Minnesota wins second straight Big Ten Swimming Championship, Wildcats finish eighth
    Photo by North by Northwestern.

    Despite a busy weekend of racing, not many waves or splashes were made in the world of Big Ten women's swimming.

    Minnesota claimed a second consecutive conference championship, anchored behind dominant breaststroke performances from senior Haley Spencer and freshman Kierra Smith. Hosted at Minnesota's University Aquatic Center, Indiana finished a distant second while Northwestern came in eighth with a strong push in the final day of competition. 

    Golden Gopher head coach Kelly Kremer earned Big Ten Coach of the Year honors, leading the team to its fifth conference title. Swimmer of the Championships was Indiana junior Lindsay Vrooman, while Diver of the Championships went to Minnesota junior Maggie Keefer for claiming two diving titles.

    For the Wildcats, the bell of the ball for was senior Taylor Reynolds, who earned Second Team All-Big Ten recognition in the 100-meter freestyle. After breaking a school record for the 50-meter freestyle Thursday, Reynolds earned the eighth and final spot in the A heat of the 100-meter finals Saturday. She was the only 'Cat to receive conference honors.

    The Lenz sisters were some of Northwestern's most exciting divers of the weekend. Senior Felicitas Lenz took the podium for the second straight year in the 3-meter springboard after finishing in third place, a drop from last year’s second-place finish. Her sister, Cosima, finished in the same event.

    Two freshman who stood out were Ellen Anderson and Emily Launer. Both had personal bests in their respective freestyle events. Sophomore Valerie Nubbe, who also competed in the 100-meter free style, finishing 31st overall. Every single race Nubbe swam at the Championships was a personal best.

    Northwestern had a strong showing in the 200-meter butterfly. Senior Meredith King swam to 19th with an overall time of just over two minutes, while Junior Becca Soderholm was close behind in 23rd.

    The 400-meter free relay was the final event of the meet, and a team of Nubbe, Reynolds, junior Jackie Powell and senior Katie McCullough swam a time of 3:20.09 to finish eighth and ensure the 'Cats would move up in the standings on the last day.

    When the totals were tallied, Northwestern finished with 203.5 points, just 8.5 ahead of ninth-place Nebraska, a team that knocked off the Wildcats at a dual meet earlier in the year. Northwestern’s eighth place finish was a step back from last year, when the Wildcats finished in seventh in Iowa City.

    Editor's note, Feb. 25 at 4:38 p.m.: A previous version of this article stated that Meredith King swam the 200 fly in just over two hours, when in reality it was just over two minutes. Thanks to commenters for pointing out the error.


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