CHAMPAIGN, Illinois, October 21. BEHIND a trio of wins from senior Hannah Points (Tualatin, Ore./Tualatin) and a sweep of the diving boards by Felicitas Lenz (Altadena, Calif./Polytechnic School), Northwestern began the 2011-12 season with a dominating 201-99 win at Illinois Friday afternoon.
Points won the 200 fly, 200 breast and 400 IM for Northwestern, flashing her individual medley credentials with wins in two distance stroke events as well as the IM itself.
"At this time of the year, the times don't matter as much as the race and getting your hand on the wall first," head coach Jimmy Tierney said. "We did just that, closing them down with a number of 1-2 or 1-2-3 finishes.
"We have been training at a high level," Tierney continued. "We have an exceptional group of girls who are very tight and swim with emotion. That energy goes a long way toward winning as a team like we did today."
All told, nine of the afternoon's 14 swimming events featured come-from-behind Northwestern victories — the essence of racing.
Northwestern began Friday's meet with a half-second win in the 200-yard medley relay, getting a 1:47.53 from the team of Madeleine Klichowski (Chicago, Ill./Loyola Academy), Jenny Wilson (Bethesda, Md./Sidwell Friends School), Meghan Cavanaugh (Anchorage, Alaska/East Anchorage) and Marybeth Hall (Brighton, Mich./Brighton).
Sophomore Megan Goss (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood) won the 1,000 free by more than four seconds over her teammate, sprinter Jackie Powell (Madison, Wis./James Madison Memorial), who stepped up in the distance race to earn four points with a 10:19.60. Goss' time was a 10:15.27.
Meredith King (Louisville, Ky./duPont Manual), Erin Sosdian (The Woodlands, Texas/Woodlands College Park) and Jacquie Godbe (Rapid City, S.D./Stevens) swept the top-three spots in the 200 free, with King turning in a winning time of 1:53.09.
Godbe's time was a dead-heat with Illinois' top swimmer in the race. After Illinois went 1-2-3 in the 100 back, Wilson out-touched Kathleen Patterson (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) in the 100 breast during a tremendous race between teammates. Wilson won with a 1:06.31 while Patterson was .01 behind in reaching the wall.
Points won her first race of the afternoon with a 2:06.05 in the 200 fly, then Hall's 24.12 in the 50 free was good enough for a Wildcat win. During the first diving break, Lenz blew away the field on the 1-meter springboard to win.
Coming out of the break, Powell won the 100 free, then Meaghan Fenn (New Rochelle, N.Y./The Ursuline School) and Lauren Clifford (Pollack Pines, Calif./El Dorado) scored points with a 2-3 finish in the 200 back.
Points then beat breaststroke specialist Wilson in the 200 breast, touching first in 2:21.87 while Wilson garnered four points with a 2:22.53.
Sosdian held off hard-charging teammate Beth Loe (Upper Arlington, Ohio/Upper Arlington) to win the 500 free. Sosdian had a winning time of 5:06.04, but Loe scorched the pool from the outside lane during the latter part of the race to vault into second.
Cavanaugh captured an individual win for the Wildcats with a 56.48 in the 100 fly, then, after Lenz's second victory of the day — this time on the 3-meter springboard, Points led a 1-2-3-4 Northwestern caravan to the wall in the 400 IM.
Points' time of 4:27.01 was followed by King in second, Patterson in third and Goss in fourth.
The team of Hall, Katie McCullough (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central), King and Powell out-raced Illinois in the final 400 free relay to win by .58 of a second in 3:30.24.
Northwestern returns to action in a combined dual meet with the men's team at 2 p.m. CT Saturday, Nov. 5, at Purdue.
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