1981-82 Women’s Swim & Dive Team Selected For NMU Sports Hall of Fame

NMU 1981-82 Women's Swim and Dive Team
NMU 1981-82 Women's Swim and Dive Team(NMU)
Published: Oct. 24, 2020 at 7:03 PM EDT
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Northern Michigan University will induct five individuals and one team into the NMU Sports Hall of Fame this year. However, due to COVID-19, there will not be an in-person induction ceremony this year but these inductees will join the 2021 Homecoming celebration and induction.

This year’s team selection is the 1981-82 Women’s Swim and Dive team.

“We are honored to be inducted into the NMU Sports Hall of Fame,” Karen Zawadzki said. “So many women worked very hard for their record breaking and All American accomplishments in 1981-1982. Most of all, I feel privileged to have shared in the camaraderie, friendship and team spirit that year.”

The 1981-82 squad posted a 9-2 season record in dual meets, with their only losses coming to the University of Wisconsin and Michigan State University. The team did defeat their biggest nemesis, Central Michigan University to highlight their dual meet season.

The squad went on to finish as runner-up at the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women Division II Championships. The second-place finish was the best national finish for an individual sport in school history at the time, and four went on to place in the AIAW Division I finals.

On the first day of the national championships, the Wildcats finished with two first-place finishes as Sue Berger, Julie Bauman, Lisa Smith and Kim Storm teamed to set a new national record of 1:49.14 in the 200-yard medley relay giving NMU their first national championship ever in a swimming event.

NMU went on to collect four more first place finishes. Bauman went on to set another record of 30.50 in the 50-yard breaststroke. Storm set a record of 23.86 in the 50-yard freestyle during the preliminary race and then took first in the finals. The team of Berger, Bauman, Storm and Karen Olson finished first in the 400-yard freestyle relay, touching the wall at 3:33.60 for another record. In the 200-yard freestyle relay, a new record time of 1:37.32 was wet by Bauman, Berger, Storm and Lisa Smith.

The 200 free relay and Storm both advanced and placed in the Division I finals, with Storm’s performance in the 50-yard freestyle giving her the first DI All-American honor in NMU history.

In total, the 1981-82 Swim & Dive team would set 11 team records, breaking every school record but one.

NMU 1981-82 Women's Swim and Dive Team
NMU 1981-82 Women's Swim and Dive Team(NMU)

The team should have seen the success coming, as Sue Mass became the first female athlete to receive the R. Victor Hurst Memorial Scholarship prior to the start of the year, established in 1970 by NMU “N” Club.

Head Coach Joan (Peto) Hopkins, “The 1981-82 Women’s Swimming and Diving Team being inducted into the NMU Sports Hall of Fame is quite an honor for them, as well as being so well-deserve! This group of young ladies was filled with talent, very motivated to excel, extremely hard-working and a pleasure to coach. This team was not picked to finish in the top 5 in the nation, but they swam and dove their hearts out all year and finished second place in the National Championships! So many records were broken and tough teams beaten. It was just an amazing accomplishment!”

“This was the year that put the NMU Women’s Swimming and Diving program on the map- as a team to be respected on a national level,” (Peto) Hopkins continued. “Every single young lady on our team throughout the year contributed to the overall success of our program. They were truly a TEAM in every sense of the word and I am so thrilled that they will be honored as such!”

Members of the 1981-82 Swim & Dive team include:

Susan Berger-Mann

Susan Bezy

Julie (Bauman) Campbell

Cathy Childers

Dawn (Olson) Davenport

Karen (Olson) Fleming

Karen (Kessler) Foster

Ruth (Hossack) Freebury

Johanna (Stout) Griggs

Lee (Martin) Hagan

Lisa (Smith) Jones

Kay (Vandekerkhove) Jones

Kathy Minette

Susan (Mass) Neyens

Bethany Ridiker

Sarah (Clement) Ross

Jill Stephenson

Betsy (Timmer) Thompson

Lisa (Goodman) Tomsheck

Sheri Westmaas

Kimberly (Storm) Ylitalo

Karen Zawadzki

Head Coach: Joan (Peto) Hopkins

GA Diving Coach: Dominic Maniaci

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