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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Opinion-- A list of regrets before I graduate
Opinion-- A list of regrets before I graduate
Sal WiertellaMarch 1, 2024

Alzaga earns All-American

The swimming and diving ’Cats hit the water for one last weekend as they competed at Nationals from Wednesday, March 14 through Saturday, March 17 in Mansfield, Texas, placing 31st overall.

Junior Gaby Alzaga is an All-American after placing eighth in the 200-yard backstroke at the NCAA Championships. She finished the heat with a time of 2:02.21.

Alzaga said winning shows that the energy and long hours are paying off.

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“It is a great feeling because it assures that all the hard work was worth it, that everything paid off,” Alzaga said.

Although Alzaga got the All-American award, she said this is a prestigious award for the team as well.

“This award is not only my award, but it is a result of team effort and support,” Alzaga said. When I raced to win this, I not only raced for me, I raced for the university and for my team and winning this award changes everything.”

Head coach Heidi Voigt said it was nice to have another athlete honored at Nationals, because the last time it happened was 2007.

“Having Gaby get All-American was very big for our team,” Voigt said. “It’s great to have another one and hopefully our team is on the rise.”

Freshman Emily Brennan raced in the 200-meter breaststroke on Saturday earning a 30th place finish. She said the experience she gained was invaluable.

“It was a really great opportunity for me, especially being a freshman because I could get the experience and be more prepared if I make it my next three years,” Brennan said.

Alzaga said it was a pleasure sharing her first Nationals with Brennan and she looks forward to next year.

“I’m very proud of Emily. I’m really happy that she made it in her first year,” Alzaga said. “That tells lots about her dedication, attitude and overall, how amazing of a swimmer she is.”

The Wildcats finished with 12 points overall which was good for 31st place.

Brennan said it was great for the team to have two athletes make it to Nationals and that she is thrilled for Alzaga on her top 10 finish.

“I was really happy and proud of Gaby for getting All American,” Brennan said. “She for sure deserved it, especially after recovering from an injury; she tried her hardest and it all paid off.”

With the season ending at Nationals Alzaga said the team can think about things to improve on for next year.

“I would like to focus on my weight lifting ability this offseason so that I have more strength to finish strong at the end of my race,” Alzaga said.

Brennan said she was inspired by her teammate and is excited to do even better next year.

“I want to improve on my times and hopefully then I will make the top eight, or better yet the top three,” Brennan said.

After a seventh place finish in 2011 and a fourth place finish this year, Voigt said she is looking for the team to continue their winning ways next year.

The ’Cats also received the Team Scholar All-American Award by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America for having a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. NMU finished the fall semester with a 3.25 GPA.

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