Redbirds Fall to Kansas in Puerto Rico
Jan. 7, 2008
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Despite tremendous efforts, the Illinois State swimming and diving team fell to Kansas with a final score of 59-33 Monday in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The team was originally scheduled to compete in the fourth annual Copa Coqui swim meet Jan. 6; however deadline entry requirements were not met.
Despite the loss, Redbird head swimming and diving coach Steve Paska felt that the team performed well.
"Each member of the team raced at the best of her ability," said Paska. "I am pleased with the effort the team gave. The intensity and focus they have experienced during practice has carried over to the meet. We have not competed since the Akron Invitational (Nov. 30 - Dec. 2), so it was great to be in a meet-type of environment again."
The meet featured a five-event format of sprint events. The 50-meter butterfly was the first event of the afternoon. Freshman Amy Schaefer tallied a fourth-place finish. Not far behind were juniors Tiffany Rentner and Allison Fishbein and senior Katherine Smith, who finished seventh, 10th and 12th, respectively.
In the 50-meter backstroke, freshman Christine Byron claimed fourth. Freshman Molly Gomberg (6th), seniors Emily Richardson (7th) and Brittany Byrd (9th) and sophomore Amy Werkema (10th) also competed in the event.
Sophomore Lindsay Dinkelman tallied a second-place finish in the 50-yard breaststroke. Not far behind was senior captain Tracy Deyell, who placed third; sophomore Caitlin Falconer (4th); junior Lauren Williams (5th); and senior captain Valerie Zaleski, who came in sixth.
The Redbirds dominated the 50-yard freestyle, as they claimed the second- through ninth-place spots. Senior Jena Allie was the top ISU finisher, as she placed second, while Zaleski finished third and was followed in the top-five by freshman Ashley Bachler (4th) and Rentner (5th). Junior Jessica Santi (6th), senior captain Kathleen Borkovec (7th), freshman Caitlin Costa (8th) and senior Kristin DeKeyrel (9th) rounded out the Redbird scoring in the event.
The last event of the afternoon was the 200 individual medley. Deyell finished second in the event; while junior Erin Woodruff placed third; senior captain Christine Steinbach came in fourth; junior Alison Wippermann touched the wall in fifth place; and Schaefer placed sixth.
Overall, Paska felt that the team's training trip to Puerto Rica was a positive experience.
"The trip to Puerto Rico has been a tremendous success," said Paska. "We have been blessed with a fantastic training facility in San Juan. The team has bonded as a group and the hospitality here has been wonderful; they have been so kind to us."
The Redbirds return to the mainland later this week as they prepare for a road meet against Ball State in Muncie, Ind., Saturday, Jan. 19. The meet is set to begin at 1 p.m.