Feb. 21, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS -- Northwestern broke its second school record in as many days Thursday at the 2013 Big Ten Women's Swimming and Diving Championships, getting a quartet of point-scoring performances during the first full day of action at the meet.
NU currently stands in ninth place overall with 79 total points, 21 points ahead of Iowa and 11 points behind eighth-place Nebraska.
Senior Taylor Reynolds (St. Louis, Mo./Webster Groves) broke the Northwestern school record in the 50 free Thursday morning during preliminary action at the 2013 Big Ten Championships, qualifying second overall for the finals to highlight NU's morning at the meet.
Reynolds swam an NCAA `B' time of 22.14 to lower the previous mark of 22.26 set by All-American Andrea Hupman in 2008. Reynolds swam Thursday night's finals session as the second overall seed during a fast race and ended up earning fifth-place points with a 22.44 after she was not quite able to again equal her school-best effort of the morning.
Still, while not quite an NCAA automatic `A' qualification time, Reynold's 22.14 almost undoubtedly ensures her an NCAA Championships berth for her for the second year in a row. The time is the second fastest achieved at the Big Ten meet in either preliminary or finals racing.
Reynolds also has a great shot at the podium in the 100 free on Saturday, entering that event as the No. 2 overall seed. She now has two school records to her name at the 2013 Big Ten Championships after swimming the anchor leg on NU's record-breaking 200 medley relay Wednesday night during the meet's two event "soft open."
While Reynolds was the lone Wildcat to earn a second swim in the 50 free Thursday, sophomore Valerie Nubbe (Huntsville, Ala./Huntsville) turned in a career-best 23.25 to tie for 30th overall and senior Katie McCullough (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central) was just one one-hundredth of a second behind in 33rd with a career-best 23.26 of her own during the morning prelims.
Northwestern began the finals Thursday with a NCAA `B' provisional time of 1:30.55 in the 200 free relay, good for a seventh-place overall finish. The Wildcats' Big Ten Championships squad was comprised of Nubbe, Reynolds, Jackie Powell (Madison, Wis./James Madison Memorial) and McCullough. That time of 1:30.55 ranks the relay as the fourth-fastest in the event in NU program history.
NU's other scoring performances on Thursday night came from divers Felicitas Lenz (Altadena, Calif./Polytechnic School) and Cosima Lenz (Altadena, Calif./Polytechnic School) on the 1-meter springboard. Felicitas finished the afternoon 13th overall in the prelims with a 295.15. Cosima earned one point for NU with a 16th-place 273.45.
Freshman Ellen Anderson (Montgomery Village, Md./Gaithersburg) earned a second swim in her first individual Big Ten Championships event with a season-best 4:50.21 in the 500 free that placed her 24th overall, good for the final spot in Thursday night's non-scoring bonus final.
In that `C' final, Anderson jumped all the way up to take second in the heat, giving her an 18th-place overall result. Her time of 4:49.23 established a season-best for the freshman and moved her up to seventh on NU's all-time top times list in the event.
In the 200 IM Thursday morning, junior Becca Soderholm (Madison, Wis./Madison East) was NU's top finisher with a 36th place 2:02.93.
The 2013 Big Ten Championships continue tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 22. Live Results are available at Gophersports.com.
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