NMU sweeps Hillsdale at home

Tyler Markle

On Friday, Oct. 12 and Saturday, Oct. 13, everything went swimmingly for the Wildcats as the women’s swimming and diving team started the season with a sweep over Hillsdale.

On Friday the ’Cats swept all nine of the relays, winning 190-168 and Saturday NMU won the traditional dual meet, 170-101.

With first place in 10 of 13 competitions and a sweep in diving, the Cat’s cruised to victory, and got things going quick this year.

The day started with sophomore Emily Bourguignon taking first in the 100-yard backstroke, leading Hillsdale’s Sarah Rinaldi all race.

The 100-yard breaststroke saw the ’Cats dominate as senior Olga Budiansky, freshman Caitlyn Brenden, and sophomore Aspen McHugh took first, second and third respectively.

The 100-yard butterfly was the Wildcats first loss as sophomore Madisen Sechena came in second to Hillsdale’s Catherine Shilda by just a fraction of a second.

NMU quickly rebounded as sophomores Jordan Iverson, Tara Dowling and Dakota Sechena took the top three spots in the 1,000-yard freestyle. Jordan Iverson took an early lead and held onto it for the duration of the race, taking first by 15 seconds. In the 200-yard freestyle, sophomore Emily Brennan took first for NMU, leading the pack by four seconds. Hillsdale took first in both the 50-yard freestyle and the 200-yard individual medley.

Sophomore diver Molly Kearney swept Hillsdale’s Gretchen Geist on the one-meter and three-meter boards. Kearney scored mostly sixes on her dives, with a few sevens, which was enough to beat Geist, who rarely scored above a five.

Wildcats’ coach Heidi Voigt said she was very impressed with the whole team, and especially Kearney.

“I’m very happy with our performance today,” Voigt said. “The speed of the swimmers looked very good. Molly was undefeated, and looked great. We can always hope to improve though, and looking forward, we are in a great spot right now.”

(Madisen) Sechena took a first place finish in the next race, the 200-yard butterfly, beating Hillsdale’s Jennifer Wheeler by one second. The ’Cats then won in the 100-yard freestyle as freshmen Crystal Bennet, and Bourguignon took first and second respectively. Wildcat Debbi Lawrence won the 200-yard backstroke by two-tenths of a second.

Iverson won the 500-yard freestyle, leading the entire race. It was close though, as sophomore teammate Dowling was just behind in the end, finishing a second short of Iverson as NMU took first and second.

In the final individual event, NMU took the top three spots as Budiansky, Brennan, and Brenden led the 200-yard breaststroke.

The match ended with the 400-yard freestyle relay. NMU’s relay teams took first and third in the event. NMU senior Lauren Cockels was excited about her team’s performance.

“The team did really well, we improved a lot from last year,” Cockels said. “We’re looking forward to next week, and the remainder of the season. This was a great effort for our first match.”

The Wildcats have two meets next weekend at St. Cloud Minn. against St. Cloud and Minnesota State -Moorehead at 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19 and 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20.