Redbirds are Victorious Against Evansville
Samantha Schuckles
Samantha Schuckles

Nov. 8, 2013

NORMAL, Ill. - - After a tremendous start to the meet on Friday with a pool breaking record the Redbirds were victorious in their dual meet against conference opponent Evansville with a final score of 180-110.

The Horton Pool 200-yard medley relay record was broken by Sammy Schuckles, Courtney Taylor, Lexi Nash and Katherine Nelson with a record breaking, first-place time of 1:47.00.

"I am ecstatic with our results tonight," said Nelson. "Breaking the 200-yard medley relay pool record is a bright start to how I feel we will compete at conference in February."

Head Coach Steve Paska is happy with the results of the Evansville match-up, but still believes there are improvements the Redbirds need make.

"I am elated with the victory, the new record and new bests from Friday's meet," said Paska. "The 200-yard medley relay helped the Redbirds to gain momentum at the start of the meet, but once again the swimmers made some mistakes they have to learn from. The student-athletes need to clean up the details in theirs events and continue to finish strong. This is something the Redbirds have total control over. They need to practice diligently to correct their mistakes by doing this they will become a more competitive team."

Freshman Rachel Root, Juniors Valerie Jones and Cecilia Holmes all set new season bests at the match-up against the Purple Aces. Root accomplished a season best in the 100-yard backstroke (59.19) earning her second-place. Jones placed first in the 500-yard freestyle (5:06.52) setting a new season record and second in the 1000-yard freestyle (10:30.81). Holmes took home first in the 500-yard freestyle (5:08.04) and broke her season best time in the 1000-yard freestyle (10:24.60).

 

 

The Redbirds had several swimmers who earned first-place in multiple events. Junior Marissa Yontz earned first-place in 200-yard freestyle (1:54.04) and the 100-yard freestyle (52.63). Nash took home first-place in the 200-yard butterfly (2:10.71) and the 100-yard butterfly (57.47). Sophomore Courtney Taylor earned first-place in 100-yard breaststroke (1:06.61) and 200-yard breaststroke (2:23.16). "It was so fun to watch Taylor race in the breaststroke tonight. All season she has competed consistently and her future will definitely be a bright one," said Paska.

The presentation and final results of the Evansville meet pleased diving coach Phil Hoffmann.

"Friday's team effort was very good from top to bottom," said Hoffman. "I was impressed with how far along Evansville's diver Stephanie Tran performance is at this point in the season. Wenting Zhang's performance was solid overall and a consistent meet for her. Maggie Kopp also performed very well against the Purple Aces. Throughout Kopp's entire career she has been a consistent diver and is ahead at this point in the season. I am excited to see how Kopp's senior year continues as she excels."

Illinois State's 2013 two time Missouri Valley Conference Diver of the week, Zhang took first-place on the three-meter board (333.30) and the one-meter board(319.20). Kopp followed Zhang and earned second-place on the three-meter board (223.79).

"I can't believe our fall dual season meets are over," said Paska. "We ended on a high note of a final record of 3-1. I am impressed with the character this team has shown so far. Their strengths are starting to mesh together and I am looking forward to watching this group represent Illinois State swimming and diving."

The Redbirds will have four weeks off to prepare for the Zippy Invitational in Akron, Ohio. The invitational will be all day events taking place Dec. 6 through the 8 in the Ocasek Natatorium.

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