Illinois State Wins the Zippy Invitational
Erica Halley
Erica Halley

Zippy Invitational ResultsGet Acrobat Reader

Dec. 8, 2013

AKRON, Ohio - - After a long weekend away the Illinois State swimming and diving team won the Zippy Invitational finishing with 1550.5 points, and Yontz broke another school record today in the 100-yard freestyle.

The final day of competition began with the 1650-yard freestyle, where Cecilia Holmes set a personal best time (17:02.64) landing her first-place. Trailing behind Holmes, Keely Hunt placed ninth with a season record breaking time of 17:43.17. Yvette Kruk swam a new personal best time of 17:43.17 earning her 16th place, and Maddie Farrell finished the race in 20th place with a season best time of 17:53.25. Head coach Steve Paska believes Holmes made the right decisions tonight to get Illinois State off on the right foot.

"What a way for CeCe to start the evening for us," said Paska. "She earned the second fastest time in Illinois State school history from her performance in the 1650-yard freestyle. She was only three seconds off of breaking the record. CeCe had the perfect strategy for the race tonight to finish strong. The way she competed in the 1650-yard freestyle gave an enormous momentum to the team, and helped ignite the swimmers for the following events."

Rachel Root, Katelyn Kresal, Sammy Schuckles and Tara Gidaszewski all qualified for the finals in the 200-yard backstroke. Root swam a season best time of 2:04.83 finishing in fifth-place. Following with an 11th place finish and a new personal best time (2:06.05) was Kresal. Schukles (2:07.94) and Gidaszewski (2:09.56) set new season best times leaving Schukles in 15th place and Gidaszewski in 17th place.

"Marissa had a remarkable invitational," said Paska. "She set three new school records over the weekend, and what a way to end the semester. Marissa is goal oriented and has been training very hard this semester to meet and exceed her goals. After seeing her performance at Zippy Invitational, the Missouri Valley Conference is looking very promising for her."

Marissa Yontz won the 100-yard freestyle with a final time of 50.63. Close behind Yontz was Erica Halley in fourth-place with a new personal best of 51.81. Halley continued to improve her personal best time when she swam a split in the 400-yard free style relay obtaining a new personal best of 51.75. Katherine Nelson set a new season best with a time of 53.12 and Laura Paskoff swam a 53.41 in the 100-yard freestyle setting a new season best for herself.

While Allison Soper was finishing the 200-yard breaststroke with a final time of 2:21.18 the fire alarms started going off causing a 15 minute break in the competition. Paska believes this break got the fire lit in the swimmers. April Livingston placed fourth breaking her season best record with a final time of 2:21.27. Valerie Jones followed in fifth-place (2:21.28) breaking her season best record, and Courtney Taylor was close behind earning sixth place and setting a personal best record with a time of 2:21.67.

Kristin Verkler, Claire Haggerty, Lexi Nash and Emily Langlotz all qualified for the finals in the 200-yard butterfly. Verkler placed tenth earning a season best time of 2:08.21. Following close behind were Haggerty setting a new personal best time (2:10.85) earning her12th place and Nash capturing 14th place. Langlotz earned 21st with while setting her new season best time of (2:19.14) During the preliminaries of the 200-yard butterfly Justine Kaszynski set a new season best of 2:22.11.

Finishing the invite off strong Halley, Nelson, Holmes and Yontz won first-place in the 400-yard freestyle relay, setting a new season record time of 3:27. The Redbirds also took fifth-place (3:31.88) in the 400-yard freestyle led by Haggerty, Paskoff, Taylor and Verkler.

"I am happy with how we performed during the final day of the invite," said Paska. "Each race was a lot of fun to watch seeing the Redbirds swim so fast. The outcome of our performance was a total team effort."

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