Feb. 17, 2012
Official 2012 B1G Championships Site
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Senior Hannah Points collected a bronze medal and broke her own school record on Friday night as the third-place finisher in the 400 IM at the 2012 Big Ten Women's Swimming and Diving Championships at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center in Iowa City.
Swimming in the final heat of the 400 individual medley, Points (Tualatin, Ore./Tualatin) smashed her own school record by more than a second in the event and finished third overall in a blistering time of 4:12.30, another NCAA `B' cut time. After trailing through the early portion of the race, Points powered into second place with a strong effort in the breaststroke and would not relent. The senior hung on to a front-running position through the freestyle long enough to earn the Big Ten bronze medal, Northwestern's first hardware of the week of the week.
As is the norm, a relay kicked off the evening session and Friday's variation was the 400 medley. The Wildcats boasted the fastest of four seed times in the opening heat and blew past the competition when it mattered. Erin Sosdian (The Woodlands, Texas/Woodlands College Prep) kicked off the event with the backstroke and after the first 100 yards, she handed it off to Jenny Wilson (Bethesda, Md./Sidwell Friends School), who dropped the hammer on the field in the final 50 yards of her breaststroke. Then Meghan Cavanaugh (Anchorage, Alaska/East Anchorage) and Taylor Reynolds (St. Louis, Mo./Webster Groves) maintained the sizable advantage to clock in at 3:39.88. That's the fastest time of the season for the 'Cats and the fifth-best in school history. After the final heat, it held up as the eighth best score of the evening.
The first individual event, of course, was the `C' final for the 400 IM. NU boasted three swimmers in that field: Meredith King (Louisville, Ky./duPont Manual), Becca Soderholm (Madison, Wis./Madison East) and Kathleen Patterson (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley). All three Wildcats shed significant time off their prelim efforts and Soderholm finished second in the heat with a personal-best time of 4:16.37. That's the fourth fastest effort in NU annals for the sophomore.
Lauren Clifford (Pollock Pines, Calif./El Dorado) led for nearly three-fourths of the consolation final, but she narrowly ran out of steam during the freestyle leg and closed out the race in 4:16.57.
Cavanaugh was NU's lone entry in the 100 butterfly and she did not disappoint. The senior captain swam second in the consolation final in career-best time of 54.19 seconds, an NCAA `B' cut time. That mark vaults Cavanaugh into a tie for second place with Christy Wicke, who set the mark in 1995 and was inducted into the Northwestern Athletic Hall of Fame Friday.
Northwestern sent three swimmers to the `C' final of the 200 freestyle. Jackie Powell (Madison, Wis./James Madison Memorial) finished third in the race at a time of 1:48.54. Jacquie Godbe (Rapid City, S.D./Stevens) clocked in at 1:48.54, just ahead of Sosdian at 1:49.76.
The final event in which Northwestern was represented Friday evening was the 100 breaststroke with Wilson as a finalist. After moving into second place on NU's all-time list with a time of 1:00.14 in her preliminary heat, the senior was just shy of that pace in the evening session. Wilson raced in at a time of 1:00.98, good for sixth overall in the event. The Maryland native now holds three of the top four times in that event all-time at Northwestern.
Northwestern turned in seven NCAA `B' cut times Friday morning, highlighted by Jenny Wilson's 100 breaststroke mark of 1:00.14.
Friday's first event was the 400 individual medley with six preliminary heats. The Wildcats entered six swimmers in the competition with three of them swimming together in the third heat. Points pushed neck-and-neck with Indiana's Dorina Szerkas through the breaststroke and freestyle to turn in a time of 4:14.20, her best of the season. Both Szerkas and Points came in under the pool record at the time. Clifford finished just behind Points at a pace of 4:16.93, while Megan Goss (Brentwood, Tenn./Ravenwood) finished in 4:25.56 in heat three.
The second event in the pool was the 100 butterfly race. Fallon Fitzpatrick (Delray Beach, Fla./Boca Raton Community) won her heat with a time of 57.46 seconds, a career best and nearly two second faster than her seed time. Marybeth Hall (Brighton, Mich./Brighton) turned in a performance of 57.67 seconds.
The next event for the Big Ten's best was the 200 freestyle. Beth Loe (Upper Arlington, Ohio/Upper Arlington) was the first 'Cat in the water, posting a time of 1:54.06, her best effort this year. Freshman Valerie Nubbe (Huntsville, Ala./Huntsville), swimming in her first conference championship meet, completed the race in 1:53.78.
Sheila O'Neill (Dunwoody, Ga./Marist School) and Jacquie Godbe (Rapid City, S.D./Stevens), two seniors swimming in their final Big Ten Championships, swam in 1:53.41 and 1:48.76, respectively. For Godbe, that pace marks the fastest effort in the 200 free of her accomplished career.
In the 100 breaststroke, Katie McCullough (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central) swam the race in 1:05.64, just shy of her career-best output. Meaghen Fenn (New Rochelle, N.Y./The Ursuline School) turned in a time trial performance of 1:05.62 in that event.
The final official swimming event of the morning session was the 100 backstroke and the `Cats sent a trio of freshmen into the water. Tori Larsen (Elmhurst, Ill./York) kicked off first with a time of 58.42 seconds. Madeleine Klichowski (Chicago, Ill./Loyola Academy) turned in her heat's top time in 56.40, nearly two seconds off her seed time. Finally, Rachel Kim (Federal Way, Wash./Todd Beamer) finished with a mark of 57.05.
After turning in an eye-popping effort in the 50 freestyle consolation final Thursday night of 22.99 seconds, Taylor Reynolds (St. Louis, Mo./Webster Groves) swam even faster in a time trial Friday. The junior clocked in a 22.46 seconds and including last night's results, Reynolds has the third fastest 50 freestyle time of this meet. That marked Northwestern's seventh and final NCAA `B' cut of the morning session.
The three meter diving competition took place during the swimming break. Junior Felicitas Lenz (Altadena, Calif./Polytechnic School) turned in a remarkable performance with 358.80 points to finish second in the preliminary event.
In the Friday diving finale, Lenz turned in a fourth-place performance on the three-meter springboard with a total of 349.30 points.
Younger sister Cosima Lenz (Alatadena, Calif./Polytechnic School) barely missed out on the consolation finals with a 17th-place finish, while Mary Kate Campbell (Burr Ridge, Ill./Fenwick) dove 30th in the field of 43.
After the water calmed on Friday, the Wildcats sat in an eighth-place tie with the host Hawkeyes with 164.0 points.
The Big Ten handed out the women's swimming and diving sportsmanship award to an individual from each of the 12 member institutions. Senior Shelby Johnson (Wayzata, Minn./Wayzata) was named the honoree from Northwestern.
Saturday marks the final day of the Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championships at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center in Iowa City. Tomorrow's schedule begins at 11 a.m. and includes the 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke and 200 butterfly. The platform diving competition will also go down tomorrow.
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