Women’s Swimming: Northwestern travels to Bloomington for Big Ten Championships


Daily file photo by Noah Frick-Alofs

A Northwestern swimmer dives into the water. The Wildcats are looking to improve on last year’s seventh-place finish at the Big Ten Championships.

Benjamin Rosenberg, Assistant Sports Editor

Swimming and Diving

Northwestern finished seventh at the Big Ten Championships each of the past two years, and will try to move up in the standings at this year’s meet in Bloomington, Indiana.

The Wildcats (5-5, 2-4 Big Ten) have not competed since Feb. 2, so they will be well-rested and have been physically preparing for the final full-team event of the season.

“It’s involved a lot of stretching, a lot of foam rolling, a lot of mentalization, visualization,” freshman Miriam Guevara said. “Some yoga, a lot of fast swimming. College swimming is very intense, very fast, so that’s been an adjustment, but the coaching staff has been really great about prioritizing your taper as an individual.”

Guevara has been one of Northwestern’s strongest newcomers this season and holds the Cats’ top time in the 100-yard butterfly, an event she has won four times this year. Her six overall first-place finishes rank tied for third on the team behind sophomore Calypso Sheridan’s 14 and senior diver Olivia Rosendahl’s 12. Sophomore Sophie Angus also has six wins, all in the breaststroke events.

Junior Malorie Han has five individual wins this season across three different freestyle events, and sophomore Ilektra Lebl and freshman Tara Vovk each have single victories in four different events.

Sheridan said she is looking forward to seeing the freshmen put up some good times, especially in the relays, which are worth more points than individual events.

“I like to define success in terms of season-bests as well as being happy with the race,” Sheridan said. “If everyone comes into it swimming faster than they did at the TYR Invitational, it’ll be an amazing meet.”

The three-day TYR Invitational in November, which NU won, was the only time the Cats participated in a meet longer than two days. To prepare for the Big Ten Championships, which consist of seven sessions over four days, NU scheduled meets in Louisville and Cincinnati on back-to-back days in late January and then a two-day tri-dual the following weekend against Minnesota and Purdue.

Coach Jeremy Kipp said he scheduled the two-day meets so that his team could get used to competing on a tight turnaround.

“If you have a great swim in the evening at finals, it’s really hard to go to sleep and then you’ve got to get up the next day and be able to perform,” Kipp said. “We try to take it one session at a time. We try to approach each session individually.”

While this is the last time the Cats will compete as an entire team, some team members are trying to qualify for the NCAA Championships in late March. Chief among them is Rosendahl, who is seeking a third straight national championship in the platform diving.

Last year, Rosendahl and Sheridan were the only swimmers to represent NU on the national stage.

“We’re going to see how many people we can qualify for the NCAAs,” Kipp said. “If we break some school records, and the relays are on point, that’s going to start the ball rolling. If kids are swimming their fastest now, they’re peaking, that’s the idea.”

Email: benjaminrosenberg2021@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @bxrosenberg