MARQUETTE -After a 2012-13 campaign that featured three all-Americans at the NCAA Championships, the Northern Michigan University women's swimming and diving team will open its season at 11 a.m. Saturday at the PEIF Pool with the annual Green vs. Gold intrasquad meet.
Returning for her fourth season as NMU head coach, Heidi Voigt will look to build upon her GLIAC Coach of the Year designation in 2012-13 with 19 returnees and five freshmen.
The lone senior is Meghan Cepela, who will lead the sprint events for NMU. Cepela was part of the 200-meter freestyle relay team that placed seventh at the GLIAC Championships last season.
"We are fortunate to have Meghan," Voigt said through a Northern press release. "She's been a consistent part of this team and is the heart of the sprint group."
A large junior class, consisting of 11 swimmers and two divers, will lead Voigt's squad.
Among the swimmers is Madisen Sechena, an all-American after a seventh-place finish in the 200 breaststroke at the NCAA Championships last season.
Sechena also qualified for the championships in the 200 and 400 individual medleys.
"We have a very strong junior class that will certainly be leading us this season," Voigt said.
Leading the divers will be all-American junior Molly Kearney, who placed sixth in the 3-meter dive and third in the 1-meter dive at the NCAA Championships for all-America status in both.
Sophomore Crystal Bennet also returns after qualifying for the 2012-13 NCAA Championships in the 100 butterfly and 100 breaststroke.
NMU's official season will open with road trips to Hillsdale on Oct. 11 and Grand Valley State on Oct. 12.