Wildcat’s experience too much for NIU swimmers

Not only does Northwestern University boast loads of experience, the Wildcat men’s and women’s swimmers have plenty of depth.

Coach Jeanne Fleck and her Huskie men’s and women’s crews found out just how much in a pair of one-sided dual-meets Saturday at NU’s Norris Aquatic Center. The NIU men (1-3 dual-meet record) were swamped by a 148-80 margin while the women’s team (1-5) was left in the wake of a 158-77 Wildcat tidal wave.

Despite the one-sided team scores, Fleck found cause for optimism in terms of some stopwatch improvement.

“Obviously we don’t have the numbers or the experience Northwestern has. That’s why they’re one of the top teams in the country. But we had some good times relative to our capabilities. Coming back from a very intense workout in Florida, our performance also wasn’t really indicative of our abilities. I’m sure we’ll have a much better showing this coming weekend,” Fleck explained.

On the men’s side, Art Sanchez won the 50-yard freestyle with a :21.90 effort while Bryan Hanania accounted for NIU’s other blue ribbon with a victory on the three-meter board. More importantly, his 315.07 score earned him a berth to the NCAA Zone C National Pre-Qualification Meet. Hanania was comfortably over the 310 qualifying standard.

In the women’s meet, Jackie Margraff’s second-place effort in the 1,650-yard freestyle (18:30.05) and Pam Jackson’s third-place showing in the 50-yard freestyle (:24.89) were among the Huskie highlights along with a third-place by Kristin Sholz in the 200-yard freestyle (1:59.87). NIU did have first-place finishes for the 200-yard freestyle relay and the 200-yard breastroke (Liza Linde in 2:29.01), although Northwestern opted for exhibition entries only.

Both the men and women face a full weekend of competition with back-to-back home dual meets. NIU welcomes Notre Dame to Anderson Hall Pool for a 6 p.m. meet while Northern Iowa visits on Saturday for a 1 p.m. coed showdown.