Upon completing their undergraduate education at Northwestern University this spring, both Maddie Smith and Sophie Angus are staying for graduate school, and they’ll each have one more season with the Wildcat swimming & diving program.
Both women just swam their senior seasons with the Wildcats, but due to COVID-19, the NCAA has ruled that the 2020-21 season will not count against athletes’ eligibility. That means they can both take a fifth year. Per the NU swimming & diving Instagram page, posted below, Smith will be pursuing an MS in Analytics, while Angus will be pursuing an MS in Data Science.
Smith and Angus each had banner 2020-21 seasons, not only for their own swimming careers but also for the NU program.
A sprinter who transferred from the University of North Carolina in 2019 after her sophomore year, Smith was a star at the 2021 Big Ten Championships. After being stuck at 22.42 in the 50 free since 2017, she blew by that with a 22.06 at Big Ten prelims before taking the NU program record down to 21.94 to take third in the final. She was the 100 free runner-up at Big Tens (47.98), clipping the program record there, too, and was an integral part of Northwestern’s relays.
At NCAAs, Smith became an All-American with an A-final appearance in the 50 free, again breaking her own school record with a 21.92 to take seventh in the final. She was also a B-finalist in the 100 free and was 19th in the 100 fly prelims.
Angus set the Northwestern record in the 100 breast at Big Tens (58.89) with a runner-up finish and placed fifth in the 200 breast (2:08.63). She was also Northwestern’s breaststroke medley relay leg on both medleys, splitting 26.76 on the 200 and 57.77 on the 400 as both finished runner-up.
Angus continued her success into NCAAs, making the 100 breast A-final in school-record fashion (58.59) and taking eighth overall at night. Hannah Brunzell, a rising junior on the team, walked away from the 2020-21 season with school records in both breaststrokes, going 58.50 in the B-final and 2:06.60 in the 200 breast B-final. The pair will get another season in the NCAA, making them one of the strongest 1-2 breaststroke punches in the nation again.
Smith (81.5 points at Big Tens, 18 points at NCAAs) and Angus (53 points at Big Tens, 11 points at NCAAs) both returning is massive for the Wildcats, who continue to rise in the Big Ten and nation.
Another NU star, Calypso Sheridan, is in the NCAA transfer portal for grad school, though she said she intends to compete for NU for her senior season in 2021-22 after redshirting this past year.