Feb. 18, 2012
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IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Jenny Wilson swam down a Northwestern record that had stood for 13 years not once, but twice on the final day of the Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championships and Felicitas Lenz earned a silver medal on the platform dive at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center in Iowa City, Iowa Saturday.
In the preliminary race Saturday morning, Wilson (Bethesda, Md./Sidwell Friends School) turned in an eye-popping time of 2:11.84 in the 200 breaststroke to surpass Amy Balcerzak's time of 2:12:30, established in 1999. In the final Big Ten Championship race of her career in the evening, the senior touched home 1.95 seconds faster than that in a time of 2:09.59, thirty-four one hundredths shy of an NCAA `A' cut effort. She now holds the top two times and three of the top four marks in that event.
Northwestern's top freestyler throughout the meet, Taylor Reynolds (St. Louis, Mo./Webster Groves), continued to perform at a high level on the final day. Reynolds won heat nine of the 100 freestyle event Saturday morning going away in a then-pool record time of 49.30 seconds. That time signifies a career best, an NCAA `B' cut effort and the third top time in program laurels. Reynolds finished sixth in the final race in 49.33 seconds on Saturday night and her two times from the day rank third and fourth, respectively in NU annals.
In the bonus final of the 100 freestyle during the evening session, Jackie Powell (Madison, Wis./James Madison Memorial) captured a fourth-place finish with a time of 50.34, fractions under her preliminary time from Saturday morning and her top time this season.
In the 200 butterfly bonus final Meredith King (Lousiville, Ky./duPont Manual) turned in a fantastic performance as she came in under two minutes at 1:59.50 to earn an NCAA `B' cut time and the sixth top mark in Northwestern history for the event. Sophomore Becca Soderholm (Madison, Wis./Madison East) finished third in the `C' final in 2:01.48, the fastest time of her two-year career.
In the consolation final of the 200 butterfly, Hannah Points (Tualatin, Ore./Tualatin) and Meghan Cavanaugh (Anchorage, Alaska/East Anchorage) followed up personal NCAA `B' cut efforts in the prelims with more strong swimming. Points powered to the front in the final 50 yards and wound up second in the field in a time of 1:59.82. Cavanaugh touched the wall fourth at a pace of 2:00.86. The senior captain delivered a time of 2:00.30 in the prelim swim, the best mark of her storied four-year career.
After the morning swim session, sisters Felicitas Lenz and younger sibling Cosima Lenz (Altadena, Calif./Polytechnic School) put on a virtual clinic in the platform diving competition. Felicitas used a monster effort that garnered a score of 75.2 on her fifth and final dive to vault from fifth place all the way up to second with 284.80 points. Cosima maintained a steady effort throughout her five dives to tally a cumulative of 279.30.
Cosima moved the front of the pack early with a 67.20 on her first dive, but found herself in seventh after her third dive, ahead of only her older sister. In round four, Cosima pulled off a 68.80, her best score yet, and Felicitas ripped off a dive that garnered 75.20 points to vault from eighth to fourth. In the final round, Cosima earned a score of 56.00, while Felicitas collected a mark of 65.60, a high enough mark to earn a silver medal and All-Big Ten Second Team honors.
The swimming portion of the conference championships concluded with the 400 freestyle relay. The Wildcats swam in the first heat and posted the time to beat at 3:20.57. Tori Larsen (Elmhurst, Ill./York) kicked things off and handed it off to Powell. Powell gave way to Jacquie Godbe (Rapid City, S.D./Stevens) who secured the lead and made way for Reynolds who closed out to earn the heat's top time. After the second heat, NU's time held up for seventh place.
With its 400 freestlye time, Northwestern held off Michigan and secured a seventh-place finish in the team standings at the 2012 Big Ten Women's Swimming and Diving Championships with 258.0 points. It is the first time under head coach Jimmy Tierney that the Wildcats finished ahead of the Wolverines at the meet. Minnesota was crowned the team champion this season.
Seven heats of the 200 backstroke started the party on Saturday morning. Northwestern entered two swimmers, both in heat three. Freshman Madeleine Klichowski (Chicago, Ill./Loyola Academy) continued a strong meet with the fastest time in the heat at 2:01.87, 3.57 seconds faster than her seed time. The newcomer powered past the field in the final 50 yards to earn the second fastest time to that point. Junior Meaghan Fenn (New Rochelle, N.Y./The Ursuline School) clocked in with her best effort of the season as well in 2:03.27.
During the prelims, Fallon Fitzpatrick (Delray Beach, Fla./Boca Raton Community) led things off in the 100 freestyle with a mark of 53.36 seconds, a career-best and close to a second faster than her seed time. Shelby Johnson (Wayzata, Minn./Wayzata), who was named Northwestern's Big Ten Sportsmanship honoree Friday night, followed that up with a 53.22 of her own.
Freshman Rachel Kim (Federal Way, Wash./Todd Beamer) went 52.57 in the 100 free and classmate Valerie Nubbe (Hunstville, Ala./Hunstville) swam in 52.05, both career-bests in their young tenure. Senior Sheila O'Neill (Dunwoody, Ga./The Marist School) swam a 53.01 in her final conference race.
Tori Larsen (Elmhurst, Ill./York) and Katie McCullough (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central) swam second and third, respectively in heat six. Larsen touched the wall at 50.67 just ahead of McCullough's 51.15, both career-best marks. Jacquie Godbe (Rapid City, S.D./Stevens) and Marybeth Hall (Brighton, Mich./Brighton) were also paired up in heat eight. Godbe finished third in a time of 50.80, while Hall touched home in 51.69 seconds.
Fenn continued her busy day and jumped back into the pool for the 200 breaststroke's third heat. The NU junior posted the third top time in her heat at 2:19.27, beating her previous career best by 2.81 seconds.
After claiming the bronze medal in the 400 IM Friday, Points posted a preliminary time of 2:16.43 in the 200 breaststroke, narrowly missing an NCAA `B' cut standard. Teammate Kathleen Patterson (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) finished in 2:17.87 for the Wildcats. Points wound up 21st in the field of 55 to secure a spot in the bonus final, but opted to scratch from the event to focus on the consolation final of the butterfly.
King and Lauren Clifford (Pollock Pines, Calif./El Dorado) secured lanes for the bonus final of the 200 butterfly with times of 2:01.44 and 2:01.78, respectively. For Clifford, that score signifies a career best by 3.12 seconds. She finished eighth in the bonus final with a time of 2:03.73
Three Wildcats took part in the 1,650 freestyle swim, also known as the mile. Beth Loe (Upper Arlington, Ohio/Upper Arlington) and Megan Goss (Brentwood, Tenn./Ravenwood) each turned in a top time for this season for Northwestern at 17:08.17 and 16:44.53, respectively. Erin Sosdian (The Woodlands, Texas/Woodlands College Prep) touched the wall at 16:46.02 in the final preliminary heat Saturday.
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