Redbirds Remain in Third, Zhang Breaks School Record
Wenting Zhang
Wenting Zhang

Dec. 1, 2012

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NORMAL, Ill. - Illinois State swimming and diving resumed competition today at the Zippy Invitational finishing the day in third-place with 880.5 points. Diver Wenting Zhang also broke the Illinois State school record and set a new Zippy Invitational record on the 3-meter board with a score of 330.05.

Zhang continued to be victorious this weekend after coming off a first-place finish on the 1-meter board last night. She earned first-place in both the preliminary rounds and finals on the 3-meter board. Her score on the 3-meter board was 330.05. Zhang broke the Illinois State school record in the final and set the new meet record at the Zippy Invitational on the 3-meter board. Zhang is also the first Redbird to win a diving event at the Zippy. Madicyn Prouty also had a strong day of competition. She had a score of 221.85 on the 3-meter board during the preliminary round, which placed her in 12th.

"I am happy with the way the weekend went. Anytime the divers can contribute to the team's success is great for us. Today all seven of our divers scored points for the team on the 3-meter event and it was fantastic," diving coach Phil Hoffmann said. "Wenting had a great weekend, but I think all our divers put forth a solid effort."

In swimming the Redbirds had a successful night. Head coach Steve Paska is impressed with how the Redbirds have done so far in the competition.

"Today was a very good day for us. We had a number of season and personal best swims," Paska said. "The atmosphere here is great and everyone is swimming very fast, so these have been great races to watch. I am looking forward to watching the Redbirds close out the Zippy tomorrow."

Cecilia Holmes, Courtney Taylor, Valerie Jones, Katelyn Kresal and Keely Hunt all qualified for the finals in the 400-yard IM. During the prelims, Holmes swam a time of 4:31.28, which was a season best. During the finals Holmes gave the Redbirds a sixth-place finish with a time of 4:33.09. Followed by Taylor who swam a personal best and finished in 10th place with a time of 4:30.33. Jones also swam a season best and finished in 11th with a time of 4:35.35, Kresal earned a personal best and 21st place with a time of 4:41.64 and Hunt swam a personal best during the prelims with a time of 4:42.46. During the finals Hunt placed in 22nd with a time of 4:43.28.

Jeanette Nolte started the 100-yard butterfly prelims by earning a personal best and qualifying for the finals with a time of 56.51. During the finals Nolte earned points for the Redbirds finishing fourth with a time of 56.53. Nolte was followed by Alexis Nash who swam a personal best to finish in seventh-place with a time of 57.65, and Sarah Rendek tied for 18th with a season best time of 58.36. Other notable performances during the 100-yard butterfly were swam by Emily Langlotz who earned a season best with a time of 1:00.76 and Justine Kaszynski swam a season best with a time of 1:00.88 during the prelims.

Tori Alland earned 5th place in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:53.82. This time was a season best swim for Alland. Katherine Nelson and Emily Susmarski followed Alland putting up points for the Redbirds. Nelson earning a personal best and 17th place with a time of 1:54.53 and Susmarski taking the 18th place spot with a time of 1:55.57, which was also a season best time. During the prelims Kelly Healy also earned a season best time with a time of 1:58.38.

Arica Woolbright led the Redbirds with a seventh-place finish along with earning her season best swim in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:06.29. Taylor followed in ninth-place with a time of 1:05.32, which was her second personal best of the night. April Livingston also swam a season best while placing 12th with a time of 1:06.29.

"I am very impressed with Courtney. She earned two personal best times tonight," Paska said. "She has had an outstanding sessions and it is fun to watch her race. She is a competitive student-athlete, and she has a bright future."

During the 100-yard backstroke prelims, Samantha Schuckles earned a personal best swimming a 57.50 and qualifying for the finals along with Erica Halley, Nash and Brianna Winkler. During the finals, Nash finished in seventh-place swimming a 57.66. Halley finished with a time of 57.57 giving her 12th place and breaking her personal best time. Also, Nash and Winkler both earned points for the Redbirds. Nash earned 23rd with a time of 59.20 and Winkler swam a 59.71 taking 24th place. During the preliminary rounds Kristin Horney earned a personal best with a time of 1:01.24 and Tara Gidaszewski swam a season best of 1:01.98.

Concluding the night was the 800-yard freestyle relay, the Redbirds relay team made up of Danielle Schumacher, Nolte, Alland and Holmes finished fourth with a time of 7:35.17. Schumacher led off the relay with the 200-yard freestyle finishing with a season best time of 1:50.75. Following with a time of 7:46.22 in ninth-place was Halley, Marissa Yontz, Susmarski and Kresal with a time of 7:46.22.

"Danielle has had an outstanding time here so far, and she had a great leg to begin the 800-yard freestyle relay," Paska said.

With one day left of competition, the Redbirds trail behind Toledo (1017) and Ohio (898). Competition resumes tomorrow with preliminary events starting at 9 a.m. eastern and the finals at 4 p.m.

Live video streaming for the event can be found at http://www.mac-sports.com/Schools/Akron/LiveStreaming2.aspx.

Live results can be found at http://www.wagonwheelchallenge.com/swimstats/.

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