SWIMMING: Hurt to miss SIU meet

Wes Watt

When Western’s men’s swim team takes to the pool Saturday against Southern Illinois, it will be missing two things: It will be missing its 19-meet win streak, which came to an abrupt halt last Saturday at the hands of Wright State, and freshman standout Nic Hurt.

Hurt, who was ineligible against Wright State, will have to sit out yet another meet because of an incomplete grade he received last semester.

The incomplete was caused by Hurt missing a test before the holiday break. He is scheduled to make up the test next week, but his absence will put a big dent in the Topper’s depth chart.

In three meets this season, Hurt has dominated his freestyle events acquiring three first-place finishes and two second-place finishes. His valuable points were lost at Wright State and will be missed Saturday against the Salukis.

“He was the difference in winning and losing the meet last weekend,” coach Bill Powell said. “He’s a heck of a swimmer, but he’s got to take care of business.”

Hurt said he regrets the mishap, but said he has confidence his team can take care of business.

“I’m just disappointed,” Hurt said. “I feel bad about missing the meet, but the team is not just one person.”

Junior teammate Nick Bracco said Hurt will be missed, but his team will step it up to pull out the win.

“It hurts the depth of the team,” Bracco said. “If we’re going to let that one thing affect us, then we’ve got more serious issues than Nic.”

While the men’s team looks to rebound, Powell hopes his women’s team keeps steamrolling ahead.

The women have accumulated a 14-meet win streak and are coming off a 41-point victory over Wright State.

Junior diver Trisha Nailor, who is recovering from a mild cold, took first place in both diving events last season. Nailor said the Toppers and she, despite her cold, will be ready to swim.

“It’s going to be a good meet,” Nailor said. “When we won against Wright State, it started a ball of fire.”

But the team only beat the Salukis by a 5-point margin last season. After a solid but exhausting performance last Saturday, Powell said his team will have to bring all it has.

“They got a few holes that we have to capitalize on,” Powell said. “Our women will not be able to lie down and go to sleep. They’re going to have to get up and swim.”

Reach Wes Watt at [email protected]