Nov. 17, 2012
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern freshman Shelly Patton (Littleton, Colo./Heritage) earned the Wildcats' first NCAA `B' provisional qualifying time of the season during Saturday's second-day action at NU's home TYR Invitational, highlighting an evening in which the Wildcats closed the gap between themselves and first-place Illinois.
Entering the day trailing Illinois by 32 points, NU cut that deficit to 21.5 entering Sunday's third and final day. Illinois currently leads the six-team invitational with 617.5 points to NU's 596 points while Bowling Green State (445.5) follows in third, North Dakota (298) is fourth, UIC (256) is fifth and Division III power Kenyon College (210) is sixth.
The third and final day of the TYR Invitational begins at 9 a.m. CT tomorrow, Sunday, Nov. 18, with preliminary action. Finals will get underway at 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon. Live results can be found at by clicking here.
Preliminary Portion of Saturday's Action:
In the first individual event of the morning, Patton won her heat of the 400 IM by nearly 10 seconds and cruised into the top qualifying spot for Saturday evening's finals with a 4:24.21. Teammates Becca Soderholm (Madison, Wis./Madison East) and Emily Launer (DeKalb, Ill./Rosary) followed in the second and third overall spots for the Wildcats after they finished their heat within a tenth of a second of each other, 4:25.59 to 4:25.69. One Wildcat, Megan Goss (Brentwood, Tenn./Ravenwood), will represent NU in the consolation final after a 12th-place overall 4:35.56.
The top qualifier for the 100 fly was Meredith King
(Louisville, Ky./duPoint Manual), who came in 12th overall and will swim as the No. 4 entree in the consolation final. Marybeth Hall
(Brighton, Mich./Brighton) will join her after a 16th-place effort in the morning.
King secured another qualifying time of 1:52.33 in the 200 free. King and teammate Erin Sosdian (The Woodlands, Texas/Woodlands College Park) will compete in the championship final with fourth- and sixth-place seeds. Ellen Anderson (Montgomery Willage, Md./Gaithersburg) and Launer had 10th-and 15th-place overall finishes, ensuring their position to score points in the consolation final.
Patton won her heat with a 1:04.63 and earned an overall third-place qualifying spot in the 100-yard breaststroke for Saturday night. Competing with her in the championship final will be NU freshman Julianne Kurke (Atlanta, Ga./Parkview), who placed fifth overall with a time of 1:04.91. Senior Katie McCullough (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central) bypassed her season best of 1:06.47 by almost two second in 1:04.95, earning her a sixth-place finish overall and another huge berth in the championship finals for the 'Cats.
The 100-yard backstroke saw three Wildcats finishing in the top eight. Freshman Karen Turner (Lake Oswego, Ore./Lakeridge), sophomore Madeleine Klichowski (Chicago, Ill./Loyola Academy) and senior Meaghan Fenn (New Rochelle, N.Y./The Ursuline School) qualified fourth, sixth and eighth, respectively. Sosdian earned a 12th-place overall finish and improved her season best in the event from 59.93 to 58.63. Another Wildcat, Anderson, finished 15th to give NU one more point-scoring opportunity in the event.
Finals Portion of Saturday's Action:
Bowling Green captured the finals kickoff event, the 200 medley relay, followed by Northwestern's team of Turner, McCullough, Hall and Taylor Reynolds (St. Louis, Mo./Webster Groves) in second place with a time of 1:43.65. Needing points to begin its comeback against Illinois, NU out-touched the third-place Illini by .25 of a second.
Patton won the 400 IM by 2.18 seconds in a stellar time of 4:18.08, earning her an NCAA `B' consideration cut -- the first of the season for NU -- and the No. 8 position on Northwestern's all-time top-10 in the event. Soderholm and Launer earned second and fourth place finishes. Goss won the consolation heat. She beat her closest opponent by 2.13 seconds, ranking her ninth overall.
King and Hall earned ninth and 14th-place overall finishes in the 100 fly consolation round. King improved season best from 58.76 to 56.39.
Sosdian and King earned a combined 30 points with their third and fifth place finishes in the 200 free. Anderson placed ninth overall and Launer finished 16th.
The Wildcats continued to whittle away at the Illini lead in the 100 breaststroke. Patton's third place finish, McCullough's sixth place finish and Kurke's seventh place finish earned the `Cats 41 points for this event.
Turner and Klichowski finished third and sixth in the 100 breaststroke. Sosdian and Anderson added points to the team total by coming in ninth and 10th overall.
In diving on Saturday, junior Cosima Lenz (Altadena, Calif./Polytechnic School) captured the 1-meter springboard event with a season-high score of 280.30 to lead the Wildcats. Mary Kate Campbell (Burr Ridge, Ill./Fenwick) earned sixth-place points with a 245.10 while freshman Caroline Grant (Winnetka, Ill./New Trier) garnered eighth-place points with a 220.50.
The 800 free `A' relay team edged out the Illinois `A' relay group by more than four seconds. The combined efforts of Patton, Sosdian, King and Anderson earned the `Cats 40 points towards their total in 7:22.50. Patton went out neck-and-neck with the Ilinois leadoff swimmer while Sosdian largely maintained that margin. King gradually pulled away in the third leg before Anderson slammed the door shut for the Wildcats.
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