Redbirds Head to UIC and Butler for a Weekend of Competition
Courtney Taylor
Courtney Taylor

Jan. 24, 2013

NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State swimming and diving team is preparing for their third consecutive weekend of competition. On Saturday, Jan. 26, the Divers will head to Chicago for the UIC Diving Invitational at 10 a.m. Then both the swimmers and divers will travel to Indianapolis, Ind. to compete in the Butler Invitational on Sunday, Jan. 27, at 11 a.m.

The Redbirds are coming off of a weekend full of competition. The team competed last weekend at Washington (Mo.) and then at Ball State. During the Washington (Mo.) meet the Redbirds earned another victory (188-110), and against Ball State the Redbirds were defeated for the first time during the 2012-13 season (173-127). The team is now 6-1 as they head into their last weekend of competition before the Missouri Valley Conference Championship.

Sophomore diver Wenting Zhang was named MVC Diver of the Week for her performance over the weekend. She earned first-place on the 1-meter (295.20) and 3-meter board (341.70) against Washington (Mo.). Her scores on both boards broke the Millstone Pool records, and she also broke the Illinois State record on the 3-meter board. At Butler she took first again on both the 1-meter (301.42) and 3-meter (332.70).

"This will be our third meet in eight days," head coach Steve Paska said."Last weekend, the student-athletes accomplished traveling to Washington (Mo.) and Ball State. We know that traveling does make competition difficult, but the team improved between the meet at Washington (Mo.) and the Ball State meet. This weekend I believe the team will improve even more because of the dedication and hard work they have shown during training."



As the Redbirds prepare to compete in their final competition for the 2012-13 season prior to the conference championship they will be competing in the Butler Invitational. This will be the first time the team competes in the invitational. The invite consists of 16 events, and they will be racing against Butler, Xavier and IUPUI.

"This meet will be our final test before the conference championship and a lot of the races will play a significant role in how the coaching staff determines the line up for the conference championship meet. I am interested to see what swimmers will step up and use this meet as an opportunity to earn a spot on the championship team for the MVC Championship," Paska said. "This weekend is a chance to race one more time, as we try to come out victorious against three quality programs. I believe the quality and depth that our swimming and diving program has will make for a good showing, and I look forward to seeing how the team can compete for the third time in eight days. The student-athletes show great character, and they will be ready to race."

As well as competing in the Butler Invitational, the divers will also be competing in the UIC Diving Invitational.

"The UIC Diving Invitational is an event the whole diving team and myself look forward too. It is great for us to get a big diving invite in before the conference championship and really compete to the best of our ability," diving coach Phil Hoffmann said. "The student-athletes will be diving against quality programs, and I think it will be good to compete against some top level competition. This will be a fun invite for the divers, especially the ones from the Chicago area. They have the chance to compete in a city that is close to home and have their family and friends in the crowd." Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, Weisbecker Scholarship Fund gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.