Redbirds Finish Zippy Invitational in 3rd
Katherine Nelson
Katherine Nelson

Dec. 2, 2012

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AKRON, Ohio. - The Illinois State swimming and diving team finished in third-place after their third and final day of competition at the Zippy Invitational. The Redbirds finished with 1188.5 points falling to Toledo (1697) and Ohio (1211).

"This was a good way to end the Zippy Invitational. The student-athletes had an outstanding weekend of competition, and for the swimmers and divers to finish in third-place was a total team effort," head coach Steve Paska said.

The final day of competition started with the 1650-yard freestyle, where the Redbirds scored multiple points. Valerie Jones, Cecilia Holmes, Danielle Schumacher and Keely Hunt all qualified for the finals in the 1650-yard freestyle as well as swimming all season best times. Jones led the way swimming a 17:26.28, which gave her a seventh-place finish. Following closely behind Jones was Holmes in eighth-place with a time of 17:31.88. Schumacher earned 13th with a time of 17:45.95 and Hunt took 16th place with a time of 17:52.39.

"Valerie had a solid weekend of competition. She is coming off of a knee surgery and for her to come back and compete this way has shown how extremely hard she has been training. She has done a lot of rehab with the trainer, Melissa, and has pushed herself," Paska said. "With how Valerie competed in the 1650-free today was a great way for her to end the fall semester after the injury and surgery. She is coming back strong and has fantastic months ahead of her as she trains. Her work ethic in the water is strong, and I am extremely proud of what she has done."

Samantha Schuckles finished 14th in the 200-yard backstroke earning a season best time of 2:08.47. Following Schuckles in 22nd place was Katelyn Kresal with a personal best swim of 2:08.79 and Tara Gidaszewski in 23rd with a time of 2:11.76, which was a season best. During the prelims, Brianna Winkler also finished with a season best time of 2:12.11.

Katherine Nelson, Marissa Yontz, Erica Halley and Tori Alland all qualified for the finals in the 100-yard freestyle. Nelson swam a season best time of 51.73 finishing in fifth-place. Following with an eighth-place finish and a season best swim was Yontz with a time of 52.60. Halley swam a new personal best time of 51.89 earning 10th place, and Alland finished in 21st place with a season best time of 53.62. During the prelims, Emily Susmarski earned a new personal best time of 54.31.

In the 200-yard breaststroke April Livingston finished in 14th during the finals. Arica Woolbright followed Livingston in the 19th spot with a season best time of 2:25.91 and Morgan Buechele also swam a season best with a time of 2:26.56, to finish 21st in the finals.

Jeanette Nolte and Sarah Rendek both qualified for the finals in the 200-yard butterfly. Nolte swam a 2:05.98 finishing in seventh-place, and Rendek finished 21st with a time of 2:11.27, which is a season best. During the prelims, Sharron Isola also swam a season best time of 2:13.63.

The final event of the invite was the 400-yard freestyle relay. The Redbirds finished in fourth and fifth place. In fourth-place with a season best time was Nelson, Yontz, Nolte and Halley with a time of 3:30.38. Following closely behind in fifth-place was Schumacher, Alland, Courtney Taylor and Holmes with a time of 3:31.17. Schumacher led off the relay with the 100-yard freestyle earning a new personal best time of 51.94.

"There were plenty of personal and season best times throughout the entire invite and this was a great way to end this semester," Paska said. "Now we will spend a few weeks training to prepare for what is to come in the rest of the 2012-13 season."

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