Wildcats Swim & Dive into Calvin College Invite pursuing NCAA consideration, championship qualifications

CHAMPIONSHIP MIND — Wildcats dive into the Calvin College Invite this weekend looking for NCAA consideration.
CHAMPIONSHIP MIND — Wildcats dive into the Calvin College Invite this weekend looking for NCAA consideration.
Caden Sierra

The Northern Michigan University Wildcats men’s and women’s swim and dive teams are currently ranked nationally at No. 7 for the women’s team and No. 14 for the men’s team in the DII swim rankings. The team is set to travel to Grand Rapids for the Calvin College Invite. The three-day meet will start Thursday, Nov. 30 and run until Saturday, Dec. 2, with matches kicking off at 10 a.m. Thursday. 

“We’re getting ready to go to our midseason meet which is a pretty big meet,” Coach Heidi Voigt said. “We always go to the Calvin College Invite downstate … historically we’ve done very well there.”

Voigt addressed the challenge of determining A cuts and B cuts for NCAA qualification, and she highlighted the need for each Wildcat swimmer to be on top of their game. 

“With the NCAA … they take the top number in the country and you’re not really quite sure what that number is,” Voigt said. “It’s just our opportunity to try to get our people up as far as we can.” 

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With the ‘Cats recently having a dual meet against Saginaw Valley State and Grand Valley State University on Oct. 27 and Oct. 28, Voigt highlighted the benefits the team has had because of reduced travel.

“I’ve been really excited because we haven’t quite had as much travel, so we’ve really done some good training and training time,” she said.

Voigt also noted the team is currently prioritizing rest, mentioning the team was able to get out of practice early and keeping morale high leading into the midseason meet.

Focusing on the recent victory against Wayne State on Nov. 4, Voigt attributed the success to having a home pool advantage, strategic racing adjustments and the ‘Cats’ fearlessness in facing strong opponents. Notably, group A of the women’s 200-yard medley relay, which consisted of junior Mia Strazny, freshman Hermione Roe, freshman Carlotta Santi and sophomore Olivia Haerr, set a new record with a time of 1:43.64, although it was considered an exhibition. Sophomore Tobie Stiles also broke a school record in the 1-meter dive, earning an impressive score of 477.84. 

“They weren’t afraid to attack some of those big dogs,” Voigt said.

She emphasized the importance of the longevity of the midseason meet as good preparation for future conference and national meets which share similar lengths.

The Wildcats men’s and women’s swim and dive teams will aim to make a splash at the Calvin College Invite, as they aim for NCAA consideration times and qualifications for the upcoming championships.

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