NU swims to early lead and holds on in winning TYR NU Invitational (Women’s Swimming)

Paul Tenorio

The Northwestern women’s swim team won the TYR NU Invitational in a landslide on Sunday after dominating competition throughout the weekend.

By balancing strong performances in the relays and individual events on the last day of competition, the Wildcats took the title with 1011.50 points. Rice finished second with 758, followed by Southern Illinois with 734.50 and Ohio State with 659 points.

After Day One of competition, the Cats jumped into the lead with 311 points after winning both the 200-yard freestyle relay and the 400-yard medley relay. Katie Paglini, who led the team in the medley, also took first place in the 200-yard individual medley.

“Katie did really well and raced well in a number of events,” said coach Jimmy Tierney.

But Tierney pointed out that it wasn’t just the winners that inspired the rest of the Cats.

“Michaela Restivo swam the best I have ever seen her swim in a college meet,” said Tierney. “Her time drops got the girls excited and made them swim faster. Seeing Michaela do stuff like that spurred us on.”

After Day Two, NU remained a safe distance ahead of the competition with 698 points. Rice was its closest opponent with 534.50 points. The second day featured wins by Paglini in the 100-yard backstroke, senior Vicky West in the 200-yard freestyle and freshman Kristen Kilroy in the 100-yard fly with a time of 56.24.

But it was the consistent finishes in relays that turned out to be the difference in the meet.

“I thought the relays performed really well,” Tierney said. “We set pretty high goals for ourselves on those and the girls responded beautifully.”

The final day of competition featured strong relay showings as well as more clutch performances from Paglini, junior Christy Olin and senior Katie Simmons. Both Simmons and Olin met NCAA “B” Standards — Olin with a time of 2:01:00 in the 200-yard butterfly and Simmons with a 2:18:01 in the 200-yard breaststroke.

“I did expect them to (qualify),” Tierney said. “I felt that they had worked well so far and raced well in the last two dual meets, and given the chance with the invitational to swim in the morning and come back in the evening I thought they would be able to (qualify).”

Other winners in the weekend included seniors Erin Swenson (100 freestyle) and Vicky West (500 freestyle).

NU will compete again next week when they travel to Auburn, Ala., for the Auburn Invitational.