ISU Returns to Pool to Compete in FAU Invitational
The Redbirds are competing for the first time since Dec. 3.
The Redbirds are competing for the first time since Dec. 3.

Jan. 5, 2007

NORMAL, Ill. - After a month-long break, the Illinois State swimming and diving team takes to the pool for the first time in 2007 on Saturday, in Boca Raton, Fla., to compete in the Florida Atlantic Invitational. The Redbirds start the second half of their season's slate in dual-meet action Penn, Nebraska and host FAU at the Owls' FAU Pool beginning at 9 a.m.

The Redbirds are off to a 2-2 start to their season with victories against Western Illinois and Northern Iowa.

The FAU Invitational is an important meet for head coach Steve Paska and his Redbirds as they vie to regain momentum from the first half of the season and turn their month long training program into results.

"We are really excited to get back to competing after being off for as long as we have been," Paska said. "Our women have been training extremely hard since we arrived in Florida earlier this week and have taken the appropriate steps to be ready for this Invitational.

"This meet will be excellent opportunity for our team to match-up against three very tough, tradition-rich teams in Penn, Florida Atlantic and Nebraska."

In the Redbirds' last time out at the SummaCare Invitational in Akron, Ohio (Dec. 1-3), the team finished fourth and received stellar performances from sophomore swimmer Rebekah Layman and junior diver Katie Janonis, who captured Missouri Valley Conference Swimmer and Diver of the Week awards, respectively, on Dec. 5 for their efforts.

Layman, a native of Corona, Calif., posted season-bests in five individual races at the invite in Akron. The versatile Layman swam 1:56.98 in the 200-freestyle, a 59.92 in the 100-butterfly and a 2:10.45 in the 200-fly. Layman also notched her fastest times of the season in the 200-individual medley (2:08.88) and the 400-IM (4:33.71). Layman's 400-IM time is currently the best in the Valley, while her 200-IM is good for second

Janonis secured two top-10 finishes at the same invite on both the 1-meter and 3-meter boards. Janonis placed sixth in the 1-meter competition, with a high score of 206.60, and eighth on the 3-meter after registering a score of 215.65. The Mt. Prospect, Ill., native holds the team's top scores this season in both events.

The FAU Invitational is the first meet of what will be a busy month of January for the Redbird swimming and diving team. On Jan. 15, the `Birds will host senior day in their final home meet of the season against Ball State, followed by two road-trips to Wisconsin on Jan. 19 and 27 to take part in the Bill Ritter Invitational and battle UW-Green Bay, respectively.