Women’s Swimming: Wildcats blow competition out of the water at TYR Invitational

Kendra Mayer, Reporter

Northwestern emerged victorious over eight other competitors Sunday after a grueling three-day meet.

Hosted at the Sports Pavilion and Aquatics Center this weekend, the TYR Invitational included tough opponents like Bowling Green, Illinois-Chicago and Michigan State.

Yet, the Wildcats were on their A-game and swept the meet with a lead more than 100 points over the second-place Spartans.

Coach Jimmy Tierney said the meet was still a “shock to the system” because the longest meet this season thus far had only two sessions. The invitational this weekend had six.

However, he added that that all the swimmers put in great effort and did just what they set out to accomplish.

Underscoring the talent of the newcomers, freshman Lauren Abruzzo broke the team and pool records in both the 1,000-yard and mile-long freestyle. Another freshman, Lacey Locke, took first in all three of the meet’s backstroke events.

Tierney said the invitational also spells good things for February’s conference finals.

“If (the swimmers) can carry the same enthusiasm and energy into champs, Big Tens will be great,” he said.

Sophomore Emily Launer also said the meet was positive for NU in every aspect.

“The team atmosphere was really great,” she said. “We all put out some solid times.”

The freestyler added that she was particularly happy with the Cats’ 500-yard freestyle showing. NU took first, second, third and fifth at the finals.

Like Tierney, Launer thought the meet indicates good things for the championships.

“We used the meet as a gauge for Big Tens, and it worked out really well,” she said.

Brooke Wanser, an IM swimmer, said the meet demonstrated how much new depth and talent the freshman added to the team.

“They also brought in a lot of positivity,” the sophomore said.

At the same time, Wanser said the team needed both the elements of the old and the new to win any meet. She said the captains really helped put everyone in good spirits, even as the going got tough during the long meet.

Another key factor to Cats’ win was the relays. “They really stepped it up a notch,” Wanser said.

The upcoming weeks mean fewer dual meets but just as much excitement for NU. The team will send four women to U.S. Nationals in early December and head to Arizona State for an intense training trip in January.

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