Women’s Swimming: Northwestern sets records at TYR Invitational

Claire Hansen, Reporter

Women’s Swimming

Northwestern (4-3, 1-1 Big Ten) set four pool records and achieved 11 NCAA ‘B’ cut times on its way to a dominant victory at the seven-team TYR Invitational meet this weekend.

The Wildcats led the field with 1,287.5 points, while Michigan State came in second with 856. Air Force took third place with 614.5, University of Illinois at Chicago cruised into fourth with 358, Saint Louis sat in fifth with 298.5, Truman State finished in sixth place with 279.5 and Northern Iowa, competing with only divers, was seventh.

“It was one of the best team efforts in my 20-plus years here, without a doubt,” coach Jimmy Tierney said. “We had a lot of emphasis on relays, and the relays were just stellar.”

On Friday, the team smashed a 17-year-old pool record in the 400 medley relay. On Sunday, the Cats broke the 400 free relay record. Sophomore Annika Winsnes, whom Tierney called a “catalyst for four of the five relays,” broke the pool record for the 100 free during the leadoff leg of the 400 relay. The other three members of the 400 free relay, Aja Malone, Mary Warren and Anna Keane, are all freshmen.

“Finishing the meet by breaking the pool record was great,” Winsnes said. “There are three freshmen, and that says a lot about the future of our team.”

The Cats shone individually as well. Sophomore Ellen Stello won the 200 fly championship by 2.57 seconds, shattering the pool record with a ‘B’ cut time of 1:58.70. Sophomore Lacey Locke notched wins and ‘B’ cuts in the 200 back and 50 back. Stello and Lacey will both travel to U.S. Nationals during the first week of December.

Sophomore Lauren Abruzzo and freshman Sydney Modeas finished 2-3 in the 1,650 freestyle final. Abruzzo tallied a ‘B’ cut time of 16:28.71 while Modeas came in at 16:40.74.

NU took first, second and third in the 100 free final. Winsnes won the event with a career-best 49.98, a ‘B’ cut qualifying time and her first sub 50.00 time. Warren followed closely behind in second place while Keane earned the bronze.

“I’ve had teams where we’ve had more glorified, established stars, but these girls are really emerging,” Tierney said. “And they’re going to be dangerous.”

Tierney noted that the team was strong throughout the entirety of the three-day event, which is one day longer than most regular meets.

Despite the slew of impressive cut times and pool records, team members said more than anything, the TYR has given them assurance.

“This meet has given us a huge boost of confidence, confidence in our training and our coaches and that what we are doing is working,” Winsnes said. “We can only go up from here.”

Tierney agrees.

“I feel great,” he said, “because the girls have been putting in the work, and they’re seeing the results.”

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