Northwestern Picks Up Turkish Record-Holder Selen Ozbilen for 2020

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Northwestern University has added sprinter Selen Ozbilen to their women’s class of 2024. Ozbilen helped set Turkish national records in the 4×200 free relay in 2017 (with a team-best 2:02.36 split) as well as the 4×100 free relay in 2018.


  • 50m free – 25.69 (SCY – 22.42)
  • 100m free – 55.69 (SCY – 48.72)
  • 200m free – 2:02.11 (SCY – 1:47.12)
  • 50m back – 29.99 (SCY – 26.47)

Ozbilen raced to a bronze medal in the 100 free at the 2018 European Junior Championships. Her most recent major competition was the 2018 World SC Championships, where her highest finish was a 27th place outing in the 50 free (25.46 SCM).

Based on her converted times, Ozbilen looks to be a huge boost to the Wildcat roster. Last season, they had just one swimmer under 23 in the 50 and 50 in the 100 — Malorie Han. The rising senior went 22.74 and 49.42, respectively, winning the 100 free C final at the 2019 B1G Championships. Ozbilen’s converted times would’ve qualified her for A finals at B1Gs, and she would’ve just missed making NCAAs in the 100 free by two tenths.

Han will graduate after this season, but Ozbilen will overlap one season with UNC transfer Maddie Smith. Smith is a 22.42/49.17 sprinter, right on what Ozbilen is projected to be.

Also committed to NU (verbally) for 2020 are distance standout Lola Mull and the versatile Annika Wagner.

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3 years ago

Their staff is on fire with recruiting right now

Karl Ortegon
Reply to  Articuno
3 years ago


It will be interesting to see how the conference landscapes shift over the next few seasons. In the B1G, Northwestern and Wisconsin seem to be on an upswing. The ACC is probably the fastest-growing conference right now, talent-wise.

On the other hand, it’s a balance. Not *everyone* can be the best. Who will dip down into the mid- or lower-tiers of their conference?

Muddy Canary
Reply to  Karl Ortegon
3 years ago

Gophers, Wisconsin, PSU and Purdue have been slowly hemorrhaging points the last decade. The points seem to be going to IU and UM. Iowa, Mich St., NU have been bottom tier since 2005, Mich St. is even below them (with no signs up going up). NU’s class features incoming Freshman that are better than anyone on most of the bottom half teams. It’s not tough for a team to shoot up the rankings for a couple years, it’s tough for them to stay there. Gophers were dominant in the first decade of the 2000’s, Ohio State won a title within the last ten years, but neither remained at the top. Gopher’s are in the 3rd tier now. The top to… Read more »

Muddy Canary
Reply to  Karl Ortegon
3 years ago

What makes you think Wisco is on the rise (for men)? They had their lowest point total since 2015 last year. NU had the largest upward point swing (118) last year for the bottom half, and out of the top 3. If NU can keep momentum going they’ll breeze by Iowa (team averages 8th over the last 15 years. Somehow the head coach stays) in the next two years, PSU has been struggling, and Wisconsin scored 100 fewer points in 2019 than 2018 (and another 100 fewer than 2017). Men’s Big10 has been lacking in overall quality since 2012, and the gap between top tier teams (IU, Mich, OSU) and lower tier teams (Mich St., Iowa, NU, PSU) is only… Read more »

Reply to  Articuno
3 years ago

One of the best schools in the country academically. It has so much potential and I am glad that domestic and international students care about this aspect. It will be great to see Northwestern improve its ranking in the Big 10.

Reply to  Articuno
3 years ago

“On fire” is definitely a stretch (UVA is “on fire”); that said, it is good to see Northwestern making strides in the right direction.

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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