Redbirds Head to Akron for Zippy Invitational
Erica Halley
Erica Halley

Nov. 28, 2012

Akron, Ohio - The Illinois State swimming and diving team will be traveling to Arkon, Ohio for the Zippy Invitational this weekend Nov. 30 to Dec 2.

This is the 13th straight year that Illinois State will be competing in the Zippy Invitational. Preliminary rounds begin at 9 a.m. every day and finals begin at 6 p.m. both Friday and Saturday. The finals will begin at 4 p.m. on Sunday.

"We have been heading east for 13 consecutive years and it has been a positive experience for the swimming and diving program each year," head coach Steve Paska said. "We have been successful at the invitational in the water and on the boards, and I am looking forward to seeing how the 2012-13 team competes."

Last year the Redbirds finished in fourth place at the Zippy Invitational. Paska is excited for this weekend and looks forward to seeing the Redbirds compete in a championship format.

"I am excited to see how our swimmers rise to the challenge while competing against quality programs," Paska said. This is an opportunity for us to swim in our first championship format, which is the same format as the Missouri Valley Conference Championship. We have been working hard to prepare for this meet since August and it will be an evaluation tool for the championship meet in February."

The Redbirds last competed on Nov. 10 against Illinois where they were victorious 157-143 making the team 4-0 during the 2012-13 season. Sophomore Cecilia Holmes was a double first-place winner in the 1000-yard freestyle (10:25.53) and 500-yard freestyle (5:05.53). Sophomore Katherine Nelson finished first in the 50-yard freestyle (24.22) and 100-yard freestyle (52.51). She was also a member of the first-place pool record setting 200-yard freestyle relay (1:36.30) with teammates Erica Halley, Kristin Horney and Marissa Yontz. Sophomore diver Wenting Zhang also earned two first-place finishes on the 1-meter (324.22) and 3-meter board (312.01), and her score on the 1-meter board broke not only the pool record but also the school record.



The diving team will also be competing this weekend at the Zippy Invitational. There are 29 divers entered in the invitational, and diving coach Phil Hoffmann believes that the student-athletes will have a good weekend of competition.

"This is a great invitational for us to compete in especially on the diving side. All the programs will be bringing very strong divers and this will be great competition for us," Hoffmann said. The student-athletes are coming off very good meets, and we have been training well. We will now have to bring together all we have been working for on the road at Akron, but I think we are set up for a good week."

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