JENISON, Mich. – The Northern Michigan swimming and diving team finished the third day of competition at the 2012 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship from Jenison Aquatics Center. The Wildcats sit in fifth-place after Friday’s (Feb. 10) finals with 287 points. NMU is five points off of Ashland.
Freshman Emily Brennan shattered the school record in the 400-yard individual medley with a time of 4:27.97 in the preliminary round. The time also set a Jenison Aquatics pool record. She finished second in the finals and is an NCAA provisional qualifier in the event.
“Emily swam her heart out and it’s frustrating to get beat in the last five feet,” NMU coach Heidi Voigt said. “She’s a young and it’ll be a learning experience for her and she’s only going to get better.”
Freshmen Madisen Sechena and Jordan Iverson finished fourth and seventh in the 400 IM to add points for the Wildcats.
Sechena also finished seventh-place in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 57.98 and a provisional qualifying time.
“Madisen did great tonight,” Voigt said. “She swam back-to-back finals with the 400 IM and the 100 fly.”
Junior Gaby Alzaga was seventh in the championship heat of the 100-yard backstroke with a provisional time of 57.68 seconds. Freshman Emily Bourguignon was 11th out of the consolation round.
“Gabby did well today,” added Voigt. “She’s been injured and I was happy to see her in the finals. She was right on her best time.”
Junior Olga Budiansky and freshman Debbi Lawrence swam the championship heat and finished in the top eight of the 100-yard breaststroke. Budiansky was sixth and Lawrence eighth.
Freshman Sophia Garris qualified for the championships of the one-meter dive. She finished eighth with a score of 323.25. Sophomore Katie Lochart and freshman Annie Bengry finished 13th and 14th in the event.
“Sophia finaled again in the one-meter and that was good,” said Voigt. “The divers are young and will improve a lot.”
Northern’s 800 freestyle relay squad finished eighth. Brennan, Bourguignon, Iverson and Lawrence swam the event for the ‘Cats.
Freshman Taylor Grimm finished 10th in the 400 IM. Senior Stephanie Rogaczewski and sophomore Lindsay Stedman also participated in the event. Bourguignon was the lone Wildcat in the 200-yard freestyle, finishing 12th. Freshmen Pam Johnson (26th) and Dakota Sechena (27th) also raced the 100 back.
Grimm (16th), senior Jenny Gallagher (21st) and junior Lauren Cockels also swam the 100 butterfly. Freshman Aspen McHugh finished 16th out of the consolation round in the 100 breaststroke while sophomore Kelsey Sipple (19th) and senior Jenny Gallagher (20th) also raced.
“Fifth-place was a goal for us and that’ll be great if we hold off Hillsdale and Findlay,” Voigt said. “I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how close we’ve been with Indy and Ashland. Tomorrow could be close but Ashland is a sprint team and they’ll get some points in the 100.”
Saturday’s preliminaries start at 10:30 a.m. with the finals to start at 5:30 p.m.
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