Redbirds Fall to Phoenix at Home Finale, 166.5 - 133.5
Jan. 26, 2008
NORMAL,Ill. - Although the Illinois State swimming and diving team had several outstanding performances and won six events, the Redbirds fell to Green Bay, 166.5-133.5. Senior Kathleen Borkovec, sophomore Lindsay Dinkelman, freshman Amy Schaefer, and junior Suzanne Almeida all walked away with first-place finishes in their respective events.
Borkovec and Dinkelman each had two first-place finishes as Borkovec took first in the 100- and 200-yard freestyle, touching the wall at 54.69 and 1:57.29, respectively. Dinkelman won the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke at 1:07.59 and 2:27.30, respectively. Shaefer won the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:09.49, placed second in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 59.69 and anchored the 400-yard medley relay and the 200-yard freestyle relay, which both placed second with times of 4:04.21 and 1:39.22, respectively. Almeida won the 50-yard freestyle after she touched the wall at 25.01, and led the second-place 200-yard freestyle relay.
Illinois State head swimming and diving coach Steve Paska was pleased with his team's performance and felt honored to coach the ten senior student-athletes that were recognized for their time as Redbirds.
"I was very impressed with how the team competed and raced," said Paska. "Green Bay has a solid program, and it was a good, competitive meet for us. Over the past two weeks, I have been very impressed with how some of the team has performed. Valerie Zaleski, Christine Byron, Molly Gomberg and Caitlin Falconer have all had two solid weeks of swimming. Also having a healthier Amy Schaefer and Katie (Borkovec) brought energy to the team.
"It was a privilege and honor to coach the ten senior student-athletes that we recognized," said Paska. "It has been a special experience to be their coach for the past three or four years and to see them grow as students and athletes. They have contributed tremendously to the team's success this season."
Also leading the way for the Redbirds was senior captain Zaleski, who placed second in the 100-yard freestyle with a personal-best time of 54.72, third in the 200-yard freestyle, fifth in the 50-yard freestyle and swam the third leg of the 200-yard freestyle relay that came in second with a time of 1:39.22. Sophomore Catharine Danenhower finished fourth in the 200-yard breaststroke with a personal-best time of 2:32.60, while Falconer finished third in the 200-yard breaststroke with a personal-best time of 2:30.15 and junior Tiffany Rentner finished fifth in the 100-yard butterfly with a personal-best time of 1:01.18. Freshman Ashley Bachler also had a strong performance at the meet, as she placed fifth in the 1000-yard freestyle with a personal-best time of 10:56.45.
Paska is looking forward to preparing his team for the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Swimming and Diving Championships Feb. 14-16.
"We have to keep the momentum going and get even healthier as conference draws near," said Paska. "I am looking forward to competing at conference in a few weeks."
In the diving events, senior Katie Janonis walked away with second-place on the 1-meter and third on the 3-meter board with scores of 234.29 and 224.40, respectively. Sophomore Liza Perrino and freshman Corrie Heine also had noteworthy performances, the duo placed eighth and third, respectively, in the 1-meter diving competition and fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 3-meter competition.
Redbird head diving coach Phil Hoffmann was pleased with the effort each diver gave.
"I am very happy with the individual efforts that each diver had," said Hoffmann. "There were positive aspects of their performances even if the results did not show that, and that is important at this time of year. This was a good meet for Katie (Janonis) as her last meet at home in front of a big crowd of family and friends. I am looking forward to conference in a few weeks."
The `Birds have a few weeks off as they prepare for the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Championships, Feb. 14-16, in Carbondale, Ill.