It didn’t take long for fast swimming to take over at the Norris Aquatic Center on Saturday evening during the second night of competition at the TYR Invitational. The night started with the 200 medley relay with Michigan State holding off against a hard charging Northwestern squad 1:41.71-1:42.01. The middle 100 was especially strong for the Spartans as Shelby Lacy (28.12) and Sarah Love (24.72) provided the necessary speed to hold off Northwestern’s very strong anchor leg in Mary Warren (22.48).
The Northwestern men avenged the close loss their female counterparts suffered with a very strong showing in the men’s 200 medley relay. Mark Ferguson (23.03), Uula Auren (24.73), Andrew Jovanovic (21.37), and Almog Olshtein (19.56) combined for the 1:28.69 effort, and Olshtein’s split was all that separated the Wildcats from 2nd place Michigan State (1:29.26).
The first individual race of the night may have also been the most exciting as Air Force’s Kim Davis and Northwestern’s Ellen Stello battled for the entirety of the 400 IM before Davis just edged out the Northwestern sophomore. Davis took the race in a 4:16.20 which was just good enough to beat out Stello’s 4:16.25. Both swimmers cleared the NCAA B cut of 4:19.39, and Northwestern freshman Sydney Modeas also cleared the standard with a third placed time of 4:17.61.
The men’s race was not nearly as close as NU junior Jordan Wilimovsky broke out in the backstroke leg of the 400 IM before sealing the deal in the breaststroke and freestyle legs. Wilimovsky took the race in a 3:53.82 which was a full 3.5 seconds ahead of Michigan State’s Connor Lamb (3:57.49). Notably, Wilimovsky was especially fast with his final 100, splitting a 51.82 on his freestyle leg. Taking third was Austin Nguyenphu in a 3:59.50.
A trio of freshmen provided a thrilling finish in the women’s 100 fly as Air Force’s Maria Schroeder (54.77) and Elise Hart (55.04) battled NU’s Aja Malone (55.15) in a back-and-forth contest. Schroeder ultimately emerged victorious thanks to the best back-half in the field (29.02), and this gave Air Force their second individual victory of the evening. Also of note was the fact that UIC junior Danel Voorhees dropped over a second to win the B final in a 55.20.
MSU junior Jacob Moore ran down Northwestern stud Andrew Jovanovic in the 100 fly to take the race in a 48.27. This cleared the NCAA B cut of 48.29, and was also faster than Moore’s previous best of 48.33 from last year’s Big Ten Championships. Jovanovic grabbed second in a 48.52 while Michigan State’s Alex Trompke (48.92) rounded out the top 3.
Another thrilling racing display came in the women’s 200 free as NU sophomore Annika Winsnes outpaced Air Force distance specialist Genevieve Miller 1:48.36-1:48.81. Winsnes was out in a 52.51 in the first 100, a half second ahead of Miller, and she was able to maintain this margin over the back half to post a new lifetime best. Miller was also not far off her personal best of 1:48.45 from last year’s Mountain West Championships. Taking third was NU’s Emily Launer in a 1:50.67.
The men’s race also provided a tight race as Michigan State freshman and Australian import Lachlan McLeish (1:37.60, NCAA B cut) utilized a superb closing 50 to push ahead of Northwestern’s Charlie Cole (1:38.01). McLeish and Cole were both out under 48 seconds with the MSU freshman bearing a slight advantage at the halfway point, but he did not relinquish this lead despite Cole’s earnest attempts to gain ground on the third 50. Also under the 1:40 mark was Saint Louis’ Branden Hulseman in a 1:39.50 for third.
Shelby Lacy came off her victory last night in the 50 breast to double up in the 100 breast in a winning time of 1:02.28. Though she was out well ahead of the field in a 28.90, she had just enough to hold off against a hard-charging Julianne Kurke (1:02.40) from Northwestern as both swimmers cleared the NCAA B cut of 1:02.49. Kurke was very strong in her splitting, taking her first 50 out in a 30.00 before returning just 2.5 seconds slower in her back half. Finishing third was Air Force’s Kira Schlosberg in a 1:03.91.
The men’s race was more of a blowout as Michigan State’s Alec Kandt cruised past the competition en route to winning in a 54.61 (NCAA B cut). Kandt was out in a 25.48 and that was plenty of momentum for the sophomore to take the event. Finishing second was his teammate Ian Rodriguez (56.13) while Northwestern’s Uula Auren (56.39) grabbed third overall.
Despite the women’s 100 back being anticipated to be a close contest, Northwestern’s Lacey Locke had little difficulty putting away the competition with a season-best time of 54.67. The sophomore was especially strong on the home stretch and her final 50 of 28.24 was far and away the best closing half of the field. About 8 tenths behind her was MSU’s Chanel Bonin in a 55.53 while Air Force’s Ellen Hart wound up third in a 55.56.
Andrew Jovanovic came off his second place finish in the 100 fly to win the men’s 100 back in a 49.06. Though he was slightly slower than he was int he preliminary session, he did what he needed to do to guide the Wildcats to their second individual victory of the night. Jovanovic was tied with MSU’s Trompke at the 50, but Trompke did not have the same back-half speed as the sophomore from NU and had to settle for 2nd in a 49.76. Taking third was NU’s Mark Ferguson in a 49.84.
The final relay of the session saw both Northwestern A relays emerging victorious against the competition. In the women’s race, Launer (1:50.99), Ellen Anderson (1:50.55), Lauren Abruzzo (1:51.25) and Annika Winsnes (1:47.76) teamed up to win in a 7:20.55. This was about two seconds ahead of Air Force’s A relay which grabbed second in a 7:22.79. In the men’s race, Andrew Jovanovic (1:39.88), Charlie Cole (1:38.57), Jonathan Lieberman (1:40.29), and Jordan Wilimovsky (1:39.77) comfortably took the event in a 6:38.51. They were over 4 seconds ahead of Michigan State’s top quartet that grabbed 2nd in a 6:42.91.
In diving action, MSU’s Cristee Cordes grabbed the 1 meter board event title with a winning score of 264.50. Behind her were Madeline Sewell (257.90) and UIC’s Whitney Johnson (251.35) to round out the top 3. In the men’s 3 meter event, Northwestern’s Andrew Cramer was the class of the field with a winning score of 348.60. Taking 2nd and 3rd respectively were NU’s John Andrade (299.80) and MSU’s Brennan Labar (284.40).
Team scores through Day 2:
Michigan State: 601
Air Force Academy: 388.5
University of Illinois at Chicago: 249
Saint Louis: 193.5
Truman State: 174.5
Northern Iowa: 71
Michigan State: 874
Saint Louis: 318.5
University of Illinois at Chicago: 295
Truman State: 165