April 27, 2012
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern alumni Charlie Cunnick and Katie Braun, both 2008 NU swimming and diving graduates, set United States Masters Swimming national and state records April 20-21 at the Illinois Masters State Meet held at the UIC Natatorium. Both Cunnick and Braun swim for the Chicago Masters Swim Club.
Cunnick earned his national standard in the men's 25 and over 400 medley relay while Braun notched hers in the women's 18 and over 200 medley relay. United States Masters Swimming (USMS) is a national organization comprised of over 700 clubs in 52 regions across the country, boasting over 50,000 members ages 18 and up.
Cunnick, who specialized in the 100 free and 100 fly during his Northwestern career, teamed up with Tim Carlson (SMU), Justin Chiles (Princeton) and Vince Allegra (Villanova) for the men's 25 and over 400 medley relay. Cunnick's 51.49 in the 100 back helped lead the men to a 3:25.49 race to establish a Masters national record. This surpassed the previous record of 3:27.13 set in March of 2000 by Maryland's Montgomery Ancient Mariners.
Braun, who currently holds the Northwestern women's 100 fly record with a 53.51, swam in the women's 18 and over 200 medley relay with Hannika Schleebs (UIC), Kelly McNichols (Georgia) and Julia Shallcross (UIC). The women were swimming to beat 1:48.84, the national record held by Clemson since May of 2010, and they did just that. Katie split a 25.11 in the 50 fly to bring the team's overall time to 1:47.44.
Also in the meet, Braun set an individual state record in the 100 fly with a 55.34. The old record of 57.67 was set in 2007. As of today that time places Braun second in the country for women ages 25-29 behind a mark of 54.61.
With Masters national records under their belt, the former Wildcats teamed up to swim another race that weekend: the co-ed 25 and over mixed 200 medley relay. Cunnick and Braun, together with Tim Carlson (SMU) and Noelle Wilhite (Illinois), set an Illinois state record with a time of 1:41.46. Cunnick's 24.69 and Braun's 25.29 allowed for an impressive team performance that outdid the Chicago Blue Dolphin's 2008 state record of 1:45.20.
A noteworthy weekend for these NU alums, yet much more remains in store for the former Wildcats. This summer, Cunnick will be racing in USMS Summer Nationals July 5-8 in Omaha. Then, on August 4, the duo will swim in the Swim Across America
event to raise money for cancer research. The event takes place at Chicago's Ohio Street Beach, just down the shore from the University where their swimming careers began.
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