Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Women’s Swimming: Reynolds snags All-Big Ten honors as Wildcats finish eighth

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — As All-Big Ten honoree Taylor Reynolds sprinted the final stretch of the 100-yard freestyle race, the sight of her coaches and teammates gave her all the “oomph” she needed.

After finishing fifth in the 50-yard freestyle and breaking the Northwestern record with a time of 22.44 seconds, Reynolds was determined to stand higher on the Big Ten placing podium.

Though she was the No. 2 seed heading into the 100-yard freestyle, Reynolds narrowly made the cut into the ‘A’ final heat with a time of 49.29 seconds, 0.02 seconds ahead of the first ‘B’ heat swimmer. As she mounted the blocks for her final individual Wildcat swim, NU was in 9th place overall and in desperate need of a morale boost.

“I was disappointed in myself after the 50 for not scoring as much as I should have for the team so coming back and getting the job done in the 100 was really satisfying,” Reynolds said. “I remember seeing my team on the sidelines as I was swimming the 100, and it just gave me that little extra kick, literally.”

Reynolds finished second overall in the 100-yard freestyle with a career-best time of 48.81 seconds, only .07 seconds behind the first place finisher. The close race had NU fans on their feet and allowed the team to earn much needed points that helped propel them to an eighth place overall finish.

Reynolds will be the only team member representing NU at the NCAA Championships meet in late March, swimming in both the 50- and 100-yard freestyle races.

Felicitas and Cosima Lenz contributed diving performances, finishing third and fifth, respectively.  They will both move on to compete in the NCAA Zones in a few weeks.

Though the team’s overall finish lacks luster, the Cats are eager to begin preparing for next year. Seconds after the final relay, coach Jimmy Tierney was already looking ahead to Big Ten Championships of 2014.

“I want to get back next year and get better,” Tierney said. “That’s a point we made to the team. You need to soak it all in, take the positives and find something you weren’t happy with and use it as motivation to get ready for next year.”

Eighth place wasn’t exactly where NU wanted to finish, but the season and career best times that were achieved provide great hope as they begin to look forward to the 2013-2014 season.

Sophomore Valerie Nubbe swam in three events at the championships and achieved career-best times in each. Freshman Chelsea Soderholm also had three personal best times. Nearly every member of the team broke at least one of her career best times, a trend that encourages the entire NU swimming program.

“A lot of people had personal records, so each of those races got the team fired up and really excited,” Tierney said. “We’re young, but we’re going to be good. We just need to work a little harder to get all strokes and all distances together so we’re firing at once.”

Next year, the Cats will welcome a recruiting class of at least nine or 20 swimmers.  The exact number is unknown, as they are still recruiting, but Tierney believes that with the underclassmen leadership, the incoming athletes will be valuable assets to the program.

Though the seniors will no longer be with their underclassmen teammates for 20-plus hours a week, their legacy will undoubtedly linger.

“I’m awfully proud of all the seniors,” Tierney said. “We’ll certainly miss their leadership, but the younger group has a good vision thanks to them.”

Though the season has not yet ended for Reynolds, she too is anxiously anticipating her younger teammates’ future accomplishments.

“I’m excited for them,” Reynolds said. “They’ve set themselves up really well, and I think they’ll be a lot of fun to watch next year. It’s been a good run.”

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Women’s Swimming: Reynolds snags All-Big Ten honors as Wildcats finish eighth