Swimming and diving head to NCAA finals

Julie Goldberg

The Northern Michigan University mens and women’s swimming and diving team are competing in the NCAA National Championships this week in Indianapolis, Ind.

“We have nine athletes competing,” head coach Heidi Voigt said. “We have a mix of young and senior talent attending.”re-swimming_JR

Representing women’s swimming at Nationals are senior Crystal Bennet, junior Rachel Borchardt and freshmen Regan Kilburn and Savanna Saunders while senior Molly Kearney and freshman Angela Probstfeld are representing women’s diving.Representing men’s swimming at Nationals are graduate Marc Perelló and freshmen Renars Bundzis and Ryan
Knox-Leonard.

Borchardt and Knox-Leonard each qualified for a team-best four events. Borchardt will swim the 200, 500, 1,000 and 1,650 freestyles while Knox-Leonard will race the 200 IM, 400 IM, 200 freestyle and 200 backstroke.Bennet will swim the 100 freestyle, 100 breaststroke and 100 butterfly. Saunders will race in the 200 backstroke, 200 IM and 400 IM, and Kilburn will swim the 100 backstroke.Perelló will swim the 100 breaststroke, 200 breaststroke and 200 IM. Bundzis will participate in the 100 and 200 backstroke races.Kearney and Probstfeld will compete in both the 1-meter and 3-meter diving preliminary events.

“We are extremely focused this week,” Kearney said. “This is it, the big meet, and for a couple of us, it’s our last one.”

Last season, the Wildcat women finished in the top 20 in the nation for the second consecutive year.The teams competed in the Royal Open on Friday, Feb. 19 and Saturday, Feb. 20 in Charlotte, N.C.Freshmen Grantas Dapkus and Janne Roovers took first and second in the 400-meter freestyle on Friday. On Saturday, Dapkus and Roovers also finished second and third in the 800-meter freestyle.Finishing first in the 200-meter breaststroke was Perelló with a time of 2:13.84. Perelló also took third in the 100-meter
breaststroke.Bennet finished first in the 100-meter butterfly with a time of 1:01.77 and finished fourth in the 200-meter butterfly with a time of 2:42.78.Borchardt finished third in the 400-meter freestyle with a time of 4:21.77 on Friday. On Saturday, Borchardt finished second in the 800-meter freestyle, clocking in at 9:03.75.

“The Royal Open was profitable because we qualified two more athletes,” Voigt said.