Redbirds Prepare for a Weekend of Competition
Jan. 17, 2013
NORMAL, Ill. - Illinois State swimming and diving is preparing for a weekend of competition against Washington (Mo.) and Ball State. The Redbirds will first travel St. Louis, Mo. to race against Washington (Mo.) on Saturday, Jan. 19, at 1 p.m. On Monday, Jan. 21, the Redbirds will travel to Ball State for a dual meet against the Cardinals. The meet is scheduled to begin at 12 p.m.
This is the second weekend of a three weekend span of competition for the Redbirds. Head coach Steve Paska believes all the competition will only help the Redbirds prepare for the conference championship meet in February.
"This weekend we are on the road Saturday and Monday. Throughout the week, we have focused on the opportunity to race," Paska said. "The student-athletes are embracing the opportunity, but they know this weekend will be a challenge because they have to race against two quality programs. These meets will be used as an evaluation tool as we prepare for the conference championship meet."
Last Saturday, Jan. 12, the Redbirds were victorious against Nebraska-Omaha (207-90). That meet marked the last home meet for the Redbirds 2012-13 season, as well as Senior Day. Senior Jeanette Nolte was named Missouri Valley Conference Swimmer of the Week after earning three first-place finishes. Nolte touched the wall first in the 100-yard butterfly (57.76), the 50-yard butterfly (26.69) and the 100-yard freestyle (53.26). Her time in the 100-yard freestyle was a season best. Sophomore diver Wenting Zhang was also named MVC Diver of the Week for her performance against Nebraska-Omaha. Zhang took first place on both the 1-meter (331.35) and 3-meter (319.95). Her score on the 1-meter board broke the Horton Pool and Illinois State record.
"Every opportunity the student-athletes have to compete will influence how the coaching staff determines the conference line up for the conference meet in February. Every meet counts and we need to rise to the challenge as we compete against quality programs again this weekend. This is an important weekend for us, but we will be taking it one day at a time as we prepare."
Diving coach Phil Hoffmann is also preparing his student-athletes for a weekend of competition.
"I think it is a process on the diving side to compete twice in one weekend. We are facing some solid competition this weekend but some of the competition is unknown," Hoffmann said. "We have competed against Ball State before, and they have a very solid diving program. At Washington, I do not know what to expect. We have never competed against the school but it will be good for the divers to get used to different competition."
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