MARQUETTE, Mich. -- Sophomore Rachel Helm (Newcastle Upon Tyne, England/Burnside College) was named Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Women's Swimming and Diving Athlete of the Week while the Northern Michigan University Swimming and Diving Teams each moved into the national rankings.
Helm's posted an NCAA provisional B Cut Standard in the 200-yard backstroke, swimming in two-minutes 00.76 seconds, also good for a new PEIF Pool Record. The swim is currently the fastest time among all Division II. For the weekend, she finished with five first-place finishes in two meets against Findlay University.
On Friday, Helm captured the 25-yard breaststroke, 75-yard backstroke and the 125-yard individual medley. She followed it with victories in the 100-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard backstroke while joining the winning 200-yard freestyle relay.
As a team, the women's swimming and diving team is ranked 17th in the CSCAA/TYR Top 25 Preseason Poll, released this week. Over the weekend, the women's team defeated Findlay both Friday and Saturday. Friday's meet saw NMU win 155-99 and repeated the win with a 182-112 team score Saturday.
The men's team is ranked 15th nationally in this week's CSCAA/TYR Top 25 Preseason Poll. The men's team also won two meets over Findlay Friday and Saturday. In Friday's meet, NMU swept every first-place finish on their way to a 177-77 victory. Saturday's meet saw the men win 14 of 16 events, winning the meet 184-107.
The team's will look to improve on their success as they head to St. Cloud State University this weekend. The women's team will compete in a quad-meet, taking on the hosts, St. Cloud St., and Minnesota State-Moorhead and Northern State University. The men's team will compete in a dual meet against St. Cloud St.
More Game Notes
Budai's Winning Weekend:
Sophomore Lajos Budai (Kecskemet, Hungary/Bolyai Janos) posted four victories this weekend. On Friday, he won the 25-yard backstroke and the 75-yard freestyle. He then won the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard freestyle on Saturday.
Herrera's Breaststroke Success:
Junior Arnoldo Herrera (Heredia, Costa Rica/Saint Jude) also captured four first-place finishes against Findlay. Friday's meet saw him win the 25-yard breaststroke and the 75-yard breaststroke. In Saturday's meet, he took the 100-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard breaststroke.
Spajic's Perfect Distance:
Freshman Gabriella Spajic (New South Wales, Australia/De La Salle Catholic College) claimed three first-place victories in Saturday's meet at the 200-yard distance. She won the 200-yard freestyle, the 200-yard individual medley and the 200-yard butterfly. She was also a member of the 200-yard freestyle relay.
Three divers qualified for the NCAA Championships Saturday. On the men's side, Charlie Pavlak (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln-Way West) qualified in the three-meter diving event. The women saw two divers meet the qualifications. At one-meter, sophomore Jamie Kimble (Prior Lake, Minn./Prior Lake) won Saturday's event, as Kimble and junior Angela Probstfeld (White Lake, Mich./Lakeland) both posted a qualifying score. Probstfeld then earned the NCAA Championship qualification in the three-meter event as well.
Probstfeld Wins Three:
Probstfeld won three of the four diving events this weekend. On Friday, she won both one-meter and three-meter diving. She then followed it by winning the three-meter dive during Saturday's meet.
Junior Ryan Knox-Leonard (South Wales, Australia/Toronto) won two events during Friday's meet. Leonard captured the 75-yard backstroke and the 125-yard individual medley.
Junior Renars Bundzis (Riga, Latvia/Riga Secondary School) won both backstroke events Saturday. He touched first in the 100-yard backstroke and then captured the 200-yard backstroke as well.
Wildcats Sweep Relays:
During the two meets, eight total relays were completed, with NMU winning each one. On Friday, the women's team of junior Regan Kilburn (Muscatine, Iowa/Muscatine), junior Becca Arakelian (Livonia, Mich./Livonia Stevenson), sophomore Madelyn Irelan (Owosso, Mich./Owosso) and freshman Lena Soulas (London, England/Woodhouse College) was followed by the men's team of junior Joshua Cosgrove (Bury, U.K./Bury College), Herrera, junior David Miranda (Vinaros, Spain/IES Jose Viloplane) and Budai to both win the 125-yard medley relay.
Junior Samantha Dickie (Canton, Mich./Mercy), senior Hannah Crump (Grand Rapids, Mich./Northview/South Dakota State), freshman Margaret Vaitkus (Munster, Ind.) and sophomore Victoria Reese (Lombard, Ill/Glenbard South) claimed the women's 125-yard freestyle while junior Esteban Gutierrez (Chihuahua, Mexico/Colojio De Buchilleres SEA), Cosgrove, senior David Vowels (Oconomowoc, Mich.) and Knox-Leonard won the men's race.
On Saturday, Helm, Arakelian, Irelan and Soulas took the women's 200-yard medley relay, setting a new PEIF Pool record with a time of 1:46.12. Bundzis, Herrera, Leonard and Budai won the men's event. To close out the weekend, Soulas, Vaitkus, Spajic and Helm won the 200-yard freestyle relay with Cosgrove, Vowels, sophomore Michael Biclawski (Canton, Ohio/Jackson) and Budai winning the men's race.