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Northern Michigan University women win Calvin swim invite for 1st time, men runners-up

GRAND RAPIDS — Northern Michigan University won the women’s meet for the first time at the three-day Calvin College Invitational college swimming and diving meet held in Grand Rapids that ended Saturday.

NMU placed runner-up to Grand Valley State in the men’s meet.

The Wildcats are off until they travel for a dual meet at NCAA Division I Wisconsin-Green Bay on Jan. 11.

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Women amass points

The Wildcats totaled 1,994 points to beat out runner-up Grand Valley’s 1,845 as NMU senior Rachel Helm, freshman Michaela Nelson, freshman Meritxell Font Cantarero and sophomore Mary Grossman won events.

Helm won the 200-yard backstroke in 1 minute, 57.93 seconds, the 200 individual medley in 2:04.75, and on Friday, the 100 back in 54.74 seconds.

Nelson was victorious in the 100 freestyle in 51.16 on Saturday and the 200 free on Friday in 1:53.28.

Font Cantarero took the 200 butterfly Saturday in 2:04.03 while Grossman won the 1-meter diving on Friday with 434.20 points.

The Wildcats’ A team was second in the 200 medley relay on Saturday with a team of Helm, Nelson, freshman Jenna Joerger and senior Maddy Irelan, with the B team fourth.

NMU’s 200 free relay was also second on Friday with Nelson, Helm, junior Margaret Vaitkus and freshman Pilar Perello Ferrer.

Picking up runner-up finishes in individual events on Friday and Saturday were Font Cantarero in the 100 fly, Joerger in the 200 IM Saturday and 100 back Friday, Vaitkus in the 100 free, sophomore Briana Arnold in the 100 breast and sophomore Mary Grossman in the 3-meter diving.

In third were Nelson in the 50 free, sophomore Katharina Springhetti in the 100 breaststroke on Friday and 200 breaststroke on Saturday, freshman Maria Arakelian in the 500 free, Perello Ferrer in both the 100 free and 200 free, junior Gabriella Spajic in the 400 IM and freshman Amanda Baird in the 1-meter diving.

In addition, freshman Francesca Gastrow joined Arakelian by swimming NCAA Division II national meet “B” qualifying times in the 500 free on Saturday. Arakelian clocked 5:03.68 and Gastrow, who was fourth, came in at 5:04.25.

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NMU men place 2nd

The Wildcats compiled 1,508 points to finish behind only champion GVSU’s 2,329.

Northern’s 200 free relay on Friday won with an NCAA “B” cut time of 1:21.16 with freshmen Roberto Camera and Ivan Amillo Escobedo, sophomore Henry Bauer and senior Lajos Budai.

Amillo Escobedo also had a “B” cut time of 1:37.67 in winning the 200 free, as did sophomore Jon Busse, who was second in the event in 1:39.50.

Camera won the 100 breast on Friday in 54.46 and 200 breast on Saturday in 1:58.71. Amilo Escobedo won the 100 free on Saturday in 44.49, just edging out Budai’s 44.61 posting.

Runner-up finishes were also turned in by junior Ondrej Zach in the 500 free, Budai in the 50 free and freshman Erikas Kapocius in the 400 IM.

Zach was third in the 200 fly, as was Kapocius in the 200 IM, Budai in the 100 breast and Camera in the 50 free.

Northern’s 200 medley relay was fourth with with Kapocius, Camera, Bauer and senior Maksim Kapustin.

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