Feb. 23, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS -- Northwestern moved up one position on the final day of the Big Ten Championships, finishing eighth overall in the team standings after one All-Big Ten and three total championship final performances from individual Wildcats on the last day of the meet.
NU had finished each of the first three days of the 2013 Championships in ninth position, but several strong individual efforts helped the Wildcats jump up to eighth overall with 203.5 points, 8.5 points ahead of ninth-place Nebraska and well ahead of 10th place Iowa, both teams which bested NU in dual meets earlier in the year.
On the 10-meter diving platform Saturday, Northwestern's Lenz sisters both made the championship final for the second event in a row. After performing the feat on the 3-meter springboard Friday, senior Felicitas Lenz (Altadena, Calif./Polytechnic School) qualified third overall and junior Cosima Lenz (Altadena, Calif./Polytechnic School) advanced in fifth overall for the title final of the 10-meter platform event on Saturday.
Felicitas put up a qualifying score of 310.65 while Cosima tallied a 294.90. Junior Mary Kate Campbell (Burr Ridge, Ill./Fenwick) nearly scored for NU in the event, finishing 19th with a 238.20 to fall just 3.90 points shy of 16th position.
During the finals competition, both Wildcats held their positions. Felicitas finished on the podium for the second year in a row with a third-place score of 342.70, one year after taking second in the event and just .60 of a point from that same spot this year. Cosima remained in fifth for NU with a tally of 320.60.
After breaking the school record in the 50 free and finishing fifth overall on Thursday, senior Taylor Reynolds (St. Louis, Mo./Webster Groves) competed in the championship final of the 100 free Saturday after lowering her career-best in the event to an NCAA `B' time of 49.29 Saturday morning and earning the eighth and final spot in the `A' heat. She entered the event as the No. 2 overall seed, and lived up to that reputation Saturday night.
Reynolds was part of an incredibly tight top five that was separated by just .19 of a second reaching the wall after 100 yards of racing. Reynolds touched in a career-best time of 48.81 that put her in a dead heat for second place, just seven one-hundredths of a second behind the titlist. By virtue of her finish, Reynolds is a 2013 All-Big Ten honoree.
Sophomore Valerie Nubbe (Hunstville, Ala./Huntsville) continued another strong Big Ten meet with a career-best 50.46 in the 100 free to capture 31st position. Every Nubbe swim thus far at the Championships has been a career-best.
Northwestern also got points Saturday in the 1,650 free from freshman Ellen Anderson (Montgomery Village, Md./Gaithersburg), who cut over 13 seconds from her seed time to touch in 16:38.35 and tally four points for the Wildcats with a 13th place finish. Classmate Emily Launer (DeKalb, Ill./Rosary) dropped nearly 10 seconds from her previous best to finish 20th overall with a 16:45.17.
Both freshman Julianne Kurke (Atlanta, Ga./Parkview) and junior Megan Goss (Brentwood, Tenn./Ravenwood) earned second-swims in the 200 breast bonus final. Kurke dropped her season best .72 of a second to touch in 2:17.17 and finish 21st overall while Goss lowered her career-best by 1.70 seconds to turn in a 2:17.47 and place 22nd.
Each Wildcat again cut down their career bests Saturday night, with Goss going a 2:16.07 to lower her mark by another full 1.4 seconds (meaning she was 3.10 seconds quicker Saturday than her previous career best entering the meet). Goss took 19th place while Kurke's evening swim of 2:16.45 placed her 20th.
In the 200 butterfly, two more Wildcats earned bonus final lanes. Senior Meredith King (Louisville, Ky./duPont Manual) swam a 2:01.52 to place 19th overall while junior Becca Soderholm (Madison, Wis./Madison East) picked up the 24th and final lane Saturday night with a morning 2:02.34. King would remain 19th after the evening action, lowering her time in the event to 2:01.21. Soderholm moved up one spot to 23rd with a 2:02.98.
Junior Erin Sosdian (The Woodlands, Texas/Woodlands College Park) was Northwestern's top finisher during the 200 back prelims Saturday morning, crushing her career-best in the event by 2.90 seconds to touch in 2:00.49 and finish 30th overall. Freshman Karen Turner (Lake Oswego, Ore./Lakeridge) was unable to match her NCAA `B' cut from the fall and ended up 33rd in 2:01.48.
In the final event of the meet, the 400 free relay, Northwestern's team of Nubbe, Reynolds, Jackie Powell (Madison, Wis./James Madison Memorial) and Katie McCullough (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central) swam a time of 3:20.09 to finish in eighth place and secure an eighth place team finish in the meet for the Wildcats.
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