Minnesota’s Kierra Smith was named the Big Ten Female Swimmer of the Week after hitting the conference’s first NCAA “A” cut of the season at the Minneapolis Grand Prix this past weekend.
Smith won the 200 breast in a landslide against a tough college and professional field, going 2:05.12 to break Minnesota’s school record and come in just about a second off the U.S. Open record in the event. Smith also broke a minute in the 100 breast (59.68) to earn her 5th career Swimmer of the Week award and second of this season.
Meanwhile Northwestern’s Jordan Wilimovsky earned the men’s award after winning three times at the TYR Invite in Evanston, Illinois. Wilimovsky nearly broke 15 minutes in the 1650 and now sits inside the nation’s top 5 in the event. He was 15:00.91 in that race, plus 4:21.70 in the 500 and 3:52.82 in the 400 IM.
Minnesota’s women also took home Freshman of the Week honors. First-year Brooke Zeiger was one of two swimmers to win the award after nearly breaking the Minnesota school record in the 400 IM at the Grand Prix. Zeiger went 4:06.63 out of prelims in the 400 IM and now sits #2 in the nation. She was third in that event at the Minneapolis Grand Prix behind professional stars Elizabeth Beisel, Maya DiRado and Caitlin Leverenz.
Also winning Female freshman of the Week was Rutgers rookie Addison Walkowiak, who won three times at the Frank Elm Invite on the diving boards. Walkowiak broke 300 points on both springboards and scored 259.75 on Platform, qualifying for NCAA Zones in all three events. This is her second Big Ten award in the past three weeks.
Men’s Freshman of the Week was Ohio State’s Brayden Seal. The first-year won the 500 free at Ohio State’s home invite, going 4:19.82. He also took second in the 1650 free and ranks in the nation’s top 20 in both races, including 4th in the 500 free. This is his first Freshman of the Week honor in his young career.
Purdue’s Steele Johnson won the 4th Big Ten weekly award of his freshman season after taking 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the three diving events at that Ohio State Invite. He won on 3-meter, was runner-up on Platform and took third in 1-meter to earn Diver of the Week honors. Female Diver of the Week went to Nebraska’s Nicole Schwery. The junior won platform at the Missouri Invite and also took second on 3-meter, qualifying for NCAA Zones on all three boards.