Wildcats Finish First Day of NCAA Championships with Five All-Americans and Two School Records

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WLUC) – The Northern Michigan University Swim & Dive team competed in the first day of the NCAA Championships and came away with two school records and five All-Americans.

ALL-AMERICANS
The Wildcats started with junior Rachel Helm (Newcastle, England) placing in the 200-yard Individual Medley. Helm placed fifth in the preliminary race during the morning with a time of 2:01.19. She improved her place in the finals by posting a time of 2:01.07.

On the men's side, senior Ryan Leonard (South Wales, Australia) placed seventh in the 200 IM, posting a time of 1:48.53. He posted a time of 1:46.54.

The two were both named All-Americans.

HONORARY
In the men's 50-yard Freestyle, junior Lajos Budai (Kecskemet, Hungary) gave NMU points with a time of 20.23. The junior placed 15th in the race to earn Honorary All-American honors.

BREAKING RECORDS
The men's and women's 200-yard Medley Relay both broke school records in the morning prelims. The women's team of senior Regan Kilburn (Muscatine, Iowa), Helm, junior Madelyn Irelan (Owosso, Mich.) and sophomore Margaret Vaitkus (Munster, Ind.) posted a time of 1:42.84 to break their own school record of 1:46.12 that they set last year. They then took 14th in the finals.

The men's squad of seniors Renars Bundzis (Riga, Latvia), Arnoldo Herrera (Heredia, Costa Rica), Leonard and Budai took 13th in the finals with a time of 1:28.87 to break the school record they set earlier in the day. During the prelims, the team came in at 1:28.91.
Both teams were named Honorary All-Americans.

TEAM RESULTS
After the first day, the women's team has 20 points to put them in 13th place. The men's team is tied for 12th place with 22 points.

UP NEXT
The Wildcats return to action for day two of the NCAA Championships and will compete in the 200-yard Freestyle Relay, 400-yard Individual Medley, 100-yard Butterfly, 200-yard Freestyle, 400-yard Medley Relay and the women's 1-meter Dive.