Redbirds Take on Illinois at Horton Pool
Tori Alland
Tori Alland

Nov. 8, 2012

NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State Swimming and Diving team are preparing to take on Illinois in a dual meet Friday, Nov. 9, at Horton Pool. The meet is set to begin at 6 p.m.

The Redbirds are coming off of a successful weekend against Truman State (185-85) and conference opponent Northern Iowa (182-110), making the team 3-0 this far into the season. This will be the third consecutive weekend of competition for the Redbirds.

"We emphasized these three weeks a long time ago. We needed to sustain the consistency in practice for three consecutive weeks and be prepared to race when we have the opportunity," head coach Steve Paska said. "I believe we have one more solid meet in us as we compete against Illinois, and I am looking forward to see how our student-athletes rise to the challenge of racing against some quality swimmers."

After last weekend's performances, the Redbirds earned the honor of Missouri Valley Conference Swimmer and Diver of the week. Sophomore diver Wenting Zhang earned MVC Diver of the week for the third time this season. Zhang earned the award after a record breaking weekend against the Bulldogs and Panthers. Zhang broke the 1-meter (302.47) and 3-meter (315.15) pool record against Truman State, and her own school record on the 3-meter board (322.20) against Northern Iowa.

This is the first time sophomore Marissa Yontz has received the honor.She earned it after strong performances against both Truman State and Northern Iowa. Yontz earned first-place finishes in the 100-yard freestyle (52.99), 50-yard freestyle (24.35) and led off the pool record breaking 800-yard freestyle relay (7:46.83). Her performances in the 100-yard freestyle and 50-yard freestyle were a season best performance. On Saturday, Yontz also finished first in 100-yard freestyle (53.14) and 100-yard butterfly (1:00.67). Her time in the 100-yard butterfly was a season best performance.

 

 

The meet against Illinois will be the last home meet of the semester and the last meet before the Zippy Invitational in the end of November.

"We have the Fighting Illini coming to town, and I think we will have a big attendance. We are racing at home against a Big Ten program that comes ready to race each and every time, and they are off to a solid start this season," Paska said. "Illinois has a solid swimming and diving team, and I think it will make for some great competition. "

The diving team will also be competing against Illinois. Head diving coach Phil Hoffmann is excited to see the divers compete after last weekend.

"Chirs Waters, the diving coach, is one of my great friends, and we have a lot respect for each other," Hoffmann said. "Every year he has a solid line of divers, and anytime our girls can go against a Big Ten opponent is a highlight. This will be a good meet for us because we are competing against another state school, and I look forward to one last home meet this semester.

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