Huskies prepare for duel with Raiders

By Marc Wesner

The NIU swimming teams face a tough assignment today when they travel to Dayton, Ohio, to face Wright State University.

Having begun the week dropping both the men’s and women’s meets to nationally-ranked University of Wisconsin, the Huskies end it by facing last year’s Mid-Continent Conference champs.

“We’re going up against the defending conference champs in their pool—we know it’ll be a tough weekend,” NIU head coach Jeanne Fleck said. “Last weekend we faced Western Illinois and this week it’s Wright State. I think those two meets will let us know exactly where we stand in the Mid-Con race.”

The Huskie men will be hard-pressed in their bid for victory.

“On the men’s side, I expect us to do well individually, but they are very strong team-wise,” Fleck said.

Steve Beck will be leading the charge for the swimmers, while Tony D’Amico and Matt Mersman continue to excel on the diving boards.

The women also will have their hands full. Last year saw the Wright State women take first in the North Star Conference. The effort made the Raiders the preseason favorite to do the same in the inaugural season of the newly formed Mid-Continent Conference.

“On the women’s side, it could go down to the last relay,” said Fleck. “I imagine we’ll have a few individual showdowns that will probably get repeated at the end of February.”

Those showdowns are likely to include team leaders Kristin Scholz and Amy Inselberger. Scholz has been a key performer in the freestyle events, while Inselberger has been a steady and consistent leader on the diving boards.