JENISON, Mich. – Sophomore Rachel Helm (Newcastle, England/Burnside College) was named the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Women's Swimmer of the Year as the Northern Michigan University Women's Swim and Dive team saw three individual victories on the fourth and final day of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Helm collected her fourth championship of this year's meet, and eighth individual championship in total, by winning the 200-yard backstroke. Helm set a new GLIAC record by touching in one minute, 56.38 seconds. Junior Regan Kilburn (Muscatine, Iowa) finished sixth in a time of 2:03.49 while junior Becca Arakelian (Livonia, Mich.) took seventh in 2:04.26.
Also winning for the women was freshman Lena Soulas (London, England/Woodhouse College) in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 50.94. Freshman Margaret Vaitkus (Munster, Ind.) captured sixth place in 52.68 while senior Hannah Crump (Grand Rapids, Mich./Northview/South Dakota State) gave the team points.
Freshman Katharina Springhetti (Tramin, Italy/Auerora Specialized Secondary School for Economic Field) saw victory in the 200-yard breaststroke for her first career championships, winning the race in 2:17.80. Junior Dana Stroven (Howell, Mich./Hartland) was seventh and touched in 2:21.04. Freshman Cassandra Clark (Newport News, Va.) and junior Carolina Artacho (Sao Paulo Brazil/Paralelo) also scored points.
In the 1,650 yard freestyle, freshman Gabriella Spajic (New South Wales, Australia/De La Salle Catholic College Cronulla) took second, clocking in at 17:14.23. Junior Emily Bell (London, England/Mill Hill) gave the team more points.
The meet concluded with the 400-yard freestyle relay team of Soulas, Crump, Vaitkus and Helm taking third.
Overall, the women's team finished third with 755.5 points, finishing behind winner Wayne State University and Grand Valley State University, who came in second. The Wildcats next action will be at the NCAA National Championships in March. Several members have already qualified for the national championships will others still await word.