Women’s Swimming: Northwestern finishes the team portion of the season, taking seventh at Big Ten Championships


Daily file photo by Noah Frick-Alofs

A Northwestern swimmer does freestyle. The Wildcats finished seventh at the Big Ten Championships for the third straight year

Benjamin Rosenberg, Assistant Sports Editor

Swimming and Diving

Northwestern went back and forth with Purdue throughout the weekend in a battle for sixth place at the Big Ten Championships, but the Boilermakers ultimately held off the Wildcats, who finished seventh for the third consecutive year.

NU (5-5, 2-4 Big Ten) sat in seventh after each of the four days of competition in Bloomington, Indiana.

“As a team, we really struggled,” junior Malorie Han said. “We’re a new team coming together under a new culture with new staff, and we were so excited, we had so many expectations, yet we didn’t have the confidence in ourselves to just believe that we were capable of competing with the number one and number two teams in the conference.”

As they have done all season, sophomore Calypso Sheridan and senior Olivia Rosendahl carried the Cats. Sheridan finished fifth in the 200-yard individual medley, second in the 400 IM and fourth in the 200-yard backstroke, earning NU a total of 79 points.

Rosendahl took third in the 1-meter diving and second in both the 3-meter and platform diving events. The two-time defending national champion in the platform diving scored 83 points for the Cats even though she fell from her usual perch atop the field. Both Rosendahl and Sheridan were named to the All-Big Ten Second Team.

NU also got a strong individual performance from freshman Tara Vovk. She finished 10th in the 200-yard breaststroke, ninth in the 100 breast and 16th in the 200 IM, scoring at least 10 points for each event.

“Going into this meet, I set a few goals for myself,” Vovk said. “It was to get second swims, to make finals in all of my events. I did that. I got second swims in all three events. I won the B-Final in the 100 breast and got second in the B-Final of the 200 breast. I’m really happy with that.”

Han had another solid performance for the Cats. She was a part of four relay teams that finished in the top 10 and also scored points in both the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events.

Sophomore Sophie Angus and freshman Miriam Guevara also swam well for NU, with Guevara finishing ninth in the 100-yard butterfly and 16th in the 100 back for a total of 31 points. Angus scored 23 points for the Cats with a 10th-place finish in the 100 breast and a 19th-place finish in the 200 breast.

Overall, however, NU could not compete with the national powers at the top of the conference, including the host Hoosiers — who won the meet — as well as Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, all of whom are ranked.

Although neither the Cats’ record nor their finish at the conference championships improved from last year to this, several swimmers have said throughout the season that there have been changes to the team culture.

Han said everyone on the team is enjoying swimming and coming to practice under the new system implemented by first-year coach Jeremy Kipp.

“It’s no longer work,” Han said. “What needs to happen is we need to translate that gratitude, that excitement, that happiness into our swims.”

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Twitter: @bxrosenberg