BAY CITY, Mich. – Junior Rachel Helm (Newcastle, England) was named the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Women's Swim & Dive Athlete of the Week for the third time this season after a standout performance at the Calvin College Invitational.
Helm posted an NCAA A-Cut time of 53.90 in the 100-yard Backstroke during the preliminary races, qualifying for the NCAA Championships meet. She then went on to win the race that night with a time of 54.33. She accomplished the same feat in the 200-yard Backstroke. During the morning preliminary race, she swam a time of 1:56.81, then posted a winning time of 1:57.33 on her way to a second NCAA A-Cut. Adding to her individual victories was a winning time of 2:03.30 in the 200-yard Individual Medley for an NCAA B-Cut.
She also helped relays earn NCAA qualifying times. In the 400-yard Freestyle relay, she led off and helped the team set the fourth fastest time in Division II while setting a new school record and Venema Aquatic Center record. She joined the team of sophomore Margaret Vaitkus (Munster, Ind.), senior Regan Kilburn (Muscatine, Iowa) and sophomore Lena Soulas (London, England) to win the race with a time of 3:26.17.
Helm joined Kilburn, junior Madelyn Irelan (Owosso, Mich.) and Vaitkust post a time of 1:43.41 in the 200-yard Medley Relay to post an NCAA qualifying time of 1:43.41.
The junior continues the trend of NMU receiving athlete of the week honors every week of competition this season.
The Wildcats now enjoy time out of the pool as they do not compete again until January 4 during the Winter Trip to Florida. They then host University of Wisconsin-Green Bay on Saturday January 12.