Swimmers gear for double dose

This weekend provides the NIU men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams with a rare opportunity—the chance to “double their pleasure, double their fun.” Twice.

The Huskies return to Anderson Hall Pool to host the University of Notre Dame today in a 6 p.m. coed dual meet. Saturday, the Panthers of the University of Northern Iowa invade DeKalb for a 1 p.m. meet.

On the men’s side, the 2-3 Huskies attempt to bounce back from a 148-80 setback at the hands of Northwestern University. Despite the defeat, diver Bryan Hanania provided a bright spot in the three-meter event, compiling a six-dive score of 315.07, comfortably above the score of 310.00 needed to qualify for NCAA Zone C National Pre-qualification meet at the end of the season.

“Bryan’s hard work is really beginning to pay off,” NIU diving coach Jeff Symons added. “He came through with a very consistent performance and that consistency added to a qualifying score. Better yet, he can definitely continue to improve.”

Meanwhile, the Huskie women attempt to stem the tide against a streak which has seen NIU drop five of its last six encounters. Most recently, Northwestern dunked NIU 158-77, despite personal season-highs by diver Jen Anderson in both the one- and three-meter competitions.

“Against Notre Dame, the men expect to come down to the wire, as is traditional. Diving will be very important. The women could find themselves in some rougher water,” NIU coach Jeanne Fleck said. “We’ll swim some different events against Northern Iowa, but the experience of swimming twice in a weekend will again help us prepare for the conference meets.”

Both the men’s and women’s conference championships take place Feb. 26-29. The women, who compete in the final year of the North Star Conference, and the men, who are already part of the Mid-Continent Conference, travel to the University of Illinois-Chicago for the meet.

The NCAA Zone C Diving Qualification Meet is scheduled for March 7-8.