Redbirds Remain in Second While Breaking MVC Records
Courtney Taylor
Courtney Taylor

Feb. 15, 2013

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CARBONDALE, Ill. - The Illinois State swimming and diving team remains in second-place with 515 points after the second day of competition at the Missouri Valley Conference Championships. The `birds continued to break records and set new personal best and season best times, as well as earn first-place finishes.

The 800-yard freestyle relay team made up of seniors Danielle Schumacher, Jeanette Nolte, Tori Alland and sophomore Cecilia Holmes earned a first-place finish, as well as set a new MVC Championship, Shea Natatorium and ISU record with a time of 7:28.04.

Nolte also continued to finish first during the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 55.06. During the preliminary round Nolte broke the ISU, Shea Natatorium and MVC record with a time of 54.77. This time was also a personal best for the swimmer.

Sophomore diver Wenting Zhang took first-place on the 3-meter board during the preliminaries with a score of 330.25. Zhang's score on the 3-meter board broke the MVC and Shea Natatorium record. Zhang previously won the conference title on the 1-meter board for the second year in a row on Thursday night.

"This was the second day for the Redbirds earning multiple personal best and season best times. It was an outstanding day for the swimming and diving program," head coach Steve Paska said. "The entire conference is swimming fast and the events are competitive. This is my 17th conference meet and it is a joy to be a part of this championship."

ISU currently is ahead of Southern Illinois (440), Evansville (318) and Northern Iowa (185), falling only to Missouri State (593).

The 200-yard medley relay team made up of sophomore Samantha Schuckles, senior Morgan Buechele, sophomore Alexis Nash and junior Erica Halley earned a third-place finish with a time of 1:44.47, which was a new school record. Leading off the 200-yard medley relay Schuckles earned a new school record with a time of 26.30.

Freshman Courtney Taylor touched the wall second in the 400-yard IM with a time of 4:25.32, which also set a new school record. Sophomores Valerie Jones(4:28.83) and Holmes (4:29.02) followed Taylor during the 400-yard IM finishing in fourth and fifth place. Jones time was a personal best and Holmes earned a season best time. Finishing in 14th junior April Livingston earned a personal best time of 4:46.68.

During the preliminary round of the 400-yard IM freshman Katelyn Kresal swam a personal best with a time of 4:36.31.

Following Nolte's first place-finish in the 100-yard butterfly was Nash in eighth-place with a time of 57.18. In the preliminary round, Nash swam a time of 57.16, which was a personal best time. Senior Sarah Rendek (57.61) and sophomore Emily Langlotz (59.45) also earned personal best times during the preliminaries.

During the 200-yard freestyle Schumacher and Alland led the way for the Redbirds. Schumacher finished with a season best time of 1:50.37 and earned fourth-place, and Alland finished with a personal best time of 1:51.80 to take sixth. Sophomore Marissa Yontz followed closely behind Alland earning a season best time of 1:52.41 placing seventh. Sophomore Katherine Nelson took ninth-place earning a personal best time of 1:53.73. During the preliminary rounds seniors Emily Susmarski (1:54.16) and Kelly Healy (1:56.35) earned personal bests.

The 100-yard breaststroke gave Taylor a fifth-place finish with a time of 1:05.10, which was a personal best time. Senior teammates Buechele (1:05.56) and Arica Woolbright (1:05.87) followed behind Taylor taking seventh and eighth-place. Livingston placed 10th with a season best time of 1:06.00. During the preliminary rounds Buechele (1:04.87) and Woolbright (1:04.99) earned personal best times.

Halley finished in seventh during the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 57.63, and Schuckles rounded out the top eight with a time of 57.88. Nash (58.34) and Kresal (59.42) finished in 11th and 13th place. Nash's time was a new personal best. During the preliminary rounds Halley (57.47), sophomore Kristin Horney (1:00.80) and senior Brianna Winkler (58.50) earned personal best times.

"This has been a tremendous weekend to be a part of and tomorrow I am looking forward to the swimmers and divers rising to the challenge and finishing the meet," Paska said. "All the student-athletes have one more event to be a part of and it will be a special day our 11 senior student-athletes who are competing for their last time as Redbirds."

Senior divers Maureen Doyle and Madicyn Prouty both earned personal best scores on the 3-meter board. Doyle earned a score of 258.40, which placed her in 10th and Prouty finished in 12th with a score of 247.80.

"This was a great way for our two seniors to end their season. Both had personal best scores and had two phenomenal nights of diving," diving coach Phil Hoffmann said. "I could not be happier for both the seniors. They have both been great additions to the program over the last four years."

The Redbirds will finish their last day of competition tomorrow with preliminaries started at 10 a.m. and finals at 4 p.m.

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