Swimming squad hopes to sink WIU

By Laura Higgins

The NIU swimming team is making a stop in Macomb this weekend in hopes of sinking the Western Illinois University Leathernecks.

Both the men’s and women’s teams will compete Saturday in what coach Jeanne Fleck predicts to be a close meet between two good teams.

“Western Illinois is a much improved program, both on the men’s and women’s sides,” Fleck said. “But our goal is to get two wins. Plain and simple, we want to win both halves of the meet.”

While the men are opening their season this weekend, the NIU women carry a 1-0 record with a victory over the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay last weekend.

Senior Kristin Scholz claimed the 200-yard freestyle and 200-yard backstroke while teammate Kim Bell captured the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard freestyle against the Phoenix.

“We don’t know a whole lot about Western’s team this year so we’re looking at the conference results from last year,” Fleck said.

“WIU beat our women’s team last year and we’d like to reverse that this year. We learned a lot from the Green Bay meet and we’ve been working hard at improving our problem areas.”

On the men’s side, NIU is looking to avenge its title as Mid-Continent Conference champs. Senior Art Sanchez, who competed in last year’s U.S. Swimming Spring Nationals, will lead the pack.

“Western’s men’s team is a real up-and-coming program,” Fleck said. “We’ll simply need a really strong effort to beat them. But, we’ll need that all year.”