Redbirds End 2010-11 Season in Second at MVC Championships
Feb. 19, 2011
CARBONDALE, Ill. - After a successful 2010-11 season, the Illinois State swimming and diving team finished the Missouri Valley Conference Championships in second place with 735 points, behind Missouri State with 944 points. The Redbirds set three more school records and a MVC Championship record, during the final day of the championship meet.
Six Redbirds were named first-team all-conference including seniors Molly Gomberg, Liza Perrino and Amy Schaefer, sophomores Sarah Rendek and Danielle Schumacher, and freshman Erica Halley. Ten Redbirds were also given honorable mention all-conference honors including seniors Lauren Terzis and Christine Byron, juniors Brittany Tazzioli, Polly Hirt and Jessica McGee, sophomores Brianna Winkler, Tori Alland, Jeanette Nolte and Morgan Buechele, and freshman April Livingston.
"The third day of competition was an outstanding way for us to complete the 2010-11 season," head coach Steve Paska said. "I am very pleased with the second place finish and I am very happy with how the team competed. With all the personal and season best swims and new school records, it is clear this group of student-athletes trained hard and was ready to compete."
The Redbird swimmers began the final day of competition with 1650-yard freestyle, as Schumacher finished in third place, recording a personal best with a time of 17:02.49. Also earning personal best times in the 1650-yard freestyle are seniors Ashley Bachler (17.33.32) and Christine Byron (17:52.11). Finishing with season best times is Alland in sixth (17:11.18), followed by Terzis in eighth (17:15.11) and junior Michele Stoeppelman in ninth (17:26.64).
During the 200-yard backstroke Gomberg broke the school record, set in 1995, with a personal best time of 2:03.24. Other personal best swims for the event include Winkler (2:09.33), Stoeppelman (2:10.26) and junior Megan Weber (2:14.04). Byron also recorded a season best swim during the preliminaries with a time of 2:07.14.
"A number of Redbird swimmers had a fantastic championship meet, including Molly Gomberg," Paska said. "She has had a fabulous career at Illinois State and her last MVC championship meet was very special. Molly was a member of two record-setting relays, earned personal bests in all her events and set school records in two of them. These were three great days of swimming, as she challenged herself to race to the best of her ability and has definitely left a mark at Illinois State."
The Redbirds continued their success during the 100-yard freestyle as Halley finished second with a personal best time of 52.07. McGee also earned a personal best in the finals with a time of 53.73, along with personal best finishes in the preliminaries for sophomores Emily Susmarski (54.58) and Kelly Healy (54.46). Nolte recorded was a season best in the finals with a time of 52.75.
Livingston recorded a personal best and fifth place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:23.58. Buechele also recorded a personal best time and finished ninth with a time of 2:24.60. Earning personal best times in the preliminaries of the event are junior Sarah Piechocinski (2:26.19) and sophomore Arica Woolbright (2:26.56).
Rendek broke her own school record and the MVC Championship record in the 200-yard butterfly during her preliminary swim with a time of 2:03.38. She also placed second in the finals (2:04.42), followed by Schaefer in third with a personal best time in her preliminary swim (2:04.33). Gomberg finished in fourth with personal best time of 2:05.78. Also earning personal best times in the event is junior Lauren Pojman (2:13.68) and sophomore Chelsea Becker (2:22.58). Junior Amber Siggins recorded a season best with a time of 2:12.06.
The Redbirds finished the championship meet by breaking the school record in the 400-yard freestyle relay, in a second place finish, with a time of 3:28.63. The relay was comprised of Nolte, Schumacher, Halley and Schaefer.
In the three meter diving event, Perrino finished third overall and first for the Redbirds with a score of 247.65, earning all-conference honors. Hirt finished seventh with a score of 205.70 and honorable mention all-conference honors.
"We set ten new school record this weekend, after the student-athletes worked diligently for all of the fall semester and beginning of spring semester," Paska said. "Our seven seniors are all over the school record book, three being named all-conference, as well as two honorable mentions. Ashley Bachler earned personal bests in two events, and senior Caitlin Costa came off shoulder surgery this season and had a wonderful recovery. This group of seniors have been great role models and have laid the groundwork for what a student athlete should be. This has been a very rewarding weekend that I will cherish for a long time.
Diving coach Phil Hoffmann believes the Redbird divers finished the season on a strong note and is anticipating what the 2011-12 season will bring.
"The championship meet was a great way for Liza to cap a fantastic career at Illinois State, she has been a joy to coach and has a bright future ahead of her," Hoffman said. "I look forward to the coming season to see how the returning and new divers can perform, as the conference becomes more competitive."
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