Redbirds in 2nd Place After First Day at MVC Championships
Feb. 14, 2013
CARBONDALE, Ill. - The Illinois State swimming and diving team ended their first day of competition at the Missouri Valley Conference Championships in second-place. The competition gave the Redbirds multiple personal-best times, season-best times and broken school records. The Redbirds also took the conference title on the 1-meter board.
The `birds currently hold 220 points falling only to Missouri State. Illinois State stands in second-place above Southern Illinois (218), Evansville (162) and Northern Iowa (97).
Sophomore diver Wenting Zhang took first-place in the prelims and then again in the finals on the 1-meter board with a score of 324.75. Zhang won the conference title on the 1-meter board at the 2012 MVC Championships.
"Wenting winning the 1-meter board for the second time in a row was fantastic," diving coach Phil Hoffmann said. "It was a fantastic final, and Wenting had a solid night of competition. She has set herself up for a good run on the 3-meter board."
"Madi and Maureen are having a great end to their careers as Redbirds. I am happy with both of their performances," Hoffmann said. "All the student-athletes will be ready to compete tomorrow on the 3-meter board."
"It is outstanding to be a part of this conference championship. Every team has improved and the events are very competitive," head coach Steve Paska said. "I am pleased with how our first day began and ended. I think the next two days will also be very exciting."
In swimming the night started off with ISU taking second-place in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:33.80, which broke the ISU school record. The relay was swam by Marissa Yontz, Katherine Nelson, Jeanette Nolte and Erica Halley.
"This was a great way for us to start off the meet," Paska said. "The atmosphere of the championships are electrifying and to start off by breaking a school record was outstanding."
During the preliminary round of the 500-yard freestyle sophomore Cecilia Holmes swam a personal best time of 4:58.84. During the prelims, seniors Kelly Healy (5:05.95) and Emily Susmarski (5:03.25) also earned personal best times. Sophomores Keely Hunt (5:07.94) and Valerie Jones (5:04.23) swam personal best times during the finals.
During the 200-yard IM Nolte took second-place with a time of 2:03.53, which also broke the ISU record and was a personal best time for the swimmer.
"Jeanette had a terrific night of swimming, and she broke the school record tonight, which was a great start to her last conference championship meet," Paska said. "Jeanette is a senior, and I am glad we put the race together. She is a gifted sprinter in all four strokes, and her performance tonight was outstanding."
Freshman Courtney Taylor finished after Nolte in the 200-yard IM with a time of 2:05.05. This time put the swimmer in fourth-place and was a personal best time. Senior Arica Woolbright also earned a season best with a time of 2:11.40.
Halley started the preliminary rounds of the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 23.53, which broke the ISU record and also qualified the swimmer for the finals. During the finals, Halley touched the wall fourth with a time of 23.74. Yontz finished in sixth-place with a time of 23.84. The Canton, Ill. native also earned a season best time during the preliminary round with a time of 23.77.
Also, during the 50-yard freestyle preliminary rounds sophomores Kristin Horney (23.94), Samantha Schuckles (24.17) and senior Sarah Rendek(24.53) earned personal bests times. Sophomore Emily Langlotz (25.37) also swam a season best during the 50-yard freestyle prelims.
The last swimming event of the night was the 400-yard medley relay. The Illinois State team made up of Schuckles, Morgan Buechele, Nolte and Halley placed second with a time of 3:48.63, which broke the school record.
During timed trials Nolte and sophmore Alexis Nash both broke school records. Nolte in the 50-yard breaststroke with a time of 30.01, and Nash in the 50-yard butterfly with a time of 25.24.
Freshman Katelyn Kresal also earned a personal best time in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 58.24.
The Redbirds will return to the pool tomorrow at 11 a.m. for the preliminary rounds.
Live updates for the Championships can be found at: http://www.siusalukis.com/sports/c-swim/spec-rel/13-mvc-swimdive-championships.html
Live streaming can be found at: http://www.valley-live.tv/
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