Swim and Dive: Northwestern places fourth at Big Ten Championships


Daily file photo by Noah Frick-Alofs

A Northwestern swimmer does freestyle. The Wildcats finished fourth at the Big Ten Championships.

John Riker, Assistant Sports Editor

Swimming and Diving

Northwestern’s women’s swim and dive team placed fourth out of 13 teams at the Big Ten Swimming Championships in one of its strongest performances of the season, breaking school records in the process.

After a 4-2 regular season, the Wildcats shined at the Big Ten Swimming Championships, held from Feb. 23 to 27 in Minneapolis. Though NU was unable to avenge earlier losses to Michigan and Indiana, the Cats’ fourth-place finish put them in the top echelon of Big Ten teams in coach Katie Robinson’s first season at the helm. NU also finished fourth in the 2020 Big Ten Championships, setting a new program record with a 992-point performance.

Podium finishes and historic marks propelled NU to the top of the standings. Sophomore Ally Larson, freshman Selen Ozbilen, senior Maddie Smith and freshman Annika Wagner set a new school record of 3:14.35 in the 400 freestyle relay and placed third in the meet’s final race. Smith broke other school records in her individual events, the 100 freestyle, 50 freestyle and 100 fly.

The Cats also finished in the top three in the 100 breaststroke, 200 fly, 200 and 400 medley relays, and 200 free relay.

The mens’ and womens’ dive squads also held their own against top competition in the conference at the Big Ten Diving Championships in West Lafayette, Ind., where the men placed fourth with 97 points and the women notched a sixth-place finish with 134 points.

NU will look to continue its momentum in the men’s swimming championship, which will be held this week from Mar. 2 to 6 in Columbus, Ohio.

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Twitter: @john__riker

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