Oct. 17, 2012
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Fresh off a return to scoring at the NCAA Championships meet a year ago and buoyed by a large and prodigious freshman class, Northwestern opens its 2012-13 season at 3 p.m. CT Friday, Oct. 19, at Big Ten foe Illinois.
The Wildcats sent a pair of swimmers to last year's NCAA meet, the now-graduated school record holder in both breaststroke events Jenny Wilson, and senior Taylor Reynolds (St. Louis, Mo./Webster Groves), who returns to lead NU in her final season as a sprinter. Also graduated from the 2011-12 squad is Hannah Points, the school's 400 IM standard bearer, but that is not to say NU's cupboard is bare heading into the new campaign.
Senior Felicitas Lenz (Altadena, Calif./Polytechnic School) has been Northwestern's best diver in recent memory over her career, earning All-Big Ten honors in the platform event last season to become the first Wildcat to win such an accolade since 2006. She and her sister, junior Cosima Lenz, form a strong 1-2 punch on the boards.
Versatile senior Meredith King
(Louisville, Ky./duPont Manual) is back to lead the individual medley and mid-distance stroke groups, while junior Becca Soderholm
(Madison, Wis./Madison East) hopes to capitalize on her breakthrough 2012 Big Ten Championships in those events.
Junior distance freestyle duo Megan Goss (Brentwood, Tenn./Ravenwood) and Erin Sosdian (The Woodlands, Texas/Woodlands College Park) lead that discipline while classmate Jackie Powell (Madison, Wis./James Madison Memorial) has NCAA-caliber potential at multiple freestyle distances.
Northwestern's freshman class is fully 11 strong, including new Wildcats in all events and at all distances. In the fall, the initial seven-member signing class was ranked No. 27 in the nation by Collegeswimming.com, though the more recent additions easily push this group into the nation's upper echelon.
To highlight the large freshman group: Backstroke specialist Karen Turner (Lake Oswego, Ore./Lakeridge) is the nation's 50th-ranked recruit and the top-ranked swimmer out of Oregon in this cycle while Shelly Patton (Littleton, Colo./Heritage) was a five-star Swimming World Magazine recruit. Ellen Anderson (Montgomery Village, Md./Gaithersburg), Julianne Kurke (Atlanta, Ga./Parkview) and Brooke Wanser (Mission Viejo, Calif./Saddleback Valley Christian) all were Swimming World Magazine four-star signees.
After this opening meet, Northwestern will return home to host a unique event from 6-7 p.m. CT Wednesday, Oct. 24: Breaststroke4Breastcancer. This hour of music, fun and, of course, swimming, will raise money for local cancer research. Already 150 swimmers have signed up to be a part of the evening's relays, guaranteeing an entertaining spectacle for fans and supporters in the stands. An emcee will keep the action moving, there will be a "pink" bake sale and plenty of surprises. Make plans to give and attend today!
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