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Illinois swim and dive team has promising start

Illinois%27+Samantha+Stratford+swims+the+100+yard+butterfly+event+during+the+meet+against+Nebraska+at+the+ARC+on+Jan.+24%2C+2015.+The+Illini+won+171-129.
Illinois' Samantha Stratford swims the 100 yard butterfly event during the meet against Nebraska at the ARC on Jan. 24, 2015. The Illini won 171-129.

Illinois' Samantha Stratford swims the 100 yard butterfly event during the meet against Nebraska at the ARC on Jan. 24, 2015. The Illini won 171-129.

Daily Illini File Photo

Daily Illini File Photo

Illinois' Samantha Stratford swims the 100 yard butterfly event during the meet against Nebraska at the ARC on Jan. 24, 2015. The Illini won 171-129.

Erich Fisher, Staff writer

Editor’s note: At the time of publication, Swim and Dive was still competing.At the midseason point, the Illinois swim and dive team are off to a 6-1 start and a very respectable second place finish at the Missouri Invitational.

After winning back to back home meets on Oct. 21 and 22, the Illini hit the road for the month of November, starting their road trip not too far from in Evanston, Illinois.

Illinois got its first loss of the season at the hands of Northwestern, but didn’t leave empty handed as the team still managed to pick up a victory against Rutgers, moving their record to 5-1.

Illinois picked up another victory against a newly-formed Indiana State swimming team in Terre Haute, Indiana, before competing in the Missouri Invitational.

However, junior Samantha Stratford and senior Gabbie Stecker wouldn’t have the week off from competition play because they were selected to swim in the Big Ten All Stars vs. USA National Team meet.

The following week, it was time for the entire team to return to competition play, competing in their arguably biggest meet of the year, the Missouri Invitational.

Ten teams swam in the meet, with the Illini snatching a second place finish in the invitational, right behind Missouri.

There have been several standout swimmers for Illinois so far this season. Stratford has dominated every race this year that is an individual medley, no matter the distance.

A name people may have not been thinking about coming into the season was freshman Kristin Anderson. Through this first half of the season however, she’s been a large part of the Illini’s relay teams, anchoring the 400-yard medley relay and swimming in the 400-yard freestyle relay while also performing well in her individual freestyle events.

With a 6-1 record at the midseason point, Illinois is sitting in a very good position for the start of the second half of the season where they will face off against the University of Arkansas on Jan. 7 at home.

sports@dailyillini.com

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