Mid-Con battle leaves Huskies tied up in 3’s


The NIU men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams had over two weeks to prepare for the Mid-Continent Conference Championships this weekend in Cleveland, Ohio. However, no amount of time seemed to be enough to prepare for a meet of such high caliber and duration as the four day event came to a close Saturday at Cleveland State University’s Viking Natatorium.

When the smoke cleared and all was said and done, both the men’s and the women’s squads finished in third place with scores of 454 and 452.5, respectively. To go along with the bronze medals, the Huskies had some great individual honors to show for their efforts.

Sophomore Jarod Schroeder was named Mid-Con Swimmer of the Year after his performances in the 50-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle relay and 400-yard medley relay.

Schroeder placed first with a :20.88 in the 50-yard freestyle, breaking the school record set by Art Sanchez set in 1990.

“I’m so proud of Jarod,” said NIU swimming head coach Jeanne Fleck. “Here’s a walk-on who hadn’t swam in high school and he’s No. 1 in the conference. He’s obviously a real success story.”

Other performances included Kristin Scholz’s :24.04 in the 50-yard freestyle, which was good for third place and the two relay teams finished third and fifth in the 400-yard medley and the 200-yard freestyle, respectively.

The men’s diving squad started out the competition in style by taking first and second place in the three-meter competition. Matt Mersman took the blue ribbon with a 504.15—just seven points shy of a school record and eight points shy of a Mid-Con record. His teammate, freshman Tony D’Amico, finished closely behind him with a 482.77.

“It was a fantastic start,” said Fleck. “What a perfect way to cap your senior year. He’s worked really hard and it’s great to see all that work pay off for him. Plus, it’s just as great to see Tony do so well.”

The women’s diving squad didn’t do as well, but still had some good showings as Amy Inselburger compiled a 392.55 in the three-meter competition to grab fifth place, while teammate Jen Anderson took sixth with a 388.

On the men’s side, NIU finished behind Wright State (699) and Western Illinois (714), while the women were 28 points short of second place behind Cleveland State (480) and Wright State (807).