NU swimmers get one last chance to qualify for NCAAs

Stacey Harms

About 10 members of the No. 16 Northwestern women’s swimming team will take one last shot this weekend at qualifying for the NCAA championships.

The swimmers will attend the Indiana Open, a”last chance” meet in Bloomington, Ind., on Sunday following the men’s Big Ten championships.

The Cats will leave for the meet Saturday to cheer on the men’s team during its final day of the conference championships before swimming the following day.

The NCAA increased the field size for this year’s national meet, and many of the additional spots are still up for grabs.

NU head coach Jimmy Tierney said he usually has an idea of which B-cut times will make it into the final meet, but this year is different.

“Since it’s changed, it’s just kind of a guessing game,” the coach said.

NU swimmers and coaches jointly decided who would attend the meet.

“Some of them are going to try to improve their times,” Tierney said. “Some are going to try to end the year on a better note. Others are going to solidify a spot at NCAAs.”

Merritt Adams, Carmen Cosgrove and Rachel Johnson are the only three NU swimmers who have already qualified for the championships. But Tierney said he expects more to make the cut this weekend.

“All of the girls have a good shot at improving their times,” Tierney said. “We’ll bring in a number of girls, it’s just a question of how many.”

Sophomore Erica Rose said she will attend the meet to try to achieve her season-long goal of qualifying for NCAAs in the 1,650-yard freestyle. She had hoped to make the cut last weekend at the Big Ten championships but fell short.

Rose will be joined by teammates Lori Schwanhausser, Brielle Bovee, Katie Simmons, Erin Swenson, Christy Olin, Paige Nath, Stephanie Cranston and Vicky West, Tierney said.

Rose said she expects times to improve for herself and others, and added that she is going to try to relax more this weekend since the “last chance” meet is less formal than the conference championships.

“Some of the girls need an extra week of rest,” she said. “Other girls swim better under less pressure.”