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After picking up a verbal commitment to the class of 2024 from Michigan distance freestyler Lola Mull, Northwestern University women’s swimming and diving team has landed arguably the top in-state talent for the fall of 2020 in Annika Wagner.
The Park Ridge, Illinois-native is a junior at Maine South High School. At the 2018 IHSA Girls State Championships in November, she won the 200 IM with a new state record of 2:00.13, shaving .14 off Ema Rajic’s 2016 mark of 2:00.27. She also finished second in the 500 free (4:48.53). As a freshman at the 2017 state meet, she won the 200 IM with 2:00.84.
Wagner does her club swimming with NASA Wildcat Aquatics. She is a USA Swimming Scholastic All-American and NISCA All-American who specializes in IM, breast, and free. At Winter Nationals in December, she finaled in the 200 free (20th) and 200 IM (8th) and also swam the 100 free, 200 breast, and 400 IM. She had an outstanding season last spring, when after notching PBs in the SCY 100/200 free, 100/200 breast, and 100/200/400 IM at 2018 NCSA Spring Championship, she went off to swim at Irish Open Swimming Championships and improved her PBs in the LCM 50/400 free, 50 breast, and 200/40 IM.
Wagner is a big get for the Wildcats. She is flexible enough to slot into mid-distance freestyle (her 4:48 is faster than anyone on last year’s roster and her 1:47 would have ranked 2nd), but her strength is in the IMs. There, she would rank second to Calypso Sheridan, who as a freshman scored 10th in the 200 IM and 7th in the 400 IM at 2018 B1G Women’s Championships. Wagner would have made B finals in both events, as well as in the 200 free. She also would have scored in the C final of the 200 breast, where Sheridan placed 9th and classmate Sophie Angus came in 7th.
Best SCY times:
- 200 IM – 1:58.63
- 400 IM – 4:15.27
- 100 breast – 1:01.84
- 200 breast – 2:13.03
- 200 free – 1:47.01
- 500 free – 4:48.53
— NASA Wild (@NASAWild) February 22, 2019
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