Women’s Swimming: Northwestern falls to No. 9 Wisconsin


Daniel Tian/Daily Senior Staffer

Lacey Locke gets set for competition. The junior finished second in the 100 yard backstroke on Saturday, with a time of 55.60 seconds.

Tucker Johnson, Reporter

Swimming and Diving

Northwestern may have lost to rival Wisconsin, but the first home meet of the season was about more than just winning.

The Wildcats (4-1, 1-1 Big Ten) suffered their first loss of the season to the No. 9 Badgers on Saturday by a score of 183-117. Despite the loss, the team still felt the meet was a success.

“(We lost) on the scoreboard, but they did not defeat us,” coach Abby Steketee said.

Though NU was an underdog against Wisconsin, the team was looking to swim faster than it had in previous meets, and it accomplished that goal.

The Cats managed to hang with their ranked rivals through the early events, as freshman Olivia Rosendahl took first in the 3 meter diving, and junior Lauren Abruzzo and senior Ellen Anderson went 1-2 in the 1000 yard freestyle. In the 500 freestyle though, Anderson and Abruzzo did not fare as well, finishing third and fourth respectively.

Anderson nearly beat out Wisconsin freshman Grace Tierney for second place, but lost by 0.32 seconds.

NU also had a 1-2 finish in the 200 yard backstroke, led by juniors Lacey Locke and Melissa Postoll. Both Locke and Postoll set season bests by about a second in the event.

“We raced hard, and we had good races,” said Locke, a team captain. “If you’re content with staying at the same spot you’ll never get better.”

In the 50 yard freestyle, sophomore Mary Warren won by three-tenths of a second, a significant margin for the short event. Her time of 23.39 seconds was just one one-hundredth of a second slower than her season best, set three weeks ago against Illinois.

Junior Annika Winsnes took third in the event, after finishing behind Wisconsin’s Marissa Berg by a fraction of a second. In the 100 yard freestyle, Winsnes dominated her competition and finished in 50.60 seconds, a season best and very nearly an NCAA ‘B’ qualifier.

Most swimmers improved their times from previous meets.

As always, there were still areas that could be improved. After the meet, Steketee specifically discussed race strategy, splitting and the need to hold underwater dolphin kicks longer after starts and turns.

Additionally, Steketee expressed confidence in the team moving forward, saying the Cats have worked hard so far this year and are buying into a program under a new coaching staff.

“When you’re in the bottom part of the conference, the challenge is to believe in yourself, and know that if you keep putting in the work day in and day out you’re going to take the steps forward,” she said. “If we stay resilient, if we stay tenacious, if we stay confident, we will get faster at Big Tens and we will get faster year by year.”

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