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    Moment No. 15: Swimming Records Fall

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    The 2012-13 academic year was a memorable one for Northwestern. Over the next several weeks, we will celebrate the conference championships, noteworthy wins and significant milestones that the Wildcats accumulated during the past year. Be sure to follow along at as we revisit our top 20 moments!

    Moment No. 15
    Date Feb. 21, 2013 and March 30, 2013
    Locations Minneapolis, Minn. | Indianapolis, Ind.
    Reynolds Recap Reynolds Shatters NU 50 Free Mark, Qualifies Second Overall For Finals
    Wilimovsky Recap Wilimovsky Breaks School Record Again at NCAA Meet
    Social Media @NUSwim   |  @NUSwimDive
    Top 20 Countdown Northwestern's Top 20 Moments of 2012-13 Countdown

    Two long-standing individual Northwestern school records fell in 2013, one each on the men's and women's side, and together they form our No. 15 moment of 2012-13 for Northwestern Athletics.

    First, senior women's sprinter Taylor Reynolds exploded for a 22.14 in the 50 freestyle during the preliminary heats of the 2013 Big Ten Championships to lower the previous Northwestern mark of 22.26 set by All-American Andrea Hupman in 2008. Reynolds would be seeded second overall for the finals of the event behind eventual champion Ivy Martin of Wisconsin.

    The 22.14 time for Reynolds qualified her for the 2013 NCAA Championships field and was part of a strong Big Ten Championships that also saw her pick up an All-Big Ten honor with a second-place result in the 100 freestyle.

    On the men's side, freshman Jordan Wilimovsky entered the NCAA Championships having already broken the school's record in the mile during the Big Ten Championships. His 15:03.07 at the conference meet punched his ticket to the NCAA field and took down a school mark that had not been touched in nearly a decade.

    Wilimovsky then went out and lowered it again on the final day of the NCAA meet, becoming the first Wildcat in program history to swim a sub 15:00.00 mile when he touched the wall in 14:58.80. "Jordan had a great swim today," head coach Jarod Schroeder said at the time. "Last year it only took 15:00.00 to score at the meet so we were hoping it would have been enough. His effort was still a great step forward."

    Wilimovsky went on to qualify for the United State National Team for the 2013 FINA World Championships in the 25K open water event with fourth-place finishes in both the 5K and 10K swims at the USA Swimming national championships meet.


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    Editor's Note: Northwestern women's swimmers Jackie Powell and Megan Goss spearheaded the inaugural "Breaststroke4BreastCancer" relay to raise funds for local cancer research. In an incredible display of support and organizational prowess, the first-time event filled 17 lanes at NU's Norris Aquatics Center with more than 150 swimmers who combined to tally 70,000 yards (or 39 miles) of swimming in just one hour. NU's Beta Fraternity won a trophy with the most total yards: 5,350. In addition, special guest Joan Zielinski, a Northwestern professor and invitee of Wildcats' junior swimmer Becca Soderholm, shared her experience with breast cancer with the crowd during a fun, education and powerful evening. Read on for Kristin Scharkey's perspective on how much the event meant to her team and one softball Wildcat in particular.

    On October 24, dozens of Northwestern student-athletes swam in Northwestern Women's Swimming and Diving's fundraiser "Breaststroke4BreastCancer." Our own team swam over 4,000 yards in one hour, raising money for breast cancer research and contributing to the university's final total in which the swimming program more than doubled their target goal. 

    Former Northwestern swimmer Kate Stephensen, a 2011 graduate and current James Madison Memorial Fellow, was selected to join 23 of the nation's best distance swimmers at the USA Swimming National Open Water Select Camp in June. Former NU associate head men's coach Kyle Schack served on the staff at the camp. The following is a guest blog written by Stephensen about her four-day experience in Fort Myers, Fla.

    By Kate Stephensen

    In June I was honored to participate in the USA Swimming National Open Water Select Camp. Key words for the week included: fun, teamwork and flexibility.
    Northwestern's women's swimmers volunteered as Swim Angels at the 2011 Big Shoulders Open Water Swim Classic 5K on Saturday, Sept. 10. The race featured a two-lap course in Lake Michigan beginning at the Ohio Street Beach; NU men's swimmer Charlie Rimkus won the men's portion of the 20th anniversary edition in 2010.

    The organizers of the race instituted a "Swim Angel" program beginning this year, and Northwestern quickly agreed to participate to take advantage of being visible at a National event in a sport getting a big push ahead of an Olympic year. Swim Angels buddy up with swimmers who need encouragement to help them complete the race.

    "The Big Shoulders race was a fantastic opportunity for our team to be a part of a larger swimming community and experience a different side of the sport we love," Northwestern team captain Meghan Cavanaugh said. "It was great for team bonding and wonderful exposure for the Northwestern Women's Swimming team!"

    In addition to the current Wildcats, Ellis herself and alums such as NU 100 fly record-holder Katie Braun served as Angels. Only a few participants elected to swim with an Angel, leading many of the Wildcats to enter the water en masse behind the pack and team up with any swimmers who needed help along the way.

    One particular participant requested a buddy and senior Jenny Wilson swam alongside her. The racer had never competed in an open water 5K swim before and had set a goal time for herself of 3.5 hours -- a long time to be in waters with temperatures of 64-65 degrees. Several Wildcats teamed up during the back half of the race to help her finish, which she did in 2.75 hours -- way under her goal time. The majority of the Northwestern team was on the beach waiting for her at the finish, cheering and high-fiving her as she left the water in a very emotional and triumphant scene.

    After the race, Northwestern's Angels turned into a clean-up crew, helping to break down the set-up and clear the beach of refuse.

    Also of note:
    Northwestern graduate, world open water champion and 10-time U.S. open water champion Erica Rose finished second overall in the race for the women -- while wearing a cast. Rose previously won the race three-straight years from 2007-09 before taking second a year ago. Earlier this year, she won the 28.5 mile Manhattan Island Swim, which is a circumnavigation of Manhattan Island in New York.