stroked her season-best time of 1:54.99 and finished sixth in the event. Hannah Brunzell also broke her season-best in the 200-yard breaststroke with 2:10.11. In the 100-yard freestyle preliminary, Ashley Strouse swam the fifth-fastest time in Northwestern history with a 48.70 sprint, and followed up her performance with an eighth-place finish in the finals. The ‘Cats highest placement came from Miriam Guevara, who finished fourth in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:55.82.
For the men’s team, the Wildcats could not find their stroke against the other Big Ten teams. No NU relay team finished outside the bottom two of any race in the meet. Kevin Houseman and Ben Miller were Northwestern’s highest finishers of the tournament, swimming their way to fourth-place finishes in the 100-yard breaststroke and 200-yard butterfly.
Saturday afternoon was a successful session for the ‘Cats, with three purple and white swimmers finding their way into the top eight of their events. Marcus Mok’s 1:54.74 in the 200-yard breaststroke was enough to put him soundly in seventh place with 23 points. Tyler Lu snuck into eighth place and earned 22 points for NU in the 200-yard backstroke. Lu also finished in the top ten in the 200 individual medley. Alex Mo came in 14th in the one-meter final off the diving board.
Both squads now look ahead to the last chance meet and prepare for the NCAA Championships. The women’s team (March 15-18) will compete one week before its male counterparts (March 22-25) in Minneapolis.