Redbirds Swim Past Panthers, Zhang Breaks School Record
Wenting Zhang
Wenting Zhang

Nov. 3, 2012

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa. - The Illinois State swimming and diving team finished their second day of competition this weekend. The Redbirds (182 points) were victorious over conference opponent Northern Iowa (110 points), making the team 3-0. Diver Wenting Zhang also broke her own school record on the 3-meter board.

Zhang held the previous school record for the 3-meter board, but she broke her own record on the 3-meter board (322.20) Saturday afternoon against Northern Iowa.

"Wendy had a tremendous weekend of competition. Breaking two pool records on 1-meter and 3-meter boards on Friday evening, and breaking her own school record on the 3-meter board against Northern Iowa," diving coach Phil Hoffmann said.

Senior diver Maureen Doyle and freshman Kaitlyn Neiheisel both gave outstanding performances against the Panthers. Doyle earned a personal best score on the 1-meter board (244.80), and Neiheisel earned a season best on the 1-meter (236.62).

"This was a great weekend for the student-athletes," Hoffmann said. "The Redbirds are off to a great start, and I think next week against Illinois will be a great competition."

Redbird swimmers also proved they could compete with consistency two days in a row by earning multiple first-place finishes against the Panthers.

"We went 2-0 this weekend and that was a goal we had set for ourselves," said head coach Steve Paska. "I am glad we met that objective, and the student-athletes performed great after competing last night against Truman State and then traveling to Northern Iowa this morning."



Sophomore Marissa Yontz earned two first-place finishes in the 100-yard freestyle (53.14) and the 100-yard butterfly (1:00.67); both performances were a season best.

"This was a solid weekend of swimming for Marissa," Paska said. "She is a dominant swimmer, and she always wants to compete. I know she is dependable in each and every sprint event she races in, and I am looking forward to see her swim against Illinois and at the Zippy Invitational."

Along with Yontz, senior Jeanette Nolte finished first in the 500-yard freestyle (5:11.88), which was a personal best performance. Nolte also had a season best swim in the 100-yard backstroke (1:01.00). Sophomore Keely Hunt earned first-place and a season best in the 1000-yard freestyle (10:52.33). Sophomore Cecilia Holmes touched the wall first in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:28.35), which was a season best performance. Freshmen Tara Gidaszewski and Courtney Taylor both received personal bests. Gidaszewski had a personal best performance in the 1000-yard freestyle (11:09.81) and Taylor in the 200-yard freestyle (1:59.00).

Other noteworthy performances were made by numerous Redbird swimmers. Senior Kelly Healy finished with a season best in the 1000-yard freestyle (10:57.60), which gave her a third-place finish. Holmes also earned season bests in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:09.08) and 200-yard IM (2:11.28).Senior Danielle Schumacher, junior Erica Halley and sophomore Samantha Schuckles all swam season bests against Northern Iowa. Schumacher in the 200-yard butterfly (2:17.66), Halley in the 50-yard freestyle (24.88) and Schuckles in the 100-yard freestyle (56.47)

"This weekend was a challenge, and I am impressed with how the Redbirds prepared physically and mentally," Paska said. "They took every opportunity they were given and it was an outstanding weekend."

The Redbirds will return to Horton Pool to compete against Illinois next Friday, Nov. 9, at 6 p.m.

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