Redbirds Finish First Day at Akron in Third Place
Danielle Schumacher
Danielle Schumacher

Nov. 30, 2012

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NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State swimming and diving team concluded their first night of competition at the Zippy Invitational in third place with 419 points.

"We are off to a great start at this invitational," head coach Steve Paska said. "We had many season and personal best swims and it was a terrific way to start of the first day of this meet. I am very impressed with how the Redbirds performed, and I believe are stronger days are yet to come."

The 200-yard freestyle relay was the first event. Katherine Nelson, Erica Halley, Kristin Horney and Marissa Yontz led the Redbirds in a fourth-place finish with a season best time of 1:35.39.

As the invite continued, Danielle Schumacher touched the wall first the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:57.52, which was a season best. Coach Paska thinks that Schumacher has had a great meet thus far.

"Danielle had a solid swim in the morning during the prelims and came back during the finals to win first place. I am very impressed with her race strategy, and she finished the event strong. This win was a great way for her to start her final Zippy Invitational," Paska said.

Cecilia Holmes earned third-place in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:59.71, which was also a personal best. Tori Alland, Jeanette Nolte and Emily Susmarski followed Holmes earning points for the Redbirds. Alland finished in sixth-place with a season best time of 5:02.80, Nolte earned a personal best with a time of 5:04.60, which placed her in 12th and Susmarski also put up points for the Redbirds with a time of 5:13.98 receiving 23rd place.

During the finals for the 200-yard IM, Courtney Taylor earned a season best as well as finishing eighth with a time of 2:07.30. During the 200-yard IM prelims, freshman Katelyn Kresal earned a personal best with a time of 2:13.35.

In short distance, Nelson placed fourth in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 23.72 followed by Halley in seventh place with a time of 23.82, which was a personal best and Yontz in 12th place with a time of 24.24.

"Erica had an outstanding day of competition. She earned a personal best in the 50-free and led off the 400-yard medley relay with the 100-yard backstroke and earned a personal best time of 57.87. Erica also was able to do a timed trial in the 200-yard backstroke after the prelims and had a time 2:05.65 which is a best time for her," Paska said. "I am looking forward to Erica competing the next two days."

Yontz also earned her season best time during the prelims in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 24.13. Also during the prelims Nelson, Horney, Samantha Schuckles and Morgan Buechele earned personal bests. Nelson swam a 23.64, Horney a 24.26, Schuckles a 24.41 and Buechele swam a 24.45.

Concluding the swim events, the Redbirds took sixth and seventh place in the 400-yard medley relay. In sixth place Schuckles, Buechele, Nolte and Nelson finished with a time of 3:53.25. In seventh place Halley, April Livingston, Alexis Nash and Yontz finished with a time of 3:53.41.

After the preliminary rounds this morning Holmes, Nolte and Nash were able to swim in a timed trail in the 200-yard IM all three swimmers earned a personal best. Holmes swam a 2:07.34, Nolte a 207.99 and Nash a 2:13.37.

In diving, Wenting Zhang took first-place on the 1-meter board in both the prelims and then again in the finals. Zhang recorded a score of 312.50 during the finals and a score of 274.35 during the prelims.

"It is always important at these invites to score points, and I am proud of the divers today. We had a solid performance all around, and Wenting had a great event during the finals," diving coach Phil Hoffmann said. "I look forward to see what the student-athletes bring to the table tomorrow."

The competition will continue tomorrow. The preliminary rounds will start at 9 a.m. eastern, and the finals scheduled for 6 p.m.

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