Women’s Swimming: Northwestern looks to defend TYR Invitational title


Daily file photo by Alec Carroll

A Northwestern swimmer races. The Wildcats will look to win their second consecutive TYR Invitational this weekend.

Rachel Kupfer, Reporter

Swimming and Diving

Northwestern will dive into the TYR Invitational this weekend looking to repeat last year’s win at this same meet and bounce back from Saturday’s loss to Wisconsin.

The Wildcats will compete against seven other teams, including Big Ten foe Michigan State, throughout the three-day meet. Coach Abby Steketee said the Spartans have historically been the toughest competition at this meet. They are a bigger team, she said, and because each swimmer is limited to two events per day, size and numbers help.

To prepare for the meet, NU used what Steketee calls a “drop taper” to rest. The intensity of practice slowly decreased throughout the week, and the team did not lift Thursday morning. Morning practices also started later.

“It’s just enough to take the edge off,” Steketee said.

Steketee also stressed the importance of rest and recovery throughout the three days, due to the size of the meet.

The Cats will wear tech suits this weekend, designed to make swimmers more dynamic and streamlined in the water. Freshman Calypso Sheridan, who won the 400-yard individual medley last weekend, will use that perk to her advantage for the event, she said.

“I’m looking at going close to, if not getting, the NCAA ‘A’ cut,” Sheridan said. “I’m pretty excited about that.”

In addition to the regular meet schedule, the invitational will also have 50-yard events of each stroke and a 100 individual medley, senior co-captain Aja Malone said. She will swim the 50-yard butterfly, among other races.

“They’re not really events that we normally compete in in conference, but they’re just fun events to have and get up and race for,” Malone said.

Steketee said she hopes to see NU persist throughout the meet, and wants the swimmers to maintain a competitive mindset. Having fun is part of that, Steketee said.

To reward persistence and maintain good spirits, the coaches will pick a swimmer each day to receive the “TYR-ara,” a play on the words “TYR” and “tiara,” Steketee said. They will then have their “purple reign” until the next teammate is crowned.

Malone is not worried about keeping the energy up through the three days because everyone is ready to race and participate in the preliminary and finals sessions, she said.

Overall, Steketee hopes the fun of racing will contribute to weekend success. However, she doesn’t want NU to lose focus, she said.

“Instead of being afraid of it or instead of going for perfection, just be in the moment and really absorb all the excitement,” Steketee said. “Just put it out there in the pool.”

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