Women’s Swimming: Diving accident overshadows Wildcats’ win over Iowa


Daily file photo by Daniel Tian

Georgie Pettibone competes in the breaststroke. The junior finished in sixth place in the 200 yard breaststroke against Iowa, more than seven seconds behind first place.

Tucker Johnson, Reporter

Swimming and Diving

In a day of stunning highs and lows in the diving well, an unfortunate accident on the boards took center stage during Northwestern’s 190.5-109.5 victory over Iowa on Saturday.

Midway through the meet, an Iowa diver misjudged her dive and struck her head on the diving board and the diver, whose name has not been released, sank to the bottom of the pool.

She stayed there for a significant period of time, but was able to swim back to the wall under her own power and her teammates helped her out of the pool.

Lifeguards stabilized her spine, applying a neck brace and putting her on a backboard before EMTs arrived. The diver was transported for further examination.

“It looked a lot worse than it was, I’ve seen much, much worse,” Iowa’s diving coach Todd Waikel said. “I’m assuming she’s going to be fine,” he continued, adding that he expected she would be back at practice in a short time.

Moments after the injured diver left the building, the competition resumed with the Wildcats winning 12-of-16 events.

NU freshman Olivia Rosendahl won both the 1 and 3 meter boards for the Cats, continuing a commanding winning streak in her discipline this season. Rosendahl was recently named Big Ten Freshman of the Week for the third time, and has won every single 3 meter competition this season.

From 1 meter, she has won at every meet except for against Wisconsin, when she took second. On Saturday, Rosendahl broke the Norris Aquatics Center pool record for 1 meter diving with her score of 317.63.

“I’m working on consistency, just getting similar scores on every dive,” Rosendahl said. “I really did that this meet, since I got sevens, 7.5s on every dive.”

Several NU swimmers also had superb meets. Junior captain Lacey Locke won three events, taking the 100 and 200 yard backstrokes and the 200 yard Individual Medley.

In the 200 IM, Locke was followed close behind by freshman Peyton Greenberg and junior Melissa Postoll. Iowa’s first finisher, Tereysa Lehnertz, finished a full 3 seconds behind Locke and more than a second behind the third-place Postoll.

“(Coach) Abby (Steketee), (and assistants) Steve (Steketee) and Kyle (Berg) have been working us hard, if we can perform this well being this sore and this tired we’re going to be unstoppable at Big Tens,” Locke said.

Junior Annika Winsnes won two individual events for the Cats, and anchored NU’s win in the 400 yard freestyle relay.

In the relay, Winsnes was locked in a tough race, starting the final leg in a dead heat with a swimmer from Iowa’s A team. Although her times were a little slower during this meet than past weeks, she was still dominant.

“After that last turn, I just put my head down and focused,” she said.

The Cats only have one meet left before the Big Ten Championships, when they take on Minnesota and Purdue over two days next weekend. As they enter their final weeks of preparation, the team has seen big improvements across the board.

Steketee singled out the team’s 200 medley relay as indicative of their general position.

“Our 200 medley didn’t win, but it was much sharper than last week,” she said, “We raced really well today.”

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated the record which an NU diver broke. She broke the 1 meter record. The Daily regrets the error.

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