Photo by Allyssa Hynes/Nebraska Communications

Huskers Earn Highest Placing at Big Tens in School History

By NU Athletic Communications

Bloomington- After four days of competition, the Nebraska swim and dive team finished in eighth place at the 2019 Big Ten Championships with a score of 428.5. This is the highest ranking at the Big Ten Championships in school history.

Finals night kicked off with the 1,650-yard freestyle. Freshman Audrey Coffey placed 19th with a time of 16:34.29, with freshman Katelyn Kilpatrick coming in at 21st with a time of 16:35.46. Both Coffey and Kilpatrick set personal records. Coffey is now sixth on the all-time records and Kilpatrick is seventh.

Senior captain Anna McDonald rallied in a 20th-place finish in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:57.89.

In the 100-yard freestyle, Autumn Haebig surpassed her personal record set from this morning. Haebig swam to a time of 49.38 (12th), the fifth fastest time in school history and a qualifying B-Cut time.  

Gwen Worlton placed 18th in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:13.38) which qualified for a B-Cut.

The 200-yard butterfly consisted of the most Huskers competing in a finals event this year. Sophomore Izzie Murray continued her success in the pool and swam a time of 1:58.68 for a seventh-place finish. Madison Coughlen set a personal record with a time of 1:57.69 (11th). Senior Dana Posthuma followed in 14th place with a time of 1:58.92. Maggie Berning earned 22nd with a swim-time of 2:00.25.

The 400-yard freestyle relay (Carla Gonzalez-Garcia, Lindsay Helferich, Tori Beeler, Haebig) swam the school’s tenth fastest time in history with a time of 3:21.10 (9th).

Abigail Knapton dominated the platform board with a total of 340.10 points to earn fourth place. The Omaha native posted the highest round score of the evening in round two (90.75), followed by a strong third-round dive (70.95). Not only is this Knapton’s first year placing in the top eight, but she placed in the top eight in all three events. Knapton placed sixth on the one-meter and fifth on the three meter.

Head diving coach Natasha Chikina was pleased of all the divers and their accomplishments.

“Overall it was a great meet for everyone,” coach Natasha Chikina said. “For the freshman divers, they stepped up and made consolations. Abi really had a great meet. She ended up top eight in all three events. Today was a special event, she finished fourth and had the highest round. She was really close to getting the medal, but we are really happy.”

Head coach Pablo Morales mentioned his thoughts on the overall competition and the final results.

“Such an amazing, emotional roller coaster,” coach Morales. “The girls battled. They committed to the process. There were a lot of ups and downs, and their commitment could’ve wavered, but it didn’t. They stayed strong. With some great diving and clutch swimming, they were able to do something that they’ve never done before. I think it’s a testimony to the commitment that the girls showed in the process, and the commitment that they showed to each other. I can think of no greater tribute to a senior class that is all about commitment. To go out that way for them was the most fitting and the most satisfying way to finish up their careers.”

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