JENISON, Mich. – Sophomore Rachel Helm (Newcastle over Tyne, England/Burnside College) defended her 200-yard individual medley championship, and the 200-yard medley relay team gave the Northern Michigan University Women's Swim and Dive Team just their second relay victory in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships since 2005 to lead the Wildcats on day one.
Helm finished in a time of two minutes 02.21 seconds to set a new pool record and posted an NCAA B-Cut. Freshman Katharina Springhetti (Tramin, Italy/Auerora Specialized Secondary School for Economic Field) and junior Becca Arakelian (Livonia, Mich. / Livonia Stevenson) also finished in the A-Final while junior Sara Foucault (Whitewater, Wis.) helped give the Wildcats points.
In addition to the win, the 200-yard medley relay of junior Regan Kilburn (Muscatine, Iowa), Helm, Madelyn Irelan (Owosso, Mich), and freshman Margaret Vaitkus (Munster, Ind.) also posted an NCAA B-Cut time of 1:42.85
Freshman Gabriella Spajic (New South Wales, Australia/De La Salle Catholic College Cronulla) took second in the women's 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 10:07.80 to earn an NCAA B-Cut. Hannah Crump (Grand Rapids, Mich./Northview) and freshman Stefanie Rasmussen (Melrose, Minn.) also placed in the race.
The 50-yard freestyle saw Vaitkus and freshman Lena Soulas (London, England/Woodhouse) earned NCAA B-Cuts and finish among the top eight. Kilburn earned points in the race.
NMU is currently in third place after the first day with 174 points. Wayne State University is leading the meet, with Grand Valley State University in second place. Saginaw Valley State University is fourth with Ashland University in fifth and Tiffin University in sixth.