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Northwestern swimming and diving wraps up the regular season against Purdue, Iowa and Minnesota

The Wildcats couldn’t get past the Gophers or Boilermakers.

Northwestern Athletics

This past weekend, Northwestern swimming and diving traveled to West Lafayette for the second time this season to compete against Purdue, Iowa and Minnesota. Although more than two teams were present at this meet, it was scored in a head-to-head format.

On the men’s side, the Wildcats lost to Minnesota 220-152 and narrowly fell to Purdue 190-181. The women beat Iowa (which doesn’t have a men’s program) 196-163, while losing to Minnesota and Purdue, 246-119 and 210-155 respectively.

Men’s Recap

The NU swimmers were considerably behind Minnesota and Purdue on relays. Its ‘A’ team finished third behind the Gopher and Boilermaker ‘A’ teams in the 400/800 freestyle relays and 200 medley relay and third in the 200 free relay behind the Gopher ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams. Individually, the Wildcats were more successful in terms of top-end success, taking five wins out of 13 events.

Graduate student Andrew Martin continues to improve in the 1000-yard freestyle, touching first in a time of 8:52.28 in the event. He set his fourth personal best of the season in this race and narrowly beat Minnesota’s Bar Soloveychik by 0.67 seconds. Martin now ranks ninth in Division I swimming for the 1000 free and first in the Big Ten.

Martin also placed second in the 500 free with a time of 4:22.93.

Another event winner was first-year David Gerchik, who took the 200 backstroke by over a second with a mark of 1:43.89. He was also second in the 100 back (47.50). Although Gerchik’s 200 back time was far from his season-best of 1:41.92, it is still his third-fastest performance of this season.

Tthe Wildcats did sweep in the breaststroke events. Junior Tyler Lu won the 100 breaststroke in a time of 53.66, while senior Connor Morikawa won the 200 breast with a 1:57.11. Lu, who typically swims backstroke and individual medley, was racing the 100 breast for the first time since May 2021 and beat out his best time of 55.80 set then.

Lu also captured a win in the 200 individual medley with a time of 1:46.78.

Women’s Recap

The Wildcat women fared better than the men on relays but still couldn’t capture a win, finishing second to Minnesota in all four contested relay races. Individually, graduate student Ayla Spitz and Lindsay Ervin were the only swimmers who won events.

Spitz touched the wall first in the 200 free and 200 back with times of 1:44.96 and 1:54.27 respectively. Both times were off her season bests but not by too much — her season-best in the 200 free set at Northwestern’s meet against Wisconsin is 1:44.75, whereas her 200 back season best is 1:53.48 from the Purdue invite last November.

Ervin won both sprint freestyle events, taking the 50 free in 22.70 and the 100 free in 49.31. Her 50 free time was her third-fastest performance of the season in that event.

Both Spitz and Ervin competed on all four Northwestern relays alongside their individual races.

Although sophomore Hannah Shimizu-Bowers didn’t win anything, she also had a strong performance. She finished second in the 200 butterfly (1:59.39), third in the 400 IM with a season-best (4:17.86) and fifth in the 500 free (4:52.05).

What’s Next?

Northwestern’s next competition is the Big Ten Championships, which are from Feb. 21 to 24 for the women and from Feb. 28 to Mar. 2 for the men. The women’s team looks to improve from their sixth-place showing from last year, while the men aim to finish higher than their seventh-place ranking. Big Tens will be one of the team’s final opportunities to earn qualifying times for the NCAA Championships in late March.