Halley and Zhang Earn MVC Swimmer and Diver of the Week
Wenting Zhang
Wenting Zhang

Dec. 7, 2012

Junior Erica Halley and sophomore Wenting Zhang were named Missouri Valley Conference Swimmer and Diver of the Week Dec. 4th. Both student-athletes contributed to the Redbirds third-place finish at the Zippy Invitational. This is the fifth time Zhang has received the honor of Diver of the Week during the 2012-13 season.

Halley and Zhang both put up points for the Redbirds at the Zippy Invitational. The Redbirds finished in third-place with 1188.5 points falling only to Toledo (1697) and Ohio (1211).

After having a successful weekend of diving, Zhang earned the honor of Diver of the Week for the fifth time this season. On the first day of competition, Zhang earned first-place and qualified for the finals on the 1-meter board (274.35). During the finals on the 1-meter board, Zhang also finished in first-place with a score of 312.50. As the Zippy Invitational continued, Zhang competed on the 3-meter board. She qualified for the finals on the 3-meter board (301.25) and earned a first-place finish. During the finals, Zhang received first-place with a score of 330.05. This score set the new 3-meter board record at the Zippy Invitational and broke the Illinois State school record, which she previously held. Zhang is also the first Redbird diver to win a diving event at the Zippy Invitational.

"It was a great weekend of competition for Wenting. Her score on the 3-meter board broke her own school record which is fantastic and breaking the meet record was also fantastic," diving coach Phil Hoffmann said. "To have a diver win an event for us at the Zippy Invite is a first, but having a diver win both is outstanding. I'm glad the diving score could help the swimming and diving team earn a third-place finish for the Redbirds."



Halley also had a victorious weekend in swimming, which gave her the honor of MVC Swimmer of the Week. Halley qualified for the finals in multiple events. She earned four personal best times as well as two season best times. In the 50-yard freestyle, Halley swam a personal best with a time of 23.82 and earned a seventh-place finish. In the 200-yard backstroke, Halley swam a 2:05.65; this time shattered her previous personal best time (2:12.22). Halley swam a 12th place finish in the 100-yard backstroke and earned another personal best with a time of 57.57. She also earned a personal best in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 51.89, which put Halley in 10th place.

Halley was a member of the fourth-place 200-yard freestyle relay, which received a time of 1:35.39, which is a season best for the Redbirds. She was also a member of the seventh-place 400-yard medley relay (3:53.41), the ninth-place 800-yard freestyle relay (7:46.22) and the fourth-place 400-yard freestyle relay (3:30.38). The time in the 400-yard freestyle relay was also a season best time for the Redbirds.

"Erica's performance at the Akron meet earned her four personal best times. She played instrumental part in four of our relays, and she had an outstanding weekend for us in the freestyle and backstroke," head coach Steve Paska said. "She had an outstanding fall semester. She is healthy and has a great work ethic. She definitely shined in the Ocasek Natatorium in Akron over the weekend. She is a gifted sprinter and backstroker and for her to drop over 5 seconds in 200-yard backstroke was a fantastic swim for Erica. Now I am looking forward to how she performs in the Missouri Valley Conference Championship in February."

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