`Birds Achieve Top Performances at FAU Invitational
Junior Katelyn Prorok
Junior Katelyn Prorok
In the second, and final, competition for the Illinois State swimming and diving team in Florida, sophomores Amy Schaefer and Lauren Terzis and junior Katelyn Prorok each recorded two top-ten performances at the FAU Invitational Saturday, Jan. 3, in Boca Raton, Fla., however it was not enough to overcome competition. The `Birds finished the invitational with a final score of 273 points, falling behind Pennsylvania (622), Florida Atlantic (548), Brown (543), Maryland (517), and North Texas (287).

"Today we raced as I expected," said head swimming and diving coach Steve Paska. "This competition is something we gained great experience from. The girls had good performances and I commend the team on their intensity and focus throughout the competition. I think we can definitely learn from this competition."

Schaefer and Terzis led the `Birds in the pool as each recorded two top-ten performances in their respective events. Terzis swam the 1,000-yard freestyle in a sixth-place time of 10:38.95. Schaefer went on to swim the 1,000-yard freestyle in a personal-best time of 10:46.05, placing tenth. Terzis swam the 500-yard freestyle in a time of 5:15.00, placing seventh for the `Birds. Swimming the 200-yard butterfly event, Schaefer took third with a time of 2:09.02.

Adding to the Redbirds success in the 200-yard butterfly event were freshmen Sarah Coghlin and Amber Siggins, who each recorded a top-ten finish for the `Birds. Coghlin touched the wall at 2:12.72 placing sixth, while Siggins followed closely behind with a seventh-place time of 2:13.22.

Freshman Lauren Boyd and sophomores Christine Byron and Ashley Bachler also achieved top-ten performances for the Redbirds in their respective events. Swimming the 50-yard freestyle in a time of 25.11, Boyd placed sixth for the Redbirds. Byron placed eighth in the 200-yard backstroke with a final time of 2:12.81. Bachler swam the 500-yard freestyle event, placing tenth with a time of 5:15.00.

"A number of girls had a solid day of swimming," Paska said. "We had a number of personal-best times today. (Freshman) Jillian Olson has a personal best in the 200-yard butterfly with her time of 2:14.75 and (freshman) Sarah Piechocinski also had a personal-best in 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:31.59. (Freshman) Jessica McGee also finished with a personal-best time of 1:11.24 in the 100-yard breaststroke. We will use this competition to evaluate the state of each individual swimmer as we head into the dual-meet against Ball State later in January."

Junior Katelyn Prorok led the Redbirds on the diving board, as she finished among the top-ten performers on both the one-meter and three-meter board. Prorok placed second on the one-meter board with a score of 241 before going on to take fourth on the three-meter board with a score of 220.90. Junior Liza Perrino placed eighth on the one-meter board with a final score of 201.80. Freshman Polly Hirt finished closely behind Perrino with a ninth-place score of 185.85.

Despite the loss, head diving coach Phil Hoffmann believes the team performed well as a whole.

"Katelyn had a good performance on the one-meter board, it was one of her top performances this season," Hoffmann said. "The girls have been training hard this trip, and I think the focus of this meet was skill oriented, not results oriented."

The FAU Invitational followed a first-place finish at the Ed Kennedy Meet in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. on Dec. 31, 2008, and will be the last competition for the `Birds in Florida. The Redbirds will take two weeks off from competition, before playing host to Ball State on Jan. 17 at 1 p.m. in Horton Pool.