Northern Michigan University women 16th, men 19th at NCAA swimming and diving championships

Rachel Helm

INDIANAPOLIS — The Northern Michigan University women’s team is in 16th place and the men’s in 19th place after Thursday’s second day of the NCAA Division II Championships in swimming and diving. The meet runs through Saturday.

The Wildcats’ top finish came Wednesday when junior Rachel Helm, a two-time national champion in backstroke events, finished fifth in the women’s 200-yard individual medley in 2:01.07. She was also fifth in qualifying with 2:01.19 as she earned All-American honors.

On Thursday, Helm was 16th in the 100 butterfly in 55.73 seconds and was on the 12th-place 200 freestyle relay in 1:34.26. Joining her were sophomore Margaret Vaitkus, senior Regan Kilburn and sophomore Lena Soulas. Helm earned honorary All-American status in the 100 fly.

Also on Wednesday, senior Ryan Leonard was seventh in the men’s 200 IM in 1:48.53 after qualifying second in 1:46.54. He earned All-American honors.


Ryan Leonard

Women’s point scorers

On Thursday, three Wildcats competed and two scored points in one-meter diving — freshman Mary Grossman scored 408.65 points to finish 10th, senior Angela Probstfeld was 13th with 392.25 and junior Jamie Kimble just missed scoring points by coming in 17th with 381.70.

Soulas was 22nd in the 200 free prelims in 1:51.22, while in the 400 medley relay, Soulas, Kilburn, freshman Briana Arnold and junior Madelyn Irelan were 24th in the prelims in 3:52.00.

On Wednesday, the 200 medley relay broke a school record in the prelims in 1:42.84, breaking their own record by nearly 3 1/2 seconds, and finished 14th for honorary All-American status. The quartet consisted of Kilburn, Helm, Irelan and Vaitkus.


Men score points

On Thursday, Leonard was 15th in 400 IM in 3:55.57 for honorary All-American honors, while junior Lajos Budai was 25th in the 200 free prelims in 1:38.61.

On Wednesday, Budai was 15th in the 50 free in 20.23 to be named an honorary All-American, while the 200 medley relay team set a school record by several hundredths of a second in 1:28.87 to place 13th and also be named honorary All-Americans. That group consisted of Leonard, Budai and seniors Renars Bundzis and Arnoldo Herrera.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.