Swimming & Diving Head to Carbondale for MVC Championships
Katherine Nelson
Katherine Nelson

Feb. 13, 2013

CARBONDALE, Ill. - The Illinois State swimming and diving team will head to Carbondale, Ill. to finish the 2012-13 season at the Missouri Valley Conference Championships. The championships will start Thursday, Feb. 14, and end Saturday, Feb. 16.

"I can't believe how fast the season went by but it has been a fantastic season for the swimming and diving program," head coach Steve Paska said. "I am looking forward to seeing how the Redbirds come together this weekend, and I am extremely proud of how the team trained and competed all season. Now it is time to compete one last weekend, and for our 11 senior student-athletes this will be the last time they compete as Redbirds."

ISU was picked to finish second behind Missouri State by a three point margin in a pre-championship poll, as voted on my leagues' head coaches. The Redbirds hold 11 top-three times on the MVC Best List which include top times in multiple events.

The Redbirds concluded the 2012-13 regular season with a 6-1 record, defeating conference opponents Evansville and Northern Iowa. Also the team earned victories against Truman State, Illinois, Nebraska-Omaha and Washington (Mo.). In addition to the dual meet season, ISU also took third-place in the Zippy Invitational in Akron, Ohio.

Paska believes that the races this weekend will be competitive and some of the fastest he has seen during his time at ISU.

"I believe we are in for the fastest Valley swim championship that I have ever been a part of, and we are ready to compete against the other schools in the conference. Every team is in the same boat, and I believe there will be a number of close races over the course of the weekend," Paska said. "The events are going to be fast and Valley records will be broken. Every team in the conference has had a terrific season and all the teams have improved."

In diving, the `birds also hold the number one spot on the 1-meter dive Best List and the number two spot on the 3-meter dive Best List.



Diving coach Phil Hoffmann thinks the divers will have a lot of competition at the championship, but he also believes the divers are prepared for this weekend.

"We are healthy right now, and our athletic training staff has got the divers where they need to be," Hoffmann said. "Without a doubt this is the best Valley diving we have ever had. Seven out of the top ten divers on both boards have either international experience or earned a conference title sometime in their diving career. I am excited to see how our divers perform, and I also think it is fitting that we started our season at Southern Illinois, and we will end our season there."

Preliminary races are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. on Thursday and Friday and the finals will begin at 6 p.m. On Saturday, the preliminary races will begin at 10 a.m. and the finals will start at 4 p.m. The diving prelims for the one-meter board are scheduled for Thursday at 1 p.m., with finals at 7:05 p.m. Prelims for the 3-meter board are set for Friday at 1 p.m., with finals on Saturday at 6 p.m.

Live updates for the Championships can be found at: http://www.siusalukis.com/sports/c-swim/spec-rel/13-mvc-swimdive-championships.html

Live streaming can be found at: http://www.valley-live.tv/

GoRedbirds.com: Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, Weisbecker Scholarship Fund gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.